Thursday, August 12, 2010

The book of Daniel - Chapter 3 - The Fiery Furnace

The inspiration for building an image doesn't come from the holy spirit. Relating this to us, image building
is any way we intentionally make ourselves seem different and usually
more than we really are. Our current culture is obsessed with image,
obsessed with celebrities and we want to be like them. People also
constantly size each other up - I have a better car, better kids,
better job than you etc. There's also lots of people who struggle with
insecurity and even this is self idolising as we focus on me me me and
what I am or not i.e. I am ugly, I am too fat, I not
talented.......why me me me me. We need to recognise image building
when it rears its head. Nebs view was that the greatest in the Kingdom
was one who could make servants of all."Babylonian" thinkers need
others to bow in order for them to feel tall. We must realise that our
fulfilment is not in others treating us like VIP's but rests in God.
our focus should be on God not ourselves. We need to bow down to him
so that he is lifted up.

Neb got angry when the 3 refused to bow down. Often we find
ourselves getting angry when people don't do as we command. This is a
sign of self absorption and when we find ourselves being angered as
such we need to ask " why am i reacting" Your ego may be overly
involved with your authority.

The 3 guys could have used any reason to defy the king but they
stood firm in their conviction even in the face of danger and they
trusted God even if they were not sure of the outcome. We also need to
do the same. Don't compromise your convictions.

The guys trusted God though they were not sure of the outcome and
were determined to be faithful regardless. If God always rescued us we
would not need faith. Our religion would be a great insurance policy
and a lot of selfish people would line up to sign up. We should always
serve God whether he intervenes or not.

When we face trials there a 3 possible outcomes - we can
a) be delivered from the fire and our faith is built
b) we can be delivered through the fire - our faith is refined
c) we can be delivered by the fire into his hands - our faith is perfected.

God always abides with us even in times of trial and his ultimate
goal is for us to abide in him.

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