July 2, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on September 27, 2015.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for This Morning

“Always Being Prepared for Moments of Pressure”

Daniel 3:14-8

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.  But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.”

Miami Heats, down 3-2 to San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals, were trailing by 3 points with seconds left in the sixth game.  Then Miami’s Ray Allen, after grabbing the rebound, frantically backpedaled to the corner to launch a 3-pointer without checking to see if his feet were on the 3-point line. The ball went in and the Heat eventually became champions.  Later, it was revealed that Allen had invented a drill in which he backpedaled to the corner, received a pass, and shot without looking at the 3-point line. After 17 years of doing the same drill, Allen delivered.

Each of us will experience moments of pressure, where we are expected to conform to the world’s standards. In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego faced tremendous pressure to follow all of King Nebuchadnezzar’s servants in bowing down to his giant statue. With their lives dependent on their decision, they chose to honor God instead of following their peers. How were they able to do so?

Some Bible passages give us a clue. Psalm 1 describes the man who is blessed because “his delight in the law of the Lord and on His law He meditates day and night”. Similarly, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul implores us to “pray continually…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus”. Thus, it is clear that spiritual disciplines are tremendously important in our daily faith walk. This statement is not meant to be legalistic but rational. Just as it is absurd to believe that we could have done what Ray Allen did without practice, it is equally absurd to believe that we could respond faithfully during temptation without engaging in the spiritual disciplines.

Ultimately, God is the author and perfector of our faith (Heb. 12:2); yet we are also implored to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). No matter what happened in the past, let’s start today. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I often find it hard to pray or to read Your Word. Sometimes I am too tired while other times I just don’t have the desire to do so. In those times, help me Lord to seek You through those disciplines. Help me to work out the faith that You have placed in me, so that I will be able to respond faithfully during the trials and temptations of this life. In Your Name I pray, Amen

Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 13; Haggai 1

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