Step one: Remember the Fire

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Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

“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. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” (Daniel 3:5-6)

This was a decree put out by the king of Babylon during a time when the children of Israel were in captivity there. During this time there were three Jews named  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, whom the king had put in charge of a province, who refused to bow down to the gold statue. Their place of influence and their defiance of the king’s order made them highly visible. So the king had them brought before him and he gave them a second chance to bow down to his god, which they refused, so he had them thrown into the fiery furnace. The king was so upset over their second refusal that he had the furnace cranked up to seven times its normal temperature. In fact, the fire was so hot that the guards who threw them in were singed by the heat and died, but the three men miraculously lived. Indeed they could be seen walking around in the fire unharmed, and much to everyone’s surprise, they were not alone in the fire. Another figure appeared with them in the furnace.

“Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” The king demanded. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” The king was so amazed that after the three Jews were brought out of the fiery furnce and brought before him and he saw that their clothes were not even touched by the fire, in his amazement he made a decree: “If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”

We all go through fires. Some of them are fires of testing. Some of them are circumstantial, some are our own doing, but no matter how we got there, we are never alone. That is the message of this story and the message of the twelve steps — whatever we go through, there is Someone there with us. The purpose of the twelve steps is to remind us of this. There is another man in the fire. God does not always save us from the fire; He joins us in it. There is always someone there with you. There is no other god who can rescue like this!

Remember the fire.

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11 Responses to Step one: Remember the Fire

  1. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Of this I am a witness. For 23 years I was involved in the drug trade and God was with me every step of the way, saving me from certain death. I am living grateful and humble, I was saved by Grace and thru faith, one day at a time, the opportunities to carry a message of good will keep on presenting.

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    To answer: “Have you been through the fire? How did God show up in the fire?” Without wanting to bore the older Catch friends & family, I have told this story before. Yet it’s so dear to my heart of how our GREAT & LOVING God showed up for me!
    Back in the mid eighties I was in a serious car accident, which put me into a coma for 2 one half to 3 months. What little I can remember of it, I didn’t know where I was or what had happen to me – and towards the end of this ordeal, they used to strap me down to the bed because I tried escaping a few times. Well this one night they had tied me down pretty tight, I remember it hurt me trying to get out of these straps.
    So I cried out. Then as I was lying there on my back in the hospital bed forced to look up, I remembered a part of a song a Gospel group did perform. I re-called it went “the chains that seem to bind you, well drop helplessly beyond u when u Praise the Lord”
    So that’s what I did! I remember think God I don’t know where I am or what has happened to me, but I know you know and in that I’ll take my comfort in and praise you Lord.
    The next day, or I think it was the next day I woke up. My parents God bless them, showed up everyday to the hospital and waked into my room this morning and could see I had a woke out of the coma. My Mom fell to her knees crying & thanking God. My father about threw himself unto me in the bed.
    After a few minutes of a good cry, I asked my Dad where am I and what happened to me – He told me I was in a bad car accident.
    The other very cool thing because of all of my Church friends coming often to help my family cope & some of them even cooked a lot of food for my family members One of my older brother’s Carl, his wife Cindy. My brother-in-law Jim (who is a God send to me – how much he helps me) my younger sister Renee all became very strong followers of Christ and both had 3 children and their all believers too. So did my father eventually become one – my Mom was a believer it’s just she didn’t call it being saved. But she was just didn’t like to cal it that….

  3. Priscilla says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Mark. It’s well worth repeating!

  4. Reminds me of that old Southern Gospel Song. “He’s Still in the fire” It goes:

    My mama read a story from the Bible long ago,
    About Shadrach, Meshach, and old Abednego;
    How the wicked king commanded they be thrown into the flame,

    Because they would not bow and then deny their Father’s name.

    My Mama said the king stood high upon a balcony so tall,
    When he looked in he was shocked by all the things he saw;
    Because he thought that he would find them lying dead upon the ground,
    But instead of three he counted four up walking all around.

    Then I said “Mama, wait a minute, there’s one thing that I must know,
    If three went in and three came out, then where’d that fourth man go?”
    And I never will forget it, Mama danced across the floor,
    And these are the words I heard her say while shouting through the door.

    She said, He’s still in the fire and He’s walking in the flame,
    And He’ll be there to help you when you call upon his name;
    And he can still deliver by His almighty power,
    While here below it’s good to know He’s still in the fire

    I can tell you I’ve been in the middle of the flames many times.

  5. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely words. Yes he still here down below, he protected me for long, long time, until my time came and I was ready to listen and follow direction. I love Jesus our Lord and Savior, I will praise my Lord, My God with all my heart and I will glorify his name forever

  6. Mark says:

    The hardest spiritual ordeal I’ve been through began years ago when I believe the Lord awoke me to read that story in Daniel. The upshot of it was, I had in my past life, mocked Christians and Christianity. As with Nebuchadnezzar, I eventually witnessed the power of God. I then, as did Nebuchadnezzar, decreed to my friends and family, that all should now worship the one and only true God. Then, after some time, as did Nebuchadnezzar, I became proud and said in my heart “ look at what I have accomplished “. So, God did what He does so well, He humbled Nebuchadnezzar, making him wander as as beast, until he saw the error of his ways. At the end of my reading, to my shock and denial, I heard as close as what I would call an audible from God, declaring “ You are that man”. To which I responded in my heart a “ not so Lord “ No such a great idea, if I do say so myself. Shortly afterward, I went through the darkest, most troubled part of my Christian walk. I still went through all the motions but God was nowhere to be found by me. He hid His face from me. Truly, my ONLY hope was, that IF it were so, that I was as Nebuchadnezzar, the story ended in his ultimate restoration when he finally came to the end of himself. I went through over two years of deep to the point of feeling suicidal depression. BUT He was and IS faithful! Life is not all roses , but I do know now, that he was there through my darkest hours and loves me enough to do whatever it takes for what I need, not want in my life.

  7. Jesus Aguilar says:

    Mark thank you for sharing from your heart. Today my understanding of things that happens to us are preparation for a true relationship with Christ our Lord and Savior

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