It’s been so long since I’ve been able to write a blog post, life has been a bit crazy but I wanted to share with you what the word of the Lord spoke to my heart this morning in Daniel 3.
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. BUT even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods, or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
– Daniel 3:17-18
“Lauren, my daughter, do you have FAITH enough in me to risk everything you have, even your life?” I stopped for a moment and got this sinking feeling in my stomach. “Was I living a life that potrayed this kind of faith? Was my faith so fully set in Christ that even if He didn’t come through, would I still live a life completely sold out to Him or would I try to manufacture my own promises?” The beauty of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is that they loved and trusted God so much that even if He didn’t rescue them they would still never worship another god. They had a steadfast and immoveable faith that could not be touched by the fire they were about to walk through. Their minds were already made up whether or not God would rescue them. That’s how much they loved HIM. So many times in life we wait for God to answer a prayer while holding onto something else just in case He doesn’t come through. This isn’t true, genuine, risk-it-all kinda faith.
What does true, genuine, risk-it-all kinda faith look like? For a moment, the Lord took my back to a a year ago when I was in Nigeria, Africa. We drove down into a remote village called Osula. The drive down into the village made me carsick due to the unpaved roads and all I really remember is stepping out into a village full of mud huts and hungry children with no clothes on. Their noses where runny and their bodies filthy. I quickly looked around and found that these people had absolutely nothing. No running water, no electricity, barely a roof over their head, and just what little clothes they had to share between everyone in the village. As soon as the people heard us drive up, a beautiful song arose in the air. It was a joyful song. One I will never forget. A song of praise to our heavenly father. The people of the village surrounded us and danced with all their hearts giving praise to Jesus, for they finally saw a glimer of hope in the buckets we carried. These people weeped, not from sadness but tears of joy. One 80 year old man said that he has been praying and fasting for the past 40 years for the opportunity to have access to clean, purified drinking water. But another thing he also said that struck my heart was “If God doesn’t come through during my lifetime and let me experience the blessing of clean water, I know without a doubt that my prayers will live on so that one day these children will know what clean water really is. Water that will make their tummies not hurt anymore and their bodies stronger. My God is able and I KNOW He will come through. But if He doesn’t, I’ll still praise His name.” Wow. What beautiful faith.
I want this kind of faith. This is what Jesus desires us to walk in, a FAITH where we are not afraid to give our life to the glory of His name, regardless of what our circumstances look like. How many times in life do we lose faith and hope when God doesn’t come through on our own time and just like we envision it? There are so many times I catch myself envisioning my life a certain way or how I want something to work out and when it doesn’t, I find that I have a “back-up” plan or try to fix what God was really trying to save me from. I let the “physical” emptiness rob me of my faith. Therefore, I give in to the tendency to go back to what’s comfortable and what I can control. As I began to think about this, with all of my heart I prayed, “Lord do whatever it takes to develop a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego type of faith within me. I’m ALL IN.
In two weeks, myself and this amazing team leave for Uganda. I’m praying an incredible faith over us and that we aren’t afraid to love the people with all our hearts. Sometimes it can be difficult to love so much that your heart hurts, BUT that type of love is transformational and will mark your life forever.