"No Smell of Smoke"
I wonder what it is that you are walking through right now that seeks to zap you of your faith, courage, hope, dream or passion? What is it that tempts you to believe that God is not as good as you had always thought? What fire seems to never die down, but instead seems to be heated up seven times hotter than before?
With tears trickling down her cheeks and a tender smile on her face, she shared the newest details of her fiery furnace experience. Amidst all the lies, wounds, secrets, dishonesty, she still held on to what God had said. Many unknowns surfacing daily, yet daily she is choosing to believe God. I see the glory of God on her face as she displays His peace and His grace.
I listened and inwardly wondered how I would react if I was the one tossed into this fiery furnace. Would I listen to the lies of the enemy threatening to destroy me or would I believe what I knew to be true about my God?
It was obvious that she believed Is. 43:2. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Her life displayed an unwavering faith in God. She was facing the facts of what was really going on, but she chose truth over lies. He promised to be with her and never leave her alone. He promised to be her wisdom. He promised to guide her in the way she should go. He promised to provide for her.
We are all passing through something. The important thing is what we choose to believe while we are passing through. I love to declare, “I am passing through. This is not a forever sentence on my life, but I am passing through and He is with me.” Some of you need to join me and my dear friend and practice saying it with us. “I am passing through and He is with me.”
Have you ever noticed that when you pass through the water and the fire, your faith is increased? Your hope is built. You become anchored in His word, and you find Him faithful. You find yourself filled with courage and strength and you are certain it did not come from yourself. The next storm and the threatening heat of the next furnace do not seem quite so overwhelming. He did it before; therefore, I can believe He will do it again.
At the close of our time together, I told her, “I don’t smell smoke on you.” She stared at me with a questioning look. I reminded her of the story in the Bible found in Daniel 3. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been thrown into the hotter than hot furnace because they would not bow down to the King’s newest gold idol. They believed in one true God and refused to worship any other even if it meant their lives. When the test was over and the furnace door opened, the three walked out unharmed.
The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s counselors
gathered around them and saw that in regard to these men
the fire had no effect on their bodies—their hair was not singed,
their clothes were not scorched or damaged,
even the smell of smoke was not on them. Daniel 3:27
No smell of smoke! Now we all know that you can’t even roast one marshmallow without the smell of smoke being on you. Oftentimes we carry the smell of smoke on our lives because we want to cling to the fiery experience and be sure that everyone knows of our suffering. As I heard Joyce Meyer once say, “We are supposed to come through the test with a testimony, but often we come through with nothing but the moanies!” We moan and groan so that everyone will know how horrible it was. We wear our bitterness and pity around like a smelly smoke drenched robe. But, not this friend. She was praising God in the midst of the fire and His name was on her lips. Her faith in Him was declared. I believe she would say like the three furnace brothers:
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.” Daniel 3: 17,18
I find that the best way to turn smoke into praise is through thanksgiving. I look for all that I can be thankful for. I turn my focus from the flame to the fire of God that is Lord over the fire.
My friend, I invite you to join us as we choose to believe God as we are passing through. We choose that He will have the victory in all I am passing through. May I come through with no smell of smoke and giving glory and honor to the Most High God!