Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Won't Go Back!

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:17-18
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Don't you just hate a detour? I mean, no one takes leisurely "Sunday drives" any more, so when we are driving some where now, we are headed there with a purpose. Therefore, when we come upon an unexpected detour, it puts a wrinkle in our schedule. Whether its a road I travel daily, like on my way to work, or a road I travel rarely, like on our way to vacation, a detour can really be frustrating.  But as frustration as they may be, I can't think of a time when a detour caused me to turn around and go back. Sure, I may have had to take a different route around my to get to my destination, but I guess I always felt the destination was important enough to go around. 

A long, long time ago there were 3 young men who found themselves facing a detour of their own. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were traveling along their normal paths in life when all of a sudden a major detour popped up, and it's name was Nebuchadnezzar. He was the Babylonian king who conquered Judah, killing many and taking some back to Babylon with him to be his servants. These boys were among them. King Nebuchadnezzar chose them to serve in his palace, along with Daniel, because they were smart, skillful and handsome. He even changed their names to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Man, talk about a detour.

Fast forward a little, and now you find these three young men standing only some feet away from a furnace that is so hot, they watch men burst into flames just standing too close to it. They are there because they refused to bow down to the golden image of the king as he had commanded, and they were about to lose their lives for it. You see, they were on a path to serve and love the one true and living God; the God of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had set out on a life  journey to follow Him and to live for Him no matter what. But that was all before this detour, before the glows of this red hot furnace was drawing beads of sweat from their faces. So what would they do? Would the journey be just too hard to continue? Wouldn't it be reasonable, if not wise, to turn around and go back on their commitment to God? Well obviously not to them. The bible says that all three of them answered, without hesitation, and perhaps in unison..."If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." They decided that no matter the detour, the reward of the destination would far outweigh the cost of the journey. They had set out on a path of faith in God that would lead them to a home in heaven, and there was nothing that would cause them to turn back, not even death.

Do you have your mind made up like that? Have you committed to a path with God and to heaven and prepared to reach your destination no matter what the detours may be? I hope that you have. If you haven't, the time to decide is now, and not when you hit that detour in your life. There is nothing for you in the life behind you, but God and every good gift that He can carry lies ahead. Make that commitment today, and tell the Lord, "I WON'T GO BACK"!

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