Living in the Lion's Den: Part 3 - Waiting

October 1, 2023
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Child Dedications, October 15
The partnership between the Church and the family is vital! For families with younger children, we're having a special Child Dedication service to commit to this partnership publicly. It'll take place Sunday, October 15th at 12:15pm after the second service. We will have a parent meeting today via zoom at 3pm. For more information or to sign up, mark the Child Dedications box on your Connection Card or stop by Next Steps after the service.

Salvation and Baptism Class - for Elementary Kids & Parents, October 22
We want to equip you to have great conversations at home with your elementary students about their faith and about baptism! So - join us for our Kids Salvation & Baptism class Sunday, October 22 at 9am in the Meeting Room of our North & East campuses. Mark that box on your Connection Card to sign up.

Student Life Camp, June 10-14, 2024 - Registration Now Open!
Next summer, our middle & high school students will be headed back to Student Life Camp at Lee University, June 10th - 14th. This is going to be an awesome week where students will grow closer to God, grow closer in their small groups, and have an incredible amount of fun! Registration is now open, so click here for more information and to register!

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BOTTOM LINE: Rescue is worth the wait.

Daniel 3:1NLT

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

Daniel 3:4-7 NLT
4 Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! 5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” 7 So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

1. Waiting for God is not my default response.

Daniel 3:8-9 NLT

8 But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king!

Daniel 3:12-18 NLT

12 But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.” 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 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. 18 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.”

2. Waiting for God means trusting Him to do what I know He can do even if He doesn't do it.

Daniel 3:22-27 NLT

22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. 24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. 25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

3. Jesus is always there, even in the hottest fire when the waiting didn't make sense.

Daniel 3:28 NLT

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

4. The result of waiting is far bigger than changing just my life.

When have you been in a situation where you had to wait for help or rescue of some kind and it was worth the wait? While you were waiting, what did you try to do on your own or what did you consider doing instead of waiting? What would have happened if you didn't wait.

Read Daniel 2:47-3:1.
What drastic change do you see in King Nebuchadnezzer? We don't know what happened, but what do you think changed what may have caused it to change?

What do you think we should learn from this change in Nebuchadnezzer? What do you think we should be prepared for when we have our own "Wow God" moments and what could come after that?

Read Daniel 3:25.
What does this verse mean to you on a personal level, to know that Jesus shows up and walks with them through the fire, even when he doesn't immediately take them out of the fire? How have you experienced this in your own life? How did you see Jesus and know that he was there?

How does this entire story of the fiery furnace overlay with the entire Gospel narrative? In other words, how does it put that Gospel story from start to finish on display?

Read Daniel 3:1-7.
How does "all" the people bowing and worshipping show us that waiting for God is not our default reaction? When have you needed to wait on God to show up and rescue you or a situation? Did you give up during the waiting? Why or why not? What did you do?

Read Daniel 3:17-18.
What tensions or challenges do you have with the idea of proclaiming that you believe God is able to do something but even if he doesn't you will still follow him and not do something else? How has this tested your faith? How has it grown you closer to God?

What do you sense the Holy Spirit telling you to do with the truths from this passage and from this story? What are you going to do about it?

Who are the "Nebuchadnezzers" in your life who may not believe in your God and may even be antagonistic to it? How can they see Jesus walking with you through your fires? What can you do to make sure they know about the rescue that you have experienced?


Pray for each other and the fires that you are facing, have faced, or may be facing. Pray that we would each stay faithful and bold to wait on Jesus to show up and walk with us through those fires. Pray that those around us would see Jesus and the result of waiting so that they, too, can know Jesus!


Be sure to fill out the online Connection Card to let us know next steps, prayer requests, or other information you'd like to share, click here.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you've had where you live, work, and play:
  - Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
  - What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
  - How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
  - How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
  - Who in your life do you think could be disciple-able or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?/giveback/giveback
  - Discuss the next step for your micro church. When will we gather again, and which purpose will it fulfill (missions, fellowship/care, growth, worship, multiplication)?


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