Gen Z, I believe we will be known by our faith and how we exhibit it: Bold and unashamed 🙌✨
What does faith look like? Where does it come from?
In Daniel chapter 3, we find the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They had crazy faith. They lived in Babylon, okay an old city what’s important about that? Well, they were Jews who believed in God but were living in a land where the people believed in many different gods. And they worked for the king, King Nebuchadnezzar.
The king built an image of gold, a statue, an idol to be worshiped. And he decreed that everyone in the land was to bow down and worship this statue. So everyone in Babylon does…except these 3 guys. They refused.
Somebody rats them out and the king is pissed. He confronts Shadrach Meshach and Abednego and gives them a chance to change their minds: You can bow now…or I’ll throw you in a fiery furnace.
So the 3, they have a crazy, bold response to the king, their boss, the guy they serve:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.
…okay, buckle up for this…
But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” - Daniel 3:16-18
Even if he doesn’t
Wow, that’s bold. It also displays their faith. They know God can deliver them, but even if he doesn’t, they are choosing not to bow. Their boldness and faith is huge.
The king is so mad, that he turns up the heat and ties the 3 up really tight with all their clothes on.
They are led to the furnace. The soldiers bringing them to the furnace fall down and die because the heat is so intense. And then the 3 fall into the furnace 😱🔥
That's the end, right? —No
The king looks inside: Huh? what do I see?
"Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire? I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” - Daniel 3:24-25
God met them in the fire
Their faith was real 🙌🔥
The king calls them out, recognizing that their God, our God, is the one and only:
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” - Daniel 3:26
They came out. Their clothes were untouched by the fire, nothing about them was burned, and they didn’t smell like smoke.
What? How can that be? It’s crazy, impossible.
This is not just a story of old. I share this to challenge us. God wants our faith to be like these guys.
What is faith?
Faith is complete trust in someone or something. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had complete trust in God.
We are called to that as well, complete trust.
But what actually is faith, where does it come from? Where does it begin? Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions.
Faith doesn’t come from within you, it comes from Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— - Ephesians 2:8
Faith is a gift from God not from yourself
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. - Romans 10:17
Faith comes by hearing, hearing God’s word
We don’t need to produce faith, we can't produce faith. God gives faith to us when we hear the message of Jesus and the cross
Gen Z, God is calling us to have faith to see crazy things happen. We just need to ask for this gift of faith. To believe for it as we fix our eyes on Jesus. As we keep our focus on Him, complete trust will come - that’s faith.
How can you build your faith today?
By hearing the word of God, so read the Bible out loud to yourself. It might feel crazy and a little silly, but try it. A verse or two out loud tonight, and again tomorrow, a passage or chapter the next day. Maybe you become that crazy person reading their Bible but you’ll also be that person with crazy faith.