Unbound In the Fire

Photo by Aida L

He answered and said, “ But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods,”

Daniel 3:25

You’ve probably heard the story of the three Hebrew boys. But if not, let me give you a bit of background.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made a golden image and commanded everyone to fall down and worship it. There were three young Jewish men by the name of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were captives in Babylon and served in the affairs of the king. Some men noticed that they didn’t worship the king’s golden image because they were worshippers of Yahweh. They were brought before the king. Daniel 3

They boldly tell 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, 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.” Daniel 3:16-18

The king was furious he ordered they be bound and cast into the burning fiery furnace.

Yet, something happened. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. But instead of the fire consuming them, here they were unbound and unharmed walking in the midst of the fire.

Few things we can learn from this story:

The fire unbound what was binding them.

Life can throw us into a fire. We can go through fiery experiences. 1 peter 4:12 exhorts to not be surprised at the fiery trials that come to test us and not to see them as strange because they are a part of a believer’s life. We don’t have to be thrown into a literal fire like the 3 young men. But, we will find ourselves in the middle of fiery ordeals. The purpose of the fire is to unbind what binds us.

There are things that God cannot break out of our lives unless He allows us to go through the fire. God will allow some experiences because He knows they will break us free from what binds us.

The fire will reveal what binds us to break it off our lives. We get free from the fear of men in the fire. We get free from addictions in the fire. We get free from religion and legalism in the fire. We are freed from the love of self in the fire. When we come out of the fire, we come out unbound and free.

Salted with fire.

Jesus said, “For everyone will be salted with fire and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Mark 9:49 Fire has importance in the life of a believer, it’s what salts us. No one likes to go through difficult things, but without them, we cannot be seasoned. We are seasoned with fire there is no way around it. Salt has two symbolisms: It adds flavor, so Jesus is saying fire is what adds flavor to a Christian life. Salt is also a purifier and preserver; so when we go through the fire, it is to purify and preserve us in Him. A Christian who hasn’t been through the fire doesn’t have much to give to the world because they aren’t seasoned.

He is with us in the fire.

I love it that in this, God doesn’t prevent them from being thrown into the furnace, instead, he joins them in the fire.

You are not alone in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Jesus is right there with you. He is right there shielding you from the heat of the flames. He is right there making sure that the enemy doesn’t take advantage of you in the fire. He is right in there making sure that you aren’t destroyed. The only thing being destroyed is the enemy’s chains on your life.

He is merciful and compassionate, even when it doesn’t feel like it. In all their affliction, he was afflicted and he personally rescued them. Isaiah 63:9

He doesn’t watch us in our suffering and pain, he comes in and bears the suffering with us. He weeps and hurts with us, and rescues us from all our afflictions.

He sits as a refiner.

Malachi 3:3 gives a picture of God as a refiner. We are told He will sit like a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the Levites (we are all priests in the new covenant) for righteousness. God has a goal for your life and that is so that you can be a sharer in His holiness. His ultimate goal is to conform us into the image of His son, Romans 8:29.

I read somewhere that a refiner sits in front of the fire until he can begin to see his reflection on the metal. When he does, the metal has been purified and can now be removed from the fire. How appropriate… The father sits and watches us in the fire until he can see His image on us, then He knows the fire has done its work.

So, whatever you are going through sis, it has a purpose. God is using the fire to free you; He is also seasoning you and making sure he can see His image on you.

I pray that you will not run away from the things that are fiery for you in this season. That you will trust the Refiner to know the timing for you to get out of it. And when you do, you will come out unbound, seasoned, and bearing the image of His Son.

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