So, what will be your “no what what” this year?
As many of us begin each year with pen and paper or digital records of our new resolutions, goals and priorities, there was a nagging question in the back of my mind for the Church of today.
What do believers today ultimately prioritize?
Certainly, the proof of our true loyalties and priorities flesh their way out in our choices, actions and behaviors, not in what we say or in our good intentions.
For many, we begin the year with many plans and intentions which are honorable and necessary. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that our true colors will come out, as they always do under pressure.
In the Fiery Furnace
In the third chapter of the book of Daniel we read the famous story of Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. They had faith in the outcome of their fiery trial, yet they declared their “NO MATTER WHAT” to the man who had all earthly authority to put them to death;
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him,
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
In other words;
- Whether God answered their prayers the way they wanted or not, they would not worship another god.
- Whether their bodies were spared or burned alive, they would remain true to Yahweh.
- Whether they experienced the joy of victory or the anguish of defeat, they would remain true to who they were – worshippers of God!
- In the face of death and extreme intimidation, they remained full of faith in the God of their ancestors in a foreign land and were willing to lose everything for Him NO MATTER WHAT.
We know from Daniel 3 that they were not spared the furnace. God allowed them to be thrown right in. God could have prevented that, but so that His Name would be glorified, they were thrown in and the door was shut, the heat so overwhelming that a guard died in the process. Yet an angel or Jesus himself was present with them IN the furnace. They came out without even a hint of smoldering ash or any scent of the furnace. The King marveled and had to acknowledge the sovereign divinity of the Hebrew’s God!
What’s Your Fiery Furnace?
I love this story because it’s a prophetic picture of us right now.
I have been deeply troubled by believers in the last few days saying that they would walk away from their faith because of the U.S. election results. Did Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego question the goodness of God or their own identity because they were under attack? No. And never once did they, nor Daniel, attack their pagan rulers verbally or physically. They acted respectfully yet full of authority, courage and conviction.
How many Christians today are willing to doubt God if things don’t go their way?
How many Christians in 2020 left their local ecclesia and stopped trying to fellowship with other believers and serving others?
Be Resolute to Guard Yourself Against the Great Falling Away
I Timothy 4:1,2 (TPT) says,
The Holy Spirit has explicitly revealed:
At the end of this age, many will depart from the true faith one after another, devoting themselves to spirits of deception and following demon-inspired revelations and theories. Hypocritical liars will deceive many, and their consciences won’t bother them at all!
And Matthew 24:9-13 (TPT) records Jesus’ warning to his disciples;
“You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me.
Then many will stop following me and fall away,
and they will betray one another and hate one another.
And many lying prophets will arise, deceiving multitudes and
leading them away from the path of truth.
There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold.
But keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance.”
Make Your Declaration!
Why not take some time and write down the following;
what you will do, no matter what.
what you will believe, no matter what.
who you will be, no matter what.
Earthly thinking is along the lines of, “I need money to survive, so no matter what, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my job. Everything else is less important.” This reveals our real priorities.
As followers of Jesus, let us declare that in 2021 we will remain true to God and who He created us to be, even if it requires sacrifice, readjustments of priorities and discomfort! We will not be moved by anything of this world, including election results.
No. Matter. What.