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We are on a journey of faith. We have a clear destination ahead. We know the way. Along the way there are unexpected difficulties and setbacks. There are hindrances and things that slow us down. These are attacks on our faith. Some along this journey, have become discouraged. Some have even given up and are no longer on the journey. But there are some of us who know that the journey is worth it. We will not give up. We will not quit. We will arrive at our destination.
One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Daniel chapter 3. It’s the story of the young Jewish men who are captives in Babylon. Shadrach, Mecshach, and Abendego found themselves in a place where their faith was challenged. Living in a land of idol worshippers, they had to stand for God when it was unpopular to do so, and it was also potentially deadly.
King Nebuchadnezzar had constructed an idol. It was a statute made of gold, and 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. This thing was huge.
The King gathered a large group of leaders to come to the dedication ceremony. The King gathered many different government leaders, including Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. Bible scholars believe Daniel was back in the city, as the ruler of the province. Nebuchadnezzar had arranged for a great orchestra to play for the occasion. He commanded the band to play and instructed everyone to bow down in worship of the statue. Verse three informs us… “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego immediately faced a difficult choice. For the Babylonians, this was no big deal. Idol worship was a regular part of their lives, but for these young men the decision was to bow, or to burn. They knew what God had said about giving worship to idols.
If you have read the story, you know the young men stood strong for God and He protected them. But the story reminds us that our changing culture will ask you to bow down to their idols. In that moment your faith comes under fire and you will be tested. You can stand strong during this test knowing you can always trust the character and faithfulness of God.
Your faith will be put to the test.
Will you have courage?
Will you face rejection?
Are you willing to be criticized?
Are you willing to lose some friends…or some family for the sake of Christ?
Will you stand strong under adversity?
Will you continue to trust God when you don’t see the answer to prayer you desire?
Will you hold onto your faith when others are walking away?
I love the calm resolve of these young men. They didn’t panic. They didn’t argue. They didn’t fight back. They didn’t lead a rebellion, plan a boycott, or condemn the king for building his idol. They simply trusted God. “We are sure of God, but we are not sure what He will do.”
They didn’t even feel the need to defend their decision. They simply said, “We will not bow.”
What about you? Will you stand strong when your faith is attacked?
Today’s Challenge: Determine that God’s opinion matters more than anyone else. Pursue a close relationship with God on a daily basis. This way your roots will go deep and you’ll be strong when the adversity comes. Your faith will be attack, but you don’t have to bow.
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