I was burning up in there!
In my attempt to regulate the temperature in the shower so it would be nice, warm and comfortable, I mistakenly turned up the hot water. It was scalding.
When the sizzling drops hit my skin, I instantly scrambled to turn the knob controlling the hot water in the opposite direction, hoping to quickly cool things down a bit. If you’ve ever stepped into a too-hot tub of water or beneath a blazing shower stream, you know how uncomfortable it is.
Warmth is nice. Heat can have a calming sensation—that is, if there isn’t too much of it.
In life, have you ever felt like God turned up the heat too much in your fiery furnace of affliction? Have you ever wondered why He pushed you so far outside your comfort zone and had you frantically praying for, hoping for, and seeking for a solution or a quick way out?
So then, why does our loving Father allow too-hot-to-handle circumstances as He did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3? You likely know the story. These three men landed in a fiery furnace for disobeying a king’s orders. It looked like they would be incinerated. But God didn’t let it be so.
In fact, the Lord used this uncomfortable situation to take them to a whole new level of freedom.
During this period, they were among the Jews taken into Babylonian captivity, which was part of God’s judgment for His people’s apostasy. While exiled, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego served during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, but remained loyal to the God of Israel.
Their Hebrew names were changed, as was a customary practice implemented by oppressors. You see, while in captivity, those who were ripped from their homeland and forced into servitude, were also stripped of their identity. This was done as part of a strategy to keep captives subservient and less inclined to rebel. Foreign invaders knew the importance of forcing non-natives to conform to the culture of the captor. The less they identified with who they really were, the easier they were to control.
Shadrach’s name was Hananiah, meaning “God is gracious”; Meschach’s name was Misha'el, meaning “Who is like God?’; and Abednego’s name was Azariah, meaning “God has helped.”
Their faithfulness to the only true and living God proved problematic for the king and his loyalists. So here’s what happened. Nebuchadnezzar erected a huge golden image in the plain of Dura, and commanded everyone to worship it, but the trio of Jews refused to comply. They bucked against Nebuchadnezzar’s command because it defied God’s command not to worship false gods.
Dura, the place where this golden idol stood, according to scholars, was a very common name in the region of Mesopotamia. This name was given to any place which was enclosed by a wall. For example, it was sort of like the name Pharaoh. Many Egyptian Pharaohs were referred to as simply "Pharaoh" or "the king of Egypt,” so we don’t know their actual names.
Now, to help you put yourself in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I want you to imagine your own Dura, which, for our purposes is any place in your life where you feel walled in, boxed in, trapped, or stuck between a rock and a hard place. Spiritually speaking, Dura isn’t a physical location on a map. It can be a season, test, trial, setback or any situation that blocks you from getting out. You can’t seem to break free. Things aren’t transforming, opening up, shifting, or changing for the better.
What’s your Dura?
To reiterate, for the three Hebrew boys, the fiery furnace they were thrown into was in Dura. Before they were punished, they defiantly told the king, “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us.”
The king was so angry with these rebellious men, he commanded that the heat inside the furnace be turned up seven times hotter than usual. It was so hot, in fact, the soldiers who threw God’s servants into the furnace were killed by the flames of fire. Yet, by the grace of God, something incredible happened to these three loyal believers who were bound, tossed in the fire and left to die.
God entered the situation.
God has already stepped into your situation. What He's done in your favor is about to manifest!
When the king inspected the circumstances himself, he could hardly believe what he saw. “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed…” he said.
God had set all three of them free while they were in the fire. When they were released from the situation totally, they came out with no burns, no pain and they didn’t even smell like smoke.
Only God could do that!
Friend, you might be in your own too-hot furnace today. You might feel boxed in by trouble in your personal Dura, bound by negative circumstances, and it may seem like the heat of the trial will consume you. The enemy wants you to believe you’ll never get out.
But God is saying, I’m freeing you!
As impossible as it appears, He is making sure you are unbound and unharmed. You’re coming out of this and you won’t even look like what you’ve been through. God has an amazing plan to deliver you out of trouble. This affliction will not last. In fact, what the enemy meant for evil, God is going to cause it to work for your good.
God is freeing you! Receive your deliverance.
Instead of destroying you, this heat has refined you. It has made you better and the glory of God will shine through your more brightly now. So lift your head. Rejoice. Get ready to share a powerful testimony. Prepare to tell everyone you know that God has done it again. He has favored you once more. He has set you free from the enemy’s diabolical plan to destroy you.
He has already done it. You're just waiting to see it.
In case you're feeling discouraged and stuck, to remind you that God is freeing you, I’m stirring Psalm 34:19 NASB into your cup of inspiration, which says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, expect deliverance, anticipate breakthrough and praise for your next triumph. No matter how long you’ve felt stuck, stalled, or walled in, on this day, God is assuring you that victory belongs to you and your deliverance is imminent.
He’s freeing you right now.
Now let’s pray.
God, thank You that You have already won the victory for me. Even though the situation looks like it’s working against me, I know that You are working for me. I declare by faith that it’s already turned around and I thank You in advance for my guaranteed deliverance through Your mighty name Jesus, I pray. Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with You. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.