How easy it has become to get mixed up! You scroll past a “cool slogan” on Facebook and without thinking about it, BAM! You share it. The desire to communicate vibes of positivity have become the bandwagon upon which we quickly jump. For example, slogans like “Just Believe” and “Name it & Claim It” and so many others such as “in Jesus Name,” capture our sentiments! However, our lives are not sustained by a positive vibe or a great slogan. Assuredly, our lives are in God’s hands! He is the writer of our story.
Like many, I love the account of Daniel’s three friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Instead of cool slogans, they relied on their all-powerful God. They stood out when all others caved! In the Book of Daniel, the king had a towering image of gold erected for all the people to worship and whoever did not worship the image would be burnt to a crisp. But these three brave, faithful followers of the Most High God, informed the king that they would not serve his gods or worship the golden image he erected.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this. If it be so, our God whom we serve IS ABLE to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”Daniel 3:16-18, NASB
There is no slogan that can set our feet on a solid Rock. Our Rock, our firm foundation, is He Who fashioned us and breathed life into us. He alone knows the number of days we have on this earth. God calls us to live everyday as if it were our last (Psalm 90). We are not to fear death but live with eternity in view. Death is not the final say if we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin (John 3:16). Our firm foundation is nothing less than Jesus and his Word.
We are like Christian from the Pilgrim’s Progress making our way to the Celestial City of God. Yes, at times, we will take wrong turns! Yes, at times, we forget our firm foundation! But our God has secured the victory. We need only to seek forgiveness and get back to closely following Him (1 John 1:9).
One of my many favorite verses of Scripture is
Do not be anxious about anything, But in every situation, By prayer and petition, With Thanksgiving, Let your requests be made known to God.Philippians 4:6
In every situation – bring a calm heart – don’t allow anxiety to have a place – it is possible through prayer! Praying for yourself and for others who have a situation – along with being thankful for the opportunity to come to God in prayer and to be used of Him through the situation – tell Him how you feel and express the desires of your heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me.Psalm 51:10, ESV
What is a “right” spirit? David was full of sin, willful, and ugly. But he was confessing and making it right with God. He wanted to be clean from even the guilt of sin. To be made clean is one thing but to walk around not carrying the guilt is another. He wanted a right spirit. A spirit that was steadfast and not stumbling on past guilt. He wanted a clear conscious. Only God can do that! I love what David says he will do once fellowship was restored: “Then I will teach wrongdoers Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.” (Psalm 51:13, NASB)
God longs to see us come to him with a sacrifice of a broken spirit when we have sinned. He delights in bringing wayward sheep back into the fold, back into a right relationship with Him. Don’t get lost on a slogan. And don’t pick and choose Scripture to make it fit your story. God’s Word should always be handled with care, and never taken out of CONTEXT.
What does the Lord require of us? To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8, KJV)! One of my favorite accounts from the Bible of faithful followers of God doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their God is Daniel’s three friends. Don’t waste your life on a slogan. Give your life to the Lord and live it as the Bible instructs; being a good workman of the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), not a sloganeer!