Fear is the enemy and Satan smiles.
The fear of a current day pandemic has created an environment of panic. The potential for sickness has caused us to be afraid of each other. It has stopped travel, mission trips, large group gatherings, and public social events. Because of fear, there is mass hoarding of supplies, and the discussion of closing schools so that we can hide from all social contact in order to survive.
Fear is our biggest enemy and Satan is in his element.
In Daniel chapter 3 there is the well-known story of the three Jewish boys: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were in exile living in Babylon under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar and were appointed to high positions within the land. During this time the King had decided to create a large golden image in one of the provinces and had given an edict that all should fall down and worship it. His directive was to either worship it or die.
The three God-fearing Jewish boys living there calmly but defiantly refused to bow – and held on to their faith in the one true God. Risking their lives, they refused to discuss the matter with the King saying that they would serve their God regardless of whether He saved them or not. The boys had an unwavering faith in their God and trusted Him enough to relax in His plan. Because of the decision they made they were bound up tight and thrown into the fiery blaze.
Even though they had faith-the fire still came.
But verse 25 tells us that there were not three but four men seen in the furnace walking unbound and free. I believe that Jesus, being the fourth man, had waited patiently for them to arrive inside the fiery blaze where they should have been consumed yet walked unscathed by the blaze.
In the trial we are all in today I imagine that Satan and his posse are getting a thrill. Rolling around on the floor with laughter surely they must think they have orchestrated quite a successful battle maneuver. A maneuver designed to disrupt life, as we know it. It’s a maneuver with the power to discourage and place fear in the hearts of all people (including believers) so that our focus is turned to selfish survival.
But remember we are not alone. God hasn’t given Satan control of the ship. We may still face the blaze but Jesus is waiting inside to ride out the fire beside us. Regardless of the outcome God’s in control.
My prayer today is:
Father God sometimes we forget that even though we have faith the fire still comes. But in that fire waits that fourth man. We can relax today and trust in your plan. Give us confident wisdom to navigate through the mess our world is in but strength to hold fast to the promise that you are in it with us. You haven’t closed your eyes or haven’t gone to sleep. Remind us that you are still there.
I adore you. Amen