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"But if not" Daniel 3:18

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"But if not" Daniel 3:18

As the 350,000+ British Expeditionary Force soldiers were stranded at Dunkirk on the beach like sitting ducks for German planes and when it seemed certain that the Allied forces at Dunkirk were about to be massacred, a British naval officer cabled just three words back to London: “But if not.” In our day, most people would scratch their heads asking, “What does that mean?” In a day when people knew the Bible, they knew its source and exactly what it meant: “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. “But if not”, let it be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18).'“But if not.” These words were instantly recognizable to the people who were accustomed to hearing the scriptures read in church. They knew the story told in the book of Daniel. The message in those three little words was clear: The situation was desperate. The allied forces were trapped. It would take a miracle to save them, but they were determined not to give in. One simple three-word phrase communicated all that.'' Article by Gary Demar

“But if not” To the three Hebrew boys meant no matter what the outcome, we will walk with the Lord our God. How many of us have faced a difficult situation and when things did not go our way we said thanks but no thanks to God. Several years ago, I was faced with the reality that something I had invested everything in, believing it to be of God, I was now seeing the whole project begin to fall apart. It was then I realized the ultimate outcome was not going to go in my favor and I too would be faced with the question "Would I continue to walk with my Father continuing to trust him or go my own way?" I have known many to go their own way. Some step out in faith and trust the Lord for a healing unable to say, “but if not”. Or trust the Lord with a business deal, "but if not". Commit my athletic career to the Lord and then face a career ending injury, “but if not.” These three words define our trust and commitment to the Lord regardless.

Scripture is full of examples of people who trusted the Lord for miracles and Father obliged them. It also speaks of those to whom he gave the grace to face the harshest of realities. In Hebrews 11 some experienced the miracle of lion’s mouths being shut while others were sawn into. Acts 12 tells the story of the miraculous delivery of Peter from Herod's dungeon, yet prior to that story is the verse that says James the brother of John was run through with the sword. “But If not.” The ability to say “But if not” in every life-situation is founded upon the assurance and knowledge that God, being a partner in our labor, is fitting us into his plan for good to and for those who love Him and are called according to His design and purpose. (Romans 8:28.)

To some he gives the grace to experience miracles and to others he gives the grace to endure the difficulty. Which gives God more glory? His grace is sufficient for every situation.

Mike Di Maria

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