DAN 3:16-18 NCV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, saying, “Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves to you. If you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from the furnace. He will save us from your power, O king. But even if God does not save us, we want you, O king, to know this: We will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Such confidence these men had in God. It was this confidence that ultimately saved them. We see this repeatedly in the New Testament also. Many times we see those beautiful red letters say “Your Faith has healed you.” Faith meaning belief. I wonder how my Faith/Belief would withstand this type of persecution.
If I’m to be honest I’ve failed horribly these past few months at a different type of persecution. One that is created within my mind. One that although I continue to live each day and don’t have to worry about being thrown into an actual fire, my Spirit has been slowly dying while under this invisible fire within my mind.
I hear Gods voice in many different ways. Some of these ways are typical to many. Through His written Word. Through other believers or teachers. But then there are the other ways, through types of birds, signs, symbols, numbers, dates, coincidences, and even audibly etc…. the list can go on and on really. Sometimes I am so engulfed in the Spirit that every moment I can see His hands and hear His voice. It’s during those times when I would expect another believer to see Him as well, but they don’t or even worse they look at me as if I have 3 eyes.
But see this is where the fire within my mind begins. Because I have assumed they are looking at me with 3 eyes when I truly do not know if they are. That fiery dart has been thrown and I because of my past have allowed it to fester. And as the days go on anytime I am questioned, or someone makes a comment that may or may not deal with me directly, I allow that flame to be engulfed even more.
Recently my family has relocated to a different church, within the same town, and they both go off of the same biblical teachings, the New Testament. I have continued relationships with the people from my previous church, as well as having some of them at the new church I am at. Even more recently I have heard (which this is a HUGE problem for the fires we as women create in our minds….GOSSIP….VERY TOXIC), that those of us who have left this church are heretics. So you can imagine the fire within my mind now….if not let me just say we could roast marshmallows for days.
This morning after having a text conversation with a friend it was obvious that I had to diminish this flame, because it was causing bitterness within my heart and a lack of trust in people. And what better way than to publicly write about it. 😉 So I looked up the meaning of the word heretic, and it says that it’s a believer who doesn’t follow what their church follows. And I guess that would be correct. I guess I am a heretic, if the people at the church we left believes this because my family chose to follow what God said and not what the church says.
Want to know what is so heartbreaking to me? God tells us to LOVE HIM, and the LOVE others as we LOVE ourselves. I find it very hard to love others when these others throw so many stones at those who choose to worship God differently. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I belong to HIS Church. I will go where He says to go and if that makes me and my family heretics….then I pray for the courage as these three men, as well as Paul and live with a God confidence that I do not have to defend myself to them.
Where do I go from here? Well Jesus told His disciples that stopped others from casting out demons in His name “If they’re not against us they’re FOR us” So that’s what I’m going to continue to believe. These few bad apples do not ruin an entire tree of good apples. The church my family and I departed from is an amazing church, and I have witnessed amazing transformations because of the Spirit of God that resides within those walls. They have produced many, many, many, disciples of Christ, myself, my husband, and my daughter to name a few. They are my family and will always be. I will continue to pray for those who go there to see the LIGHT that is within everyone, and that Gods Holy Spirit convicts those who continue to gossip about others and cause internal flames to destroy so many.
Words hold power people. Choose your words carefully. Choose your judgments carefully, because we are judged by the measure which we judge. Whether we acknowledge it or not we do all judge others…choose to judge them by the standards displayed for us in Jesus Christ. He LOVED ALL. Came to SAVE the SICK. NOT condemn them. Let those of us who call Him Lord follow the example of these men of Judah and say to the Nebuchadnezzar’s in our lives (& minds) “we do not need to defend ourselves to you.”
You and I have ONE judge….and ONLY ONE! Let us PRAY for the Church that Jesus is building. That we be honorable men and women, and lead by His example.
~sometimes I just gotta write~