Summary: As we saw last week, there are four possible levels we can reach, but what we didn’t cover is that there is one common denominator that exists in these four possible levels. And the common denominator is faith.
Last week we explored the different levels that exist in our relationship with God. In that study we found that our strength to withstand the enemy’s attacks depends on the level of our relationship with God. As we saw last week, there are four possible levels we can reach, but what we didn’t cover is that there is one common denominator that exists in these four possible levels. And the common denominator is faith. As I said last week, not all are able to develop the level of their relationship with God that He wants us to have; as a result, the vast majority of believers spend most of their life jumping in and out of their communion with God. That's why today I want us to further explore this issue. So the question that we must ask ourselves today is: how strong is my faith?
When we search about faith in the Bible, it isn’t difficult to find that there are many verses (200+) that deal with this subject. Why is this? This is because faith is the most important aspect of our lives. That's why we find that Hebrews 11:6 tells us: “…But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him…” In other words, without faith it’s impossible to believe that the almighty and merciful God exists. Without faith it’s impossible to believe and trust that Jesus Christ died for our sins, resurrected, and that He always accompanies and strengthens us so that we may be victorious. Without faith it’s impossible to believe and trust that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and guides us at all times. So this little word is the backbone of our salvation, and the hope of every faithful believer. But unfortunately, this essential aspect of our life in many cases been weakened or completely destroyed. But let’s see what happens when you have a strong and absolute faith in God. Today we’ll be studying the book of Daniel, chapter three. Since the time that we share together is limited I will not be reading the entire chapter; I will only read the key verses that will help us to understand today's message. However, I do ask that you to read the chapter in its entirety and to meditate on its content.
As I always say, to have a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, we will need to conduct a brief history review. At this point in the history, Judah and its inhabitants had been captured by the Babylonian empire. This is something that is well reflected in Daniel 1:1-2 when we read: “…In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god…” So Daniel and his companions had been taken to Babylon. But even though the circumstances were quite unpleasant, God glorified himself in Daniel’s life and in the life of his companions. This is something that is well reflected in Daniel 1:19-20 when we read: “…Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm…” Do you know why God glorified himself in their lives? The reason was because they remained faithful to God; they were unwilling to be contaminated with what the king of Babylon offered. This is something that is well summed up in Daniel 1:8 when we read: “…But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself…”
At this point in history the king had ordered a solid gold statue of himself to be built. He had also enacted a law that required all the citizens of the kingdom to bow down and worship the statute every time that music was heard. Those who did not comply with this law would be executed. This is something that I clearly stated in Daniel 3:4-6 when we read: “…Then a herald cried aloud: “...To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; 6and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace…” Why is it necessary to know these things? It’s necessary to know these details because these small details reveal the conditions surrounding these youth. In other words, these young people would soon have to make a decision that could cost them their lives.