Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Ezekiel 24:13 Refusing To Be Clean

Muddy hands lifted up

Now you impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would  not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided. Ezekiel 24:13 

Some children love to play in the dirt and get dirty. They have a wonderful day on the days it had just rained and there is mud everywhere outside to play in. Children often do not care if they are dirty.

Parents work to keep their children clean. Children will be told to stay away from the mud or out of the dirt. When they come in the parents will quickly try to clean them up from the dirt. Many will fight against getting cleaned up and some will go back out into the dirt again.

God speaks against the people of Israel because of their sinful acts. They had been very impure in acting in sinful sexual acts and thoughts. God tried to clean them up, but they refused and stayed in their sinful ways.

God is a pure and holy God and He wants all of His people to be in the same way, pure and holy. He made a way for that to happen by sending Jesus to pay the price for people to be cleansed and made pure and holy.

While there are many who allow God to cleanse them and they strive to remain clean, there are also many who refuse to be cleansed and remain dirty. They continue to live the same sinful lifestyle with no regard to God’s call to holiness. The enjoyment of sin is so great that they do not want to be clean.

For those who refuse to be clean, there is coming a day of judgement against them. Every believer must allow God to work in his life and make him clean. Doing so shows true love for God and true acceptance of what Jesus has done for him.

As a believer God is at work in your life. Jesus is right there ready to cleanse you and help you remain clean. You have to make the choice to accept or reject what Jesus has done and is doing in your life.

Do not allow yourself to go back into the mud and dirt of sin making your life dirty again, thus bringing upon you God’s wrath. Be cleansed and Holy as Jesus is. He will give you the ability to do so, if you allow His Holy Spirit to guide you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent of all sins; that you will allow God to cleanse you of all sin; that you will allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you away from all sin; and that you will be holy before God. 

Ezekiel 20:44 God Deals Differently

Mountain and lake

You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 20:44 

When a crime is committed by a person, people want the person to pay for it. They want punishment to be brought upon the person.

Generally most people want the punishment to fit the crime. The more serious the crime, the greater the punishment. No one wants a person who stole a piece of candy to get a death sentence. At the same time, many want the person who murdered a person in cold-blood to get the death sentence.

Ezekiel tells that people that God is telling them that He will not deal with them as their evil ways dictate. God works in a different way and will have mercy upon them.

Most people do not really see how sinful sin is. They do not see how bad every sin is regardless of how great or how little it is. Many think that little sins can be overlooked and forgotten. Yet, with God all sin is sin. And all sin is punishable by death for eternity.

No one can say that they have never sinned, so everyone can have, and does, the judgement of death upon their heads. Yet, God in His great love and mercy, chose not to destroy them. He is willing to forgive and move forward.

God does this for His namesake, not because of something the people did. It shows His true character of true love and mercy.

Every believer has been forgiven and, yet, sins again, hopefully unintentionally. At that point he deserves death…again. Yet God still has mercy and forgives…again. God does not want to kill, but to make alive.

As a believer, you have already seen some of the mercy and love of God. There will be times when you will make a mistake and fall into a sin. Do not give up trying to live for God. Go back to Him for His love, mercy and forgiveness.

God is not out to destroy or condemn you. He is right there waiting to love and forgive you. Give God the chance to forgive you. Then strive to live for Him, being led by His Holy Spirit. God will work with you as you allow Him too. God is a God of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that you will live for God; and that you will know God’s love and mercy for you and others. 

Isaiah 27:7 God Strikes Differently

Lightning strike

Has the Lord struck her as he struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? Isaiah 27:7 

People often see punishment in a negative sense. There is often nothing good seen in one being punished for something that was done wrong.

The common reasoning for this is that most often people punish with the idea of getting revenge and to cut someone else down. There is seldom any redemptive qualities to being punished or struck in the way people punish other people.

This view on what punishment is often carried over to view as to how God will punish someone. It is often seen as a way to destroy a person or just to get revenge.

Isaiah had been talking about how Israel had been struck or punished by God. It looked like everything was hopeless, but he asks for one to take a look at how God struck. It was done in a way that was different from those He struck around Israel. God did not strike to destroy,  but to correct and build up.

In the same way God will strike believers today. He is focused on making the person the best he can be, to be more like Jesus every day. God will allow negative things to occur in a person’s life to get their attention and draw them closer to Him.

Striking in this way is done out of love, not revenge or hate as the world would strike another person. God is not out to destroy a person because of His sin, but to redeem the person.

There will come a day when Jesus will return and God will strike the world with His revenge to destroy, but this is not done today to believers. God does what is necessary today to build up, not destroy.

When you feel God’s  hand strike you, take a moment and see where you are with Him. If you are living in a sinful way, repent and turn back to Him. If you are following Him correctly, know that God is allowing you to be tested to see if you really trust Him and will follow Him.

God loves you with an undying, eternal love that is only looking out for your best. His strike at you is only to build you up, not destroy you. Instead of fighting God, allow God to build you in His way.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear God’s correction in your life; that you will be more like Jesus every day; and that you will grow under God’s hand upon your life.