Some questions always elicit the same response from me. It’s probably because I asked many of those same questions and my mom already responded the same way. A great example is “can” questions. “Can you go to the store?” I know my limitations and abilities, so I answer, “Of course!” I don’t actually have to go, however, because the person only asked if I can.
My sarcastic answer is usually followed up with, “Will you go to the store?” It’s question and answer cycle that never gets old (to me). If you think about it, there’s a difference between “can” and “will”, between “capability” and “willingness”. One focuses on what’s possible; the other action.
What does it mean to have a living faith? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego give an interesting example that mixes “capability” and “willingness”. On the verge of entering the fiery furnace, they expressed their faith in God:
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 3:17-18
They knew God was capable of saving of them. Expressing faith in God’s “ability” to do things is easy. He’s God, after all. Nothing is beyond Him. But they weren’t just expressing faith in God’s ability to save. They expressed faith in His decision independent of His willingness to save.
In other words, they knew God could save them, but they said that even if He chooses not to, they would still trust in Him. Have you ever struggled with that? Trusting God when He’s doing what you want is easy. But do you have the kind of faith that can trust, even when He’s doing what He wants and not your will?
So let’s have a living faith like Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego that trusts God’s wisdom and action!