10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.
- Marriages in our church are under serious attack
- Kids struggling to gain identity and security in this crazy world
- Young people dying tragically and unexpectedly
- Financial struggles everywhere
- "natural" disasters seem to come on a regular basis
- The resignation of a gifted speaking preacher
- Gossip and division
- Broken trust
- Confusion, And this is just in my own church - let alone in my own house.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)
There's a lot of crazy negative things going on around us. But what are we going to be determined for? Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 - will you be determined in situations. They determined in advance what their response was going to be -- for God, not Neb's "god" statue of himself. They were thrown into the fire for standing up to the king - but they were saved by the King of Kings. Regardless - their response was determined: vs. 16-18: "O 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 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." That's being determined.
Even in the craziness that's going on around us - how will you be determined? What will be your "As for me and my house...." stance? As for me - I will serve the Lord only. Regardless of who's up front. I will take a stand - I will stand in the gap - I will protect - I will not cower - I will not run - I will help advance the Kingdom. Even though I am a woman alone, I will still fight on the front lines in this battle. I will fight beside those who are kindred spirits - we will have each others' backs. I will be armor-bearer to the King only (at least until He may bless me with a husband to fight along side of). Here are a couple of warrior-inspired videos.
The best part starts about 1:50 into this classic!