And if Not, He is Still Good
At some point or another, one will hear the phrase: “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Usually, it is coined in reference to a sense of stubbornness; the idea that a notion will be accomplished if driven enough. The dictionary defines ‘will’ as “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action; a deliberate desire or intention.”
Humanity is fixated on the struggle between the human will, and the will of God. It is a characteristic that defines our humanness. We can find it manifested all throughout history, from the personal struggle of man to the expanse of powerful kingdoms. Again and again, that phrase is proven true: where there is a will, there is a way. There will be always be a triumphing ‘will’ in that struggle. If there is not a surrender to God’s will, He will let our own be fulfilled.
Abednego, Meshach, and Shadrach found themselves in the midst of that contest: the God they know anchored in one hand, and a self-absorbed king pulling on the other. Given a seemingly sure ultimatum, they responded:
“We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 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. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods” (Daniel 3:16-18, KJV).
They took that age old struggle, and redefined it to be ‘where there is God’s will, there is a way’! Their surrender was not decided in fear of man or outcome. They had an understanding that God’s will always make a way! The beautiful thing about surrender to God’s will is that there is a benefit beyond just consequences. When He deems something so, there is nothing that can come against it! When we have a promise, it is assured!
The last half of their proclamation betrays the full understanding they had of God’s will. Yes, God could douse the fire, or wipe out the opposition, or crumble the image to fine dust. God could make a victorious way; He did not lack the power or authority to do so. But if God chose not to, in all of His infinite wisdom and understanding, He was still good! If He brought them out or took them through, that did not change who God was.
Our struggles do not define God, but our surrender to God’s will in our struggles brings a definition of God to our world. The three Hebrew’s path through the fire brought a king to his knees with a revelation on his lips:
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel and delivered his servants that trusted in him…that they might not serve or worship any god, except their own God…because there is no other God who can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:28-29, KJV).
A proud North Dakotan, Maryssa enjoys good books, the outdoors, coffee, and fury four legged company. She’s excited for what God is doing in her community, city, and state.