What does it mean to live fearless in the fire?
“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Daniel 3:25
It was last fall, as I was laying in the sun on a balcony in the middle of nowhere. I was at a resting retreat with no agenda, no expectations and no work. I had my brainstorming book and I was praying and working through a new title for my blog. It had to be perfect, it had to be me and it had to be God. As I wrote and scratched out, and re-wrote and added words and deleted words and looked up synonyms, I closed my eyes and listened. “Fearless in the Fire” said a loud thought in my head. That was it! I knew in my heart that it represented all that God had called this blog to be.
You see, being fearless in the fire can mean a few things. It can mean standing in trials and circumstances of pain and loss. After all, fire can be destructive and relentless and many of us have found ourselves in a season of having felt like we’ve lost it all. Yet Jesus says In this world we will have trouble (fire) but behold I have overcome the world. Being fearless in this fire is learning to stand in faith against the forces in our lives that try to destroy our peace. This is never easy and often wrought with so much pain but always brought to its end in our surrender and God’s redeeming power.
The other fire is God’s refining fire. The fire that comes in our lives to test, to burn away, to refine, to prune, to shape and to remove the things in our lives that keep us from him. Being fearless in this fire means trusting God through our process and knowing that he won’t leave us there.As holy as this fire can be it can also manifest itself in trouble, loss, pain but it is always brought to its end in our surrender and God’s redeeming power.
Often we can mix the two. We blame God for what is clearly life having its trouble and the destructive one having a hay day with our lives or we blame the devil for our emotional turmoil when God is at work trying to refine us.
In either fire, we can stand – fearless.
What God promises us in the fire:
We can be unbound in the fire- In the scripture above it says that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were unbound in the fire. When we go through trials (fire) of any kind we often feel trapped in our circumstances, we feel powerless and controlled. To be unbound means to not be controlled or influenced by something. It also means to have freedom to speak, move and have control.
We can walk around in the fire – When fires come we feel shocked, immobilised and weakened by our circumstances. Yet, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego walked in the fire. To walk means you have a destination a destiny, a purpose. It also means you can have strength and an ability to move forward despite the flames.
We can come out unharmed in the fire – When we endure the terrifying experience of a fire in our life we can feel so panicked in fear of the harm that may come. But as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego walked, unbound they escaped the fire, unharmed. Being unharmed means that even though you may sleep with the lions, are thrown in prison, are left to perish in the wilderness that God will bring you no lasting harm.
I have seen the destructive fire come in my life to destroy me and my family. I have responded in terror and unbelief, screaming at Jesus why he isn’t doing anything to save me in the storm. I have also wrestled in the fire against God’s refining, refusing to give up my bindings, refusing to get up and walk.
I have learnt one thing since then..
The outcome of my fire experience is never EVER dependant on the fire itself but how I responded in the fire. Did I stay bound? Or did I walk in freedom even as the fires soared? Did I lay weakened or did I rely on the Lord’s strength? Did I stay curled up in the fetal position, dependant on others? Or did I get up and keep going? Did I acknowledge the fourth man?
Listen, my fearless friends. When you learn to stand in the fire you can do anything. Be strong, stir up your spirit, don’t ask for God’s strength declare it! Feel afraid, stand anyway. Shake off the things that hold you back. Get your brave on and move forward.
In the fire,