What Faith Looks Like
Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods . . . Daniel 3:17-18
I’ve struggled with my definition of faith. I know I want it and I know it’s necessary to be who I was made to be, but I’ve found its meaning a little nebulous. It has helped me then, to look at examples of faith and not-faith, to understand what it looks like in practice.
In my own life, I’ve exercised a self-centered false faith. In some desperate need, I’ve gone to God, claiming faith, insisting he do as I ask. I believe in you to do my will. If you do, I’ll go to church every Sunday and I’ll never use drugs again! I believed as long as God did what I wanted.
Today’s passage though, shows what true faith looks like. In the story, Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image of himself. The king, in a rage, threatened to burn them alive in his fiery furnace if they refused. The three would not bow down though, because that would be disobedient to God. They believed God could save them from the furnace, but they didn’t know if he would. But if not, oh king, we will not serve your gods. They obeyed, not knowing if they would live or die.
We often go to God with a self-centered faith. God, I have faith that you will answer my prayers. Then, when God says no, our faith is shaken. I thought you said you would answer my prayers, God! Faith though, is not keeping our gaze on ourselves. That is not-faith. Faith is looking to God and saying, No matter how hard it is or what it costs me, I will follow you.
Every day, we must look to God, asking if we’re following him in faith, or if we’re using a pseudo-faith to live for ourselves. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we must keep our eyes on God, obeying him, no matter what it costs.