we've been visiting a new church for the past couple of weeks. the lead pastor, bronson crawford was a former basketball player for my husband when we lived in toccoa georgia. now we're in winder georgia and as God would orchestrate it, he placed a desire in bronson and his wife lindsey's heart to plant a church right here in the town we call home.
the official launch of this new church was last sunday on january 22. we really felt we wanted to be there in support of bronson and this church he felt God leading him to bring to winder. and we also felt it was a good opportunity to invite kevin's basketball team to come with us. bronson speaks to kevin's team every thursday on character education. and kevin wanted them to be at the church as well in support of bronson.
for the past two sundays, bronson has been preaching a series called give.me.faith. this sunday he preached from the book of daniel chapter 3. i'm sure like me, you know the story. king nebuchadnezzar has a statue made of himself ninety feet high and nine feet wide. and when the sound of music was heard, everybody was to bow down and worship the king. but he got wind of three hebrew boys that weren't bowing down to his statue. shadrach, meshach, and abednego refused to worship any other god but the one true God. so the king threatened them one last time with the consequence of being thrown into a fiery furnace if they didn't do as they were told. and they responded with this...
o nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your majesty. but even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. daniel 3:16-18 nlt
and of course, the king had them thrown in the fire. but God was with them and saved them from the fire. now this isn't the part that really stood out for me. i knew how the story ended. i knew God chose to save them and that the king made a new decree to have everyone worship the God of shadrach, meshach and abednego.
the part that stood out for me was when bronson started speaking about the "music"
when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship king nebuchadnezzar's gold statue. daniel 3:5 nlt.
he began to talk about how we might not have statues at home that we literally bow down to but what are some things in our lives, that when the "music" is played, we figuratively bow down to it and place it before our one true God.
whoa...y'all at that moment a long list went through my mind. what about the times in my life when i want to watch mindless t.v. and i should put that extra time into reading a little more of God's word for the day. or the times when my children are at each other's throats and instead of taking time to talk about how they are treating each other and use it as a teachable moment, i yell and send everyone to their rooms. just because that's the easiest thing to do. or the time a friend comes to me for advice and to avoid hurt feelings or coming across as judgmental i choose to say what i think she wants to hear rather than what Scripture says. i'm just saying, i could list more...
it's easy to say that i won't physically bow down and worship another god. but i want to make sure i don't physically place anything or anyone before God in all areas of my life. and for me, this one is tough. but i am trying. trying to spend more time in the Word. trying to use moments to teach my boys what it means to have the character of Christ. trying to give advice, whether accepted or not, that's based on Scripture and not necessarily based on how it will make someone feel.
in all of this i need faith. the faith that those three hebrew boys had when they were threatened to be thrown into a fiery furnace. faith to put God first not only in big parts of my life but also in the little day to day ones. faith that not taking the easy way out will only help me to grow in my relationship with Him and help me to realize more and more just how much i need Him. faith to know that He is with me guiding my every step and will be there to pull me out of the fiery furnace of whatever it is i'm dealing with at the moment. faith that He has plans for my life that might not turn out as i expect.
i'll leave you with three things bronson said we need when it comes to our faith and for me, this pretty much sums it all up.
BELIEVE THAT HE CAN. EXPECT THAT HE WILL. TRUST HIM EVEN WHEN HE DOESN'T.
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