“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
I must continue along this vein of humility because it has been where God has been specifically speaking and working in my life recently.
I recently graduated from college, and I have been earnestly trying to figure out what I want to do, how I want to do it, and I have been seeking the heart of God in the matter. I have my specific requests that I have gone before God to present, and as this whole concept of humility has been drilled into me, I have come to learn a lesson in going before the throne of God and presenting my requests to Him.
The first example that has revealed an interesting truth to me comes from the book of Daniel, specifically the passage quoted above. This passage comes directly before Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into the furnace. They make a bold statement before the king that is, by extension, a bold request God. As they are being held in the king’s court, they inform Nebuchadnezzar that God has the power to save them and that He will in fact save them (v. 17). This bold proclamation demonstrates an immense amount of faith.
The three men, however, were also extremely wise to carry an attitude of humility with that faith. In the very next verse, they follow up their bold proclamation with “but even if He doesn’t” (vs. 18). They understood that their lives were not bigger or more important than God. Even in that extreme moment of boldness, they remained humble.
Another instance in the Bible that helps to reveal what I mean when I call their proclamation in verse 18 one of humility:
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
This comes from Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before He was about to be crucified. Jesus makes a request that is almost identical to that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Christ asks to be relieved of the suffering He is about to endure just as the three men who were before Nebuchadnezzar. Now, when the three men provide the addendum to their bold proclamation, they are responding with a humility like that of Christ that says “not our will but the Lord’s be done.”
Grace allows us to go boldly before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16). Paul encourages us not to worry about everything; instead we are to pray about everything and make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6). Certainly, we can and should make our requests boldly, expecting God to answer our prayers and give us what it is that we are asking for (John 15:7). Boldness and humility, however, should always walk in step with one another.
Boldness and humility mixing together is a completely counterintuitive concept. Yet they must go together. The power of the Spirit enables them to work together to create a healthy relationship between you and the Father. He desires us to be honest with Him, but He also requires us to trust Him in all things.
So, make your requests in bold faith, but be prepared to respond to the Lord with a humble spirit that accepts His answer and accepts that answer in the same way that the request was made – bold faith.