I am Not Going To Bow No Matter What!

images-19The trumpeters and the music began to sound causing the people to immediately scurry to the place before the idol and bow in a fearful submission. These Chaldeans and many foreigners that had been taken in war-conquests fell to their faces out of fear of the king’s command. (Dan 3:4-6) The consequences for those who remained standing would be thrown into the fiery furnace.

The scene was much like the game we grew up playing, “Musical Chairs” that when the music stopped everyone franticly grabs a chair and sits down knowing that there aren’t enough chairs for everyone. The penalty for being left standing was you were cast out of the game. In the same manner, in this historical story in Dan 3, which takes place during the seventy years of God’s people being in captivity, when the music started the people had to stop and drop, giving homage to the king’s idol.

We’re introduced to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. These three young Hebrew boys were growing up in a society polar opposite of their families and culture. It was a strategy of the conquering army to take the best specimen from a


The God of Fire met these mighty and obedient Hebrew boys in the midst of the fire! (tweet)


culture and transform them into the beliefs and customs of the new kingdom. But these three young Hebrew boys where so impacted by their belief in their God and the daily rehearsing of the stories that it firmly grounded them to live a devoted life even in the midst of the one they were now being forced to live.

Therefore it was no surprise when they would not bow to the Kings idol. For they knew their God had said, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex 20:3) So in spite of the consequences these young boys made a manly decision to not go along with the knee bending music! Their loyalty was to their God even if it cost them their life. Wow! That’s not easy to do.

The king was so outraged to the point of having the furnace turned up seven times, that it even killed the furnace keepers and the guards that threw the Hebrew boys in the furnace.

The weightiness of their decision, to obey God rather than what everyone else was doing, should shake each of us personally as we live our daily lives. With death sneering at them, they boldly and confidently replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, in Dan 3:16-18 saying, “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning


Because three dared to be devoted to God, not bowing to the pressures of the day. God moved on their behalf    (tweet)


fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods…”. And that’s exactly what happened!

The God of Fire met these mighty and obedient Hebrew boys in the midst of the fire! Even with the added heat these three were alive and well in the midst of the Continue reading

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That’s My Kid You’re Messing With!

Bullying At SchoolI am sure most have seen a burling cloud of smoke rising up in the sky signaling to all around that something is burning. Most individuals have a curiosity to see what is burning and how bad the devastation is.

I imagine David and his mighty men became alarmed when they saw the smoke rising from the direction of their homes. I am sure their battle worn bodies were in need of a time of rest and pleasure with their families, only to be shaken with concern. In 1 Sam 30:1-6 we read that these mighty warriors who were coming to Ziklag after a three-day travel from the Philistine’s camp were devastated beyond their capacity of remaining strong and focused.

When they saw that their houses had been burned and their wives and children had been taken away captive, it says in verse 4 that they, “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” These men of war were driven to their


How long will we just sit by and watch our children and families be carried away down the road to destruction.   (tweet)


knees knowing that the Amalekites who they had recently brought havoc on and brought to the sword now had their children and families (1 Sam. 27:8-9). Why wouldn’t these murderous savages and fierce warriors not ravage and kill in revenge. This is what David and his men are picturing in their mind as they slide down the slopes of hopelessness.

Why has so many in the church succumbed to the same if not worse predicament with our families and children? We have been off building our careers and egos much as David’s army had been. We have allowed ourselves to be deceived in thinking that our children are safe and out of harms way much like this story. Yet, I believe we are in a much worse dilemma for we are not even concerned with the signs and smell of smoke invading our society.

All down through history we have seen the enemies attempt to carry our children away into captive and ultimately destroy them. John 10:10 says, “The thief


Don’t be messing with my kid!  (tweet)


does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” The enemy’s mission statement is to do everything he can to plunder our children which are gifts from God.

The enemy used Pharaoh in Exod 1:22 to try and stop the deliverer by killing the children when Moses was born. Again, we see the enemy used a threatened Herod to try and kill the coming deliverer by destroying the children when Jesus was also born Continue reading

My Stomach is Screaming like Eagles

Thankfulness - sunsetMy stomach was in turmoil as if there was a war going on within my most inner been. My mind began to be flooded with thoughts such as, “Was this really how I was suppose to be feeling”? Why would anyone put themselves through this agony anyway”? I was in Bible school and had been fasting for several days for the first time , along with a team who would be going on a mission’s trip together. If it would not have been for the powerful results and definite impact in peoples lives on this outreach. I would have probably never attempted fasting again, writing it off as a sadistic form of self-torture. Yet, God’s word reveals otherwise.

Fasting gets us in a place where we can be molded and shaped for the purposes of God. The Lord has a master plan for His people, and when we fast and pray, we are saying “yes” to God’s will. We are tuning into the realm of the Spirit.

