“God will never abandon you to go through life or faith alone. Instead He has surrounded us with brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and grandpas and grandmas of the faith. God has designed in His sovereignty that we were never meant to be alone.” – Jim Johnson
Eyes opened… masks thrown into the fire… lives forever changed. What a day at CIY Move! Tonight was a powerful end to a day of thinking about what keeps us from seeing Jesus as he really is. Students were given a mask this morning and symbolically placed tape over the eyes, on which they wrote some things that they feel keep them from seeing (Jesus) clearly. Some wrote “pride” others wrote “self.” Some said “temptation,” “self image,” “trust,” and “needing to offer forgiveness.” The power of the element came when students were invited by tonight’s speaker, Josh Burnett, to take off their mask and throw it into the fire… symbolizing the fact that they were casting aside whatever it is that’s been blinding them to Jesus. It was a beautiful moment of encouragement, surrender, and uninhibited praise and worship for all God has been doing in and through us.
The message tonight came from Daniel 3:19-30 in which three of Daniel’s friends face Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace and come away untouched. The challenge we were all given was to see that one day each of us will face the furnace. In fact, Jesus himself said that “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Facing the furnace, whatever it may be, is a common experience…. what’s uncommon was the example of Daniel’s three friends. The example they gave should be the example we live so that we face the common experience in an uncommon way because we do so in Christ. Josh challenged us to see that the question is not “if we will face the furnace” but “will we will see Jesus in the furnace?” Often times, Josh said, “in the furnace is your best opportunity to see Jesus as he really is.” Our students carry some pretty weighty things that they’ve gone through or are currently in the midst of… tonight many of them caught a glimpse of the One who does not leave them alone in the furnace moments of life, but lets us know that He is here.