“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Daniel 3:25 NKJV
Promotion, breakthrough, effectiveness for the Lord - things we probably all want in life! If we’re honest, we don’t want to stay in our current circumstances for the rest of our lives. We’ve got dreams! We’ve got destiny! But the path to your destiny is paved with fire! It’s that all consuming element that God uses to purify and prepare us during trials and tough times. It’s actually the goodness and love of God at work bringing us into our destiny. If you embrace the fire, you’ll see the promotion!
Here’s what I mean: I remember at the end of 2015 feeling stuck in my job and wondering if my dreams would ever come to pass. The work I was doing for the past decade was great, but my issue really was: Would I ever get to do the things I had dreamed about years before? I had lost heart and had thoughts of giving up. I basically had two options - #1, I could compromise and go somewhere else (for ministry or just another career), or #2, I could stay faithful with where God planted me. In option #1, since God didn’t open a door for me, I wasn’t about to make my own door and create a whole new set of issues. So I stayed where I was at and trusted God with my future.
This is where I believe the three Hebrew boys were at in Daniel Chapter 3. Long story short, their people had been exiled from Israel and relocated to Babylon where King Nebuchadnezzar ruled. The king had made a huge image of gold and commanded that everyone worship it at the sound of the music. If they didn’t, they’d be thrown into a fiery furnace. These boys, known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, could either compromise their commitment to the Lord or...go through the fire.
Many people reading this blog are in similar situations right now. It’s like you’re between a rock and a hard place. If you stay in the current situation that the Lord has called you to, it probably going to be tough. But if you compromise, it’ll also be tough - because you’ll be moving outside of God’s will. And in context to the story in Daniel 3, you’ll be an ineffective witness for the Lord. If you’re bowing when everyone else is bowing, you won’t stand out. You get to choose your “tough.” One has promotion at the end of it, the other has ineffectiveness. I think I know which one you want…
The three Hebrew boys resolved that they would not compromise their relationship with the Lord and as a result got thrown into the fire. The scripture said in Daniel 3:20-21, 23 that the boys were thrown in bound and fell down in the fire. Yet in a startling change of events, the king stood up in astonishment and saw not three, but four men loose and walking in the midst of the fire! Jesus came in their midst! And the Bible said they came out with no harm from the fire! Not only is that a wild supernatural miracle, but here’s what I want you to see: the only thing that burned off them was the thing binding them.
This is why we need the fire of God! To set us free from the things binding us; the things holding us back in life. Choose the Lord’s will over the “easy way out”! The Bible tells us that after they came out of the fire the king literally promoted them in Babylon and exalted God (Daniel 3:29-30). Talk about an effective witness for the Lord!
Back to my story, I chose to stay where I was and in little over a month everything changed. The Fire & Glory Outpouring broke out in San Diego, and a new door opened for me to pursue my dreams of traveling ministry and revival. I began to lead worship consistently there and eventually transitioned to be on staff within 1 year. WOW! To think that I was considering quitting when the door to my breakthrough was just a month away!
Here’s what I want to communicate to you in this blog: The path to your destiny is paved with fire. In other words, you’re gonna go through some tests, some stretching, and some pruning on the journey to your destiny. God’s will in the midst of it all is to purify your life - to get rid of the things that are holding you back - and set you up for promotion. In my life, God was dealing with selfishness, pride, entitlement and some orphan mindsets. But I’m so grateful for the fire. It’s like the old rock song, “It hurts so good.”
Here’s some questions to ask in the fire:
- Am I being faithful where God has planted me?
- What is God burning out of my life?
- Am I aware of Jesus presence with me in the fire?
Here’s a link to an extended version of this message I preached at the Fire & Glory Outpouring.
What about you? Are you in a season of fire? How is God purifying you? Remember, you can either compromise and be ineffective, or you can go through the fire and receive your promotion. I think I know which one you want to do!
Talk to me in the comments below!