Do you know why most of us don’t experience miracles? It’s because we never put ourselves in situations that necessitate one! We comfort the grieving instead of calling people out of the tomb. But if we took a few more risks, we might see a few more miracles! And that’s one more secret to experiencing the miraculous: you have to risk your reputation.
Sometimes you need to lay your credibility on the line! That’s what Jesus did when he called Lazarus out of the tomb. And isn’t that what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did when they refused to bow down to a ninety-foot idol?
They knew they’d be executed if they didn’t bow down, but they feared God more than they feared death itself. They would rather die by the flame than dishonor God. So they defied the earthly king with a bold declaration:
King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods.
To be honest, I could’ve come up with a dozen rationalizations to justify bowing down. “I’m bowing on the outside, but I’m not bowing on the inside.” “I’ll ask for forgiveness right after I get back up.” “My fingers are crossed.” “I’m only breaking one of the Ten Commandments.” “What good am I to God if I’m dead?” When it comes to sinful and rationalizations, we are infinitely creative, aren’t we? But it’s our rationalizations that often annul His miraculous intervention. When we compromise our integrity, we don’t leave room for divine intervention. When we take matters into our own hands, we take God out of the equation. When we try to manipulate a situation, we miss out on the miracle.
Stop and think about it.
If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had bowed down to the statue, they would have been delivered from the fiery furnace. But it would have been by the hand of man, not the hand of God. And while they would have saved their lives, they would have sacrificed their integrity. They also would have forfeited the miracle.
When we bow to what’s wrong, we put our reputation and God’s reputation at risk. But when we stand up for what’s right, we establish God’s reputation by putting ourselves in a posture where God can show up and show off. And God does just that.
Watch Mark Batterson on LIFE TODAY this Tuesday. Excerpted from The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson. Copyright ©2014 by Mark Batterson. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.