And If Not
May 22, 2020
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 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 3:16-18
These three Hebrew men are heroes throughout the ages. They knew what God COULD do, but they were completely surrendered and committed to following Him, no matter what. They told the king that whether God answered their prayer with a rescue in the way they hoped or not, they would not serve or worship the gods the king set up. That is real surrender.
Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It may mean the sacrificing my life or suffering in order do what needs to be done. Surrendering is not for cowards or people pleasers. Surrendering does not mean I stop wise thinking and reasoning; it is not stuffing my personality. Surrender’s best demonstration is obedience. Surrendered people obey God’s Word even when it doesn’t make sense. Surrender is an intentional and intense war against our self-centered focus.
You know you are fully surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You don’t always have to be in charge. You don’t just try harder, you trust more. Surrendered people don’t rush to defend themselves or demand rights. Surrender is an intense warfare against our self-centered nature.
Surrender does not weaken me, it strengthens me. Surrendered people are the ones God uses. This is the best way to live. You are going to surrender to the opinions of someone. The three Hebrew children had to choose—the opinion of God or the opinion of the king. You will have to choose too.
If I am going to have the best and closest relationship I can possibly have with God, it starts here.
- Surrender was exemplified by Habakkuk when he said, “Even if everything fails, I will trust Him.” The men in the furnace showed it when they said, “We know He can, but if He doesn’t, we still will not bow down.” It was patterned by Jesus when He said, “Not My will but Yours be done.”
- How will I exemplify surrendered worship today?