Moving to a Mature Faith

September 4, 2022 Speaker: Shannon Ford

Topic: faith Passage: Daniel 3:1–18

Moving to a Mature Faith
Daniel 3:1-18

The great preacher Dwight L. Moody spoke of three kinds of faith in Jesus Christ. He preached about a struggling faith, a clinging faith, and a resting faith.

Today’s passage describes a fourth kind of faith, a _____________ faith.

Faith means obeying God regardless of the feelings within us, the circumstances around us, or the consequences before us.” (Warren Wiersbe)

1) Worldly Pressure to _______________ (Daniel 3:1-12)

  • Construction (v. 1)
  • _______________ (v. 2-7)
  • Accusation (v. 8-12)

Ever since Daniel and his three friends arrived in Babylon, they were under pressure to conform. In Daniel 1, the Babylonian world used a process to pressure these four teenagers to conform.

  • Change their language & literature (v. 4) 
  • Change their _______________ (v. 5) 
  • Change their loyalty (v. 6-7) 

 

 

 

To conform to the world is to _______________ the will of God.

James 4:4 - You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (ESV)

Romans 12:1-2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

2) Cultural Pressure to _______________ (Daniel 3:13-15)

  • The king’s outrage (v. 13)
  • A _______________ chance to bow or burn (v. 14-15)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow to __________ pressure, and they would not bend to ____________ pressure.

Psalm 1:1-2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (ESV)

Compromise is a lie from the devil that can _______________ our faith and _______________ our respect for truth.

3) Committed Faith to _______________ (Daniel 3:16-17) 

  • The Hebrews’ _______________ faith 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 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. (ESV)

These three men remind us that “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.” Whatever our need, God is able.

  • Do we need grace? And God is able to make all grace abound to you (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV84)
  • Do we need to overcome temptation? Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18, NIV84)
  • Do we need salvation? Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him. (Hebrews 7:25, NIV84)
  • Do we need security? That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12, NIV84)
  • Do we need strength? To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. (Jude 1:24, NIV84)

4) Courageous Faith to _______________ (Daniel 3:18) 

  • The Hebrews’ _______________ faith 

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. (ESV)

God can be trusted even when we can’t predict the _______________.

To these men the outcome was _______________, for what was at stake was not God’s ability or their own lives, but their faith and obedience to serve him regardless of the _______________.

The rest of the story...

  • The fiery furnace’s intensity
  • The Lord’s miraculous deliverance
  • The king’s unmistakable acknowledgment

Steps for Moving to a Mature Faith

1. Faith in God may not translate into _______________ in every circumstance.

God is sovereign, whether the result of our obedience is triumph or tragedy.” (Chuck Swindoll)

2. Their faith was not based on God’s deliverance from the furnace because they did not know. Their faith was based on _______________.

When they said, “But if not,” they were not questioning God’s ability to deliver them; they were placing themselves in submission to His will. Theirs was the same attitude expressed by Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane a few centuries later...“not my will, but Yours, be done.” (David Jeremiah)

3. Whether God delivers us from the furnace or not, does not change our conviction that “________________________.”

God can deliver us from cancer and any other illness or problem. But God may choose not to do so. Whatever God in His sovereignty chooses to do, we have the privilege of continuing to trust and honor Him.” (Larry Richards)

4. Sometimes God will choose not to deliver us from the fire so that our _______________ through the fire can display the glory of God.

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:16, ESV)

5. When you are challenged to take a _______________ for Christ, remember that Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed... (2 Timothy 4:17, NIV 84)

Closing Thoughts 

God always rewards faith, but He doesn’t always step in and perform miracles. Not everybody who prays is healed, but God always gives strength to bear with pain and grace to face death without fear.” (Warren Wiersbe)

We may not get delivered from the problems and sicknesses down here, but in Heaven we will truly be delivered.” (Jerry Vines)