Making Jesus Lord Part II
Key Verse: Daniel 3:18
“But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you… we will never serve your gods.”
Additional Reading: Daniel 3
I’m going to assume that you are familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, in Daniel 3. (If you are not familiar with the story, please take a moment and read this one chapter)
There probably isn’t anyone reading this devotional that has literally experienced someone trying to throw you into a blazing furnace. However, we all have faced tough circumstances that brought the emotions of fear and discouragement into our lives. Living in this world, we will continue to face troubles; having Jesus in us doesn’t give us a pass on facing tough times. What I hope we all can learn is how to pray during these times of trouble.
I feel that the first lesson that we should learn from these three Hebrew children is: do the right things and let God take care of the consequences. So many times, we are tempted to make our decisions based on what kind of consequences we “think” we might face. When we take this approach to decision making, we sometimes make a wrong choice, especially us who want to please God in all ways. Making Jesus Lord of your life means that you will want the tough choices that come your way in a way that honors God, without regard for the consequences. Remember, we can’t see the future, but God can. We can only guess at what may come because of our decisions. God knows exactly what will come and He determines what He will allow to come into the lives of His children. Therefore, we need only to focus on what is the right decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit that lives within us.
Think about our story of the three Hebrew children. Had God decided to deliver them BEFORE they were thrown into the fire, we may never have heard of them. But when God delivered them IN the fire, their story has been told millions of times over the past millenniums since it happened. In other words, God knew how to bring Glory to His Name and make an eternal impact on future believers.
God knows how to answer our prayers so that He will get all the glory and our lives have an impact on other people. Since it is not God’s will that anyone would be eternally lost (2 Peter 3:9), God uses those that are in His family to influence those still outside the family to accept His love. Sometimes to do this, our prayers are not answered in ways we would choose. Can you allow God to make the decision on these things?
For the Hebrew children, it was clear what the “right” decision was, serve and worship their God, not the false gods of the Babylonians. Our decisions may look a lot different and the right decisions may not seem as clear to us. The good news is that God gives the Holy Spirit to every believer for this very reason… to guide us into all truth (John 14:17). When we carefully and prayerfully approach the choices of our lives, the Holy Spirit will give us peace or disturb our peace to guide us. Colossians 3:15 reminds us to “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts… ”, and if you slow down enough to look for peace in a decision, you will find it.
This brings us back to the title of yesterday’s and today’s devotionals, “Making Jesus Lord”. The goal in every believer’s life is to get out of the driver’s seat of our lives and let Jesus take the wheel (thanks to Carrie Underwood for that visual).
Father, please be Lord of my life! Holy Spirit, please remind me when I start to make decisions without checking in with my Lord! In Jesus’s Name, amen.