By Nadir Lawrence, Children's Pastor
…the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. - Daniel 3:27
There is no doubt that as a Christian, your faith will be tested and put through the fire. We’ve visited what it’s like to experience that testing through personal breakthrough this past week - and I pray that God is moving in your life like never before during this fast. One of the best things about this 3 week fast is that there are so many other people experiencing it along side of you at Crossroads and I’m sure in the days to come many of you will have testimonies to share of how God moved and even brought us all closer together as a church. The camaraderie that comes from living, doing and experiencing life together within the church body can’t be matched.
Every day as we journey through life, God tests us to see if we’re ready for His next step. Confrontations and trials arise that God uses to see how we respond as individuals - and the same goes for how we will respond as a church. In almost 6 years of attending Crossroads I’ve seen the church go through many challenges and over the years as we grew and made various changes. Even I wondered if we were ready for the next steps ahead of us. Were we ready to meet the challenges that presented themselves over and over again? And time has shown that the breakthroughs I’ve seen Crossroads come through aren’t much different than what I experience in my own life: losses, triumphs, deaths, life and so on. What Crossroads experiences, I experience because I’m a part of this amazing body of believers.
One story in the bible that represents the church body to me is that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It captures a representation of not only what’s applicable to my walk as a believer, but as testimony of what a united church could go through in the modern world. These men stood among a sea of idol worshipers with their arms raised towards heaven and chose to praise God in the midst of conformity! They knew in their circumstance - choosing to praise God meant their certain death - and so they were thrown in the fire. And in their unity, God honored them as they stood amidst an unimaginable situation. God stood in the fire next to them & protected them! And when king Nebuchadnezzar had them brought out, they weren’t even singed. Such power in unity convicted the king of his sin and even he praised and worshiped God and proclaimed for himself that there could be no greater God than this.
Imagine the breakthrough we’d see if we stood together in faith, strong among the conformity of the world and trusted God as a church the way Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did! God always promises to see us through when we remain consistent in adversity - and just as He brought these men together to stand for what they believed in, God wants the same unity to break out in His church. I love the line from Daniel 3:27 that reads “…the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men…” the world can have no power over us when God is for us!
Questions for reflection:
1. What steps do you need to take to experience breakthrough within the church?
2. What needs to change in your life for you to experience unity at Crossroads?