Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV) 16  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about preparation. Pastor Bobby mentioned it last week in his sermon. When Daniel was taken captive by king Nebuchadnezzar, even as a young man, he was prepared. When the king tried to feed them royal food, he asked for just vegetables and water. After 10 days Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego looked better than all the others. This was no accident. Because they had been trained by the Scriptures, they were prepared. They already knew what was best and were willing to stand out on a limb to prove it. They were proved right. We are proved right also, when we stand on the truth’s of the promises of God and the principles in His Word! Remember, we never experience the power of God until we “do” the promises of God! When we move, He moves! Just like that!

In the 3rd chapter of Daniel we see Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego get called in on the carpet for refusing to worship the idol that king Nebuchadnezzar had created! Again, they have been trained in the ways of the Scriptures! They knew better than to bow down to any idol. The Scripture says they were willing to die rather than bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. When they moved, God moved! He intervened on their behalf! Nebuchadnezzar was amazed. He was so amazed, he declared the God of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego’s was superior to all other gods. He threatened punishment to anyone who talked badly about their God. They even got promoted in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. They also got promoted in the Kingdom of God! Hallelujah! Do we trust God as much as they did? The key is preparation.

You and I don’t know what the future holds. We think tomorrow will be just like today, but the truth is we don’t know from one moment to the next what God has in store for us. We need to be preparing today for tomorrow and all the tomorrow’s after that. There will come a day when we will be tested, very much like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If we are prepared, I’m convinced we will pass the test. If we are unprepared, we will no doubt fail the test. We have no excuse to be unprepared.

We must study the Scriptures, we must pray like we’ve never prayed before. We must put into practice what we learn from the Scriptures. We must follow the instructions of Jesus Himself. We must practice the same disciplines that Jesus practiced. Jesus had power because He prepared Himself for what lay ahead. The book of Hebrews says it like this, “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.” We too, must be willing to endure the cross in our lives for the joy set before us. It’s all in the preparation! Are you prepared?

Consumed by the call,

Pastor Marty


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