“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego have refused to comply with king Nebuchadnezzar’s edict that all people should bow to worship his golden idol whenever the music plays. These three men demonstrate their faith in God’s omnipotence – his ability to deliver them from the seemingly impossible. And God can do this. But even more significantly, they demonstrate their understanding of God’s will. God can rescue them. But he might not, and in this case, he is still God and he is still good. Such is their confidence in God, they know that if he allows them to perish, this will simply be the method of their deliverance to be in God’s presence. The apostle Paul voiced this same freedom:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil 1:21
If we find ourselves only ever praying that God’s desires would line up with our own, then we are not really honouring him as God. What is your “But if not…” today?