November 13, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Glorify ye the LORD in the fire." Isaiah 24:15
One of the great accounts of God's protection and providence is the experience of the three Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego. It reveals the unwavering faith of these men, committed to God, even at the cost of their lives.
I am deeply moved when I read about the lives of men during the Great Reformation of England in the 16th century. Such men as Hugh Latimer, Thomas Bilney, Nicholas Ridley, William Tyndale, and countless others, were martyrs for their faith. As Hugh Latimer and Thomas Ridley stood chained to the stake, waiting for the fire to consume them, Hugh Latimer turned to Ridley and spoke with a ringing triumphant voice, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." Then in their dying moment each cried out..."Into your hands commit my spirit." With that they both perished, burned at the stake for their faith in God they refused to recant.
How can we read such heart-rending accounts and not be moved, thankful to God for such stalwart men who refused to compromise their faith. Bound and executed by man...but gloriously released and received by the King of Kings to an eternal freedom and joy in His presence.
Such was the experience of the three Hebrew men as they refused to bow and worship the image of gold set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. How forceful and resolute were their words to the king. Without hesitation they declared their unwavering faith in God. The fire was so hot the soldiers that threw them into the fiery furnace perished from the heat. Yet, the three young Hebrew men miraculously survived.
Nebuchadnezzar was so impacted by this miracle of God, he made a decree that anyone who spoke against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego shall be cut to pieces (Daniel 3:29). Amazingly, not a hair on their head was singed, not even the smell of smoke was on them. How incredible! The only thing they lost were the cords that bound them!
Many today are "bound by the cords of sin." Cords of every description that bind and enslave them, that only God can release. Often, they are cords of their own choosing, entangled with cords of self-determination and self-independence. They spend their years in discouragement, despair, and defeat...not knowing the freedom and liberty God offers to them.
When, with child-like faith, you put your trust in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, He breaks the cords of sin and sets you free. From the "bondage of our choosing" to a "freedom and triumphant life" ONLY GOD CAN IMPART! Incredibly, all we lose are the cords of sin that have bound us! Bound by man...released by God.
God offers us an ABUNDANT OVERCOMING LIFE. Sadly, few know the joy of such an intimate relationship. Through experiential faith God's promises to us become a reality in our lives. Many believers are living as "spiritual paupers," never claiming this "triumphant life in Christ" that God has for every believer.
The martyrs knew of such a life. They lived it! The three Hebrew children knew of such a life. They lived it! How about you? Abandon yourself to His authority and sovereignty. YOU'LL NEVER BE THE SAME!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=318&date=2012-11-13
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