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::Devotional:: ‘Faith, On One Condition’

March 3, 2010

I remember hearing a question several years ago that has been permanently mounted in my mind ever since.  A man asked, “would you still love God if you received nothing in return?” God’s love towards us is unconditional, yet many times our love for God is based on some conditional requirement we set before him.  Our faith is the same way.  Although we may never directly state it, often our lives proclaim, “faith, on one condition.”

King Nebuchadnezzar had built an image of gold 90 ft. high and 90 ft. wide to be worshipped by the people of Babylon, including the young Hebrew men in exile from Judah Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  His instructions were for everyone to fall down in worship to this idol when they heard the music playing.  At the first sound of the horn that’s just what the people did.  Everyone except for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  By refusing to worship the idol and honor God, king Nebuchadnezzar was outraged and gave the young men an ultimatum.

But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”  Daniel 3:15

I believe the Lord saw an opportunity to manifest himself in that moment.  When king Nebuchadnezzar posed the question, “what god” I believe the Lord answered, “the I AM.”

The response from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the king’s ultimatum is one of my favorite passages of scripture.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  Daniel 3:16-18

Notice that their faith in God was not dependent upon His action.  They did not say, “we will have faith, on one condition – that God would save us.”  God was able to save them and they knew that.  However their faith was not based on the condition of their rescue.  It was despite their rescue. I long to have an unconditional faith like these young men.

In the end, God did rescue them and in doing so He revealed Himself to king Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Babylon.  There was no longer a question of what god could save these men.  God had answered it with a resounding “I AM.”

Take time today to prayerfully examine your faith.  Is it conditional?  Are you withholding your faith in the Lord until He meets a certain condition you have set before Him?  Are you facing the fiery furnace and saying “I hope God can rescue me.”  Are you feeling the blasts of heat and saying “If God would just rescue me in this moment, I will have faith in Him.”  Are you asking God to prove Himself to you so that you may have more faith?  Let me encourage you this morning that there is more proof than we need contained within the pages of Bible.  The scripture says in Romans 10:17 “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” and in Hebrews 11:1 “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Read and develop a faith without conditions!

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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