In Joel 2:12 it says, “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” When we come before the Lord, we must come with all of our heart. We can’t come with a divided or a reserved heart. The Lord wants all of us or none of us. Jesus says in Matthew 22: 37, “You shall


When we fast, we are virtually saying we want God more than we want physical life    (tweet)


love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” When we fast and pray, it is basically a choice of willingly denying our flesh and its desires for the purpose of spiritual things.

A fast rightfully defined is virtually doing without food. We see when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness in Matthew 4:2 it says, “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” Jesus had not been eating food, as we see in Luke’s account, “He ate nothing.” Hunger pangs and the Continue reading

Can You Really have it your Way?

PERU-GASTRONOMY-VEGETARIAN-BURGERSIsn’t it amazing how you can be driving down the road with your children and pass by that renowned burger shop and immediately you begin singing, “have it your way”? Those of us that are older know the catchy jingle from the past so well that we can sing most of the song without a hitch. My wife and I seemed to swing through the drive through so often that we have even become friends with our local cashier attendant to the point of swamping family stories. But the reality is that the phrase “you can have it your way” is only in the world of burgers at best. Yet we have taken that same philosophy and imbedded it in our everyday lifestyle, which thinks, “we deserve it the way we want it”. We have become a society that expects to get whatever we want even if it takes having a baby tantrum.

Jesus said to Thomas in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Yet many people and even some so called believers have a difficult time believing that Jesus is the way! Whether they admit it or


We have allowed the blessing of freedom to become a curse of self-will in our midst.     (tweet)


not their actions confirm that they don’t think Jesus is the only way. To them He might be “a way” but not “thee way”. But we can’t allow this deception to creep into the church.

Jesus dealt with this dilemma by speaking to His disciples when He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me”. (Matt 16:24) As a Christian we must allow Gods ways to over ride our ways. As followers of Jesus we are to surrender our way for His way. Paul echoes this when he says in 1 Cor 15:31 “I die daily”. Paul lets us know that we must bring our carnal or fleshly man under subjection to God’s ways. We are a society of strong opinionated people that want their own way all the time.

This attitude is being played out in the media for all to see, which says, “I don’t have to stand for the Pledge” and “I can do what I want to”. This mindset of wanting everything their way is starting to corrupt the very fabric of our nation and the Continue reading

What’s Wrong with Just one Wink?

103923348“It all started with one wink”, he said with tears. He had come to my office devastated from falling into the trap of the enemy. Unfortunately this wasn’t the only time I had heard this same confession. So let me be frank, it only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. James 1:14-16, says that it is our desires that leads us astray from the ways of God. Scripture reveals that desire conceives sin and sin un-dealt with will progress to ultimately a death.

Job’s friend counseled him by saying, “why does your heart carry you away and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God…” (Job 15:12-13). Eliphaz insinuates that Job’s heart was moved towards sin causing him to wink at sin, which caused Job’s heart to be turned against God.


It only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. (Tweet)


 

What causes a person to have a twinkle in their eyes for things that are against God’s statues? It’s a heart issue. We open up our heart for other things to entice us. Years ago I knew a husband and wife who loved the things of God. But over time the wife began to watch her husband be drawn away from God through his intellect and pride. His eyes were being fascinated by knowledge and the attention it was getting him. It was a gradual process over time. Yet, the wife would not confront her husband’s heart being turned from God. She began to squint or allow her spiritual eyes to grow dull towards God. The shocking thing is that her spiritual condition started being manifest physically. She went from having good vision to her eyes dimming and eventually becoming blind.

It reminds me of the story in 1 Sam. 3 of Eli, the man of God in his generation. It starts off letting us know that his physical vision is becoming faint as well as, the spiritual climate was fading and darkening. The lamp or fire of God was on the verge of going out. One would ask the question, “Did it just happen over night?” Not at all for the previous chapter reveals it’s a process! Eli’s sons were corrupt and did not know the Lord. Their sins were affecting the people of God causing them not to desire the things of God and walk in His ways. Therefore, it says their sin was great before the Lord.

The interesting point is seen in verse 13-14 where God is raising up young Samuel in the midst of such darkness to spiritually see and speak a word of judgment to Eli and his family because of his sin. What was the sin that would bring such a harsh judgment? It was not refraining his sons in their sin. The definition of refraining in this text indicates Eli was winking or dimming his eyes at the sin of his sons. Not rebuking them but allowing them to continue in their vile conduct. Therefore the result of narrowing his eyes at sin caused the heart of many to turn from the ways of God. Maybe, Eli’s excuse was “It was just a wink?” His story deserves our attention! The casual wink or spiritual apathy led way to a physical dullness and ultimately death to him and his family and the presence of God to be taken out of Israel.

Have we allowed our heart to turn from the things of God because we are winking at sin?