“God I promise to never lie again” “God if you help me get an A I will study for real next time” (insert your own here)
Unlike God’s promises ours are situational and fleeting. Often times our affection for God and our dedication to His word, our calling and His promises are disconnected. Our affection for Him pushes us to want to serve him. Which in theory is a good a thought. But we do need to talk about the…but that often times accompanies our affections. God I want to serve you but I don’t want to give you all of my life. God I want to serve you but I don’t know how to start. God I want to serve you but what if I miss your voice. God I want to serve you but right now is me time.
This “but” cripples our very affection and determination for God. The but allows for doubt and excuse to come in. But more importantly what the but reveals is a trust issue. In all reality we trust God in times of intense crisis but in the normal every day scheme of life it is easier to put ourselves on the chest and say “I got this.” This mostly is played in out lifestyle choices. “God I want to serve you…but just don’t change me- too much- wait don’t change me at all!” Our affection for God has been blinded by our nostalgia for us. We want our own identity instead of walking in the Imago Dei (Image of God). Please reference Genesis 1:26-27.
In essence we trust ourselves with ourselves more so than we trust God with our self. Interesting thought isn’t it. We say God I will trust you with my eternity but I cannot trust you with my today. This makes absolutely no sense to me at all. How can our affection and our dedication match up…it is only when we trust him.
Stop. Breathe. Read Daniel 3.
In this chapter is the story of 3 guys who are pressed with a life altering decision. They can either bow down to a false god or take a stand for the true and living God. Their affection for God and their dedication to God match up. They take a stand…and it cost them. These 3 guys didn’t use excuses. The didn’t say,
“we should bow down. That would be less offensive and would give us an in with these people. After all it is relevant to the culture around us to bow down. What if we bow down in action but not in heart? And if we don’t bow down they will kill us! How are we supposed to be witnesses if we lose our lives?”
They simply allowed their trust in God’s promises drive their actions. They ended up getting thrown in a furnace at an attempt to take their lives. Before throwing them in the king makes this statement
Daniel 3:15 “…But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able o rescue you from my hand?”
This would have been a “but” moment to me. God I want to serve you…but my situation is very stressful. God I want to serve you but I am uncertain that you will come through for me. These statements are literally what I might be thinking but these guys throw down on the king in convicting fashion.
Daniel 3:16-18 “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, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up”
Another translation reads- “We know God is able to deliver us, but even if He doesn’t we will still serve Him.”
Ouch. That hurts because it convicts. It leads me to make a decision to have my affection for God line up with my dedication to God but placing my trust solely in him. This gives me the additude that I know God is able to save me from anything but even if He doesn’t I will serve him any way…no if, ands or “buts” about it!
Proverbs 3:5– “Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings…”