“Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
– Daniel 3:8-18
In this last post of the year, I would like to motivate somebody somewhere to finish strong. However, I don’t just want you to finish strong, but I want you to finish without compromise also. What does that mean? Let’s dig in and get this word that God has for us. We all know of the story of the three Hebrew boys being thrown in the fiery furnace due to their refusal to bow down to an idol god that was set up by the king of those times. We all know how the story turned out and the boys were delivered through the fire and lost not one hair upon their head. However, I want to expound upon a different aspect of the story. I have read this story and used this story many times, but when God gave it to me this time He pointed out something that gave me so much faith and peace. Then, He instructed me to write about it for it is sure to be of assistance to someone else. You ready? Let’s go!
As I was reading this story He told me to carefully examine the boys mindset concerning the fire. I did and it was simply one of great faith and total submission to God. They heard the King’s decree, and they heard the punishment for refusal to do such a thing. Yet, they refused to compromise their stand, their lives, and their faith concerning only worshipping the true and living God. Even when the King gave them a second chance to bow down, they still refused. Watch this. Not only did they still refuse, but they got bold with it. The boys said, “oh King we are not careful to answer thee.” In other words, they were saying there is no fear, no timidness, and not a weak bone in our body that we should be scared to tell you our answer. If I may interject my own spin on their answer I believe it went something like this: “Nothing about you or this snare that you have setup for us scares us into having even an ounce of desire to bow down to this false representation of a god. But, as for us and our house we shall serve the one and true God. The God who sits high and looks low. The God that is able to deliver us from this circus show that you have conjured up, but even if He doesn’t we still will not bow down and serve this foolery of yours.”
That brings me to my first point (of which I only have two), sometimes you have to get bold in your stance for God and the things of God. You can’t be worried about the things that could happen. You can’t even be worried about the things that are certain to happen. You just got to know that you know that you know, and if I got to go through it then so be it. Somebody said that sounds good but where is your bible for it? It’s in the story itself. The boys never gave thought to NOT going into the fire; instead, they saw the fire as a byproduct of their resolve to only serve the true and loving God. In other words, they didn’t intentionally seek out the fire, but they made up in their minds if this is the path for us there is only one way to get to the other side, through it! Nevertheless, I’m of the belief that if God allowed the enemy to bring it, then He already has a plan to swing it in my favor. These boys must have had the same thought, which is possibly what led to their bold statement to the King. So, I want to encourage someone else to be bold in your stand for holiness and holy living. Be bold in your stance for doing the things of God. Be bold in your stance for worshipping the God that is able to take down one and put up another. Not only do I want you to be bold, but I want you to remember not to compromise. This is my stand, my position, my belief, and my resolve and there is no a devil in hell or on earth that can change it or make me bend concerning it.
This brings me to my second (and final) point: No matter how extreme the obstacle is and although it seems that it’s going to lead to your demise, my friend Do Not Compromise! We have all been faced with this many times. Believe it or not, must of us probably have done it once or twice or 10 times. Oh, it starts small. God delivers you from drinking, but the there’s the old saying “A glass of wine a day keeps the doctors away.” What happens? Well I guess one glass won’t hurt. Sounds like a compromise to me. Some of us even go so far as to say, “I’m just going to have a sip.” Still sounds like a compromise. My favorite is the people that are always of the belief that “I’ll simply do this and repent, because you know God is a forgiving God.” Right you are; however, you forgot one thing. He is also a just God who never sleeps or slumbers. Please don’t take this as judgement being passed, rather it is an example to prove how easy it is to get distracted in this world we live in. It’s so easy to get sidetracked with the many different tools the enemy has in his possession. Now, he even has social media to add to it. People are willing to do whatever in order to be seen and possibly become an overnight sensation. This ultimately is the cause of our compromise. However, that’s why the Bible warns us to be ready in season and out of season. Why? So that we are able to withstand and allow God to defend our righteousness before others; thereby, causing others to glorify God. Isn’t that what happened in the text? The King saw a fourth one in the furnace and saw that the boys were not harmed, and he made the decree that anybody who speaks ill of the boys’ God shall be cut into pieces for there is no other God who can deliver like their God.
What happened? The boys got bold, stood their ground, and chose not to compromise their salvation. As a result, God decided to step in the fire with them, shielded and protected them from even the stench of the furnace, and stayed there with them to ensure their deliverance. Not only did God deliver them but if I’m recalling correctly, the King gave them all an even greater promotion within the land. Can I give you a shout cue real quick? Don’t think that God cannot and/or will not secure your promotion because there is more than one of you. If the entire group has to get blessed so that you can receive what’s yours, then so be it! If everybody on your job has to get a promotion just so that you can get what’s yours, then so be it. Somebody may be saying to themselves, why hasn’t God delivered me from my fire yet? Baby let me tell you something. If you’re in the midst of your fire right now, and you still have your right mind, still have the ability to open your mouth and give Him the praise, and still have something to be thankful for then I got news for you. He may not have delivered you through the fire just yet, but as a result of your commitment to Him and your unwillingness to compromise, He has stepped in the fire with you to ensure that your life is covered and protected from the fierce temperatures of the furnace. Yeah you’re stuff may have gotten burnt up, but He sparred your life! Yeah you’re ideas may have gotten burnt up, but He sparred your mind! Yeah you’re dreams may have been seared to crisp, but He sparred your imagination! I know they’re attacking you from every angle, but you’re still standing! I know they’re watching with great anticipation that you’ll never be able to recover, but I came to tell you “Get Ready!”
The fact that He has sparred you is a sign to the enemy that He is getting ready to give you the ability to “Build It Again!” That’s why the enemy keeps reminding you of what you lost in the process. It’s not because God has forsaken you, rather it’s because God has forewarned him concerning the steps of a righteous man or woman! He has seen what happens when the righteous of God gets persecuted and afflicted, but still has the faith and belief in God that says “I’m going to run on and see what the end is going to be!” The enemy has seen it play out time and time again, and He knows that when you come out, you’re going to have a crown for everyone to see and give God all the praise and glory that is due Him. So, he is hoping that the fire or even thought of the fire will cause you to compromise, cave in, and concede the victory to him. But, Don’t Give In and Don’t Give Out! Instead, look within and look to Zion! Hold on! Earlier I stated that God stayed there with them to ensure their deliverance. Can I give you another shout cue real quick? The fact that you are in the fire and have not been completely consumed by it is enough to give God praise. However, if you still hear Him talking to you and reassuring you that He has a plan for you, that is your sign that He has secured your victory and ensured your deliverance from the pit to the palace, from the fire to the fulfillment, and from the furnace of the King to favor with both the natural King and The King of Kings!
I feel like preaching this thing to somebody now. Shout Shine! How do I know you need to get ready? Well, I know because the Bible says, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). What are you saying to us Kean? Shout Shine! King Nebuchadnezzar thought the fire was going to totally destroy the Hebrew boys, but what He didn’t know is that the fire is God’s playground for performing a mighty work. So, what he saw as a tool for destruction, God used as a tool of defining. God used the fire to prove that He Is who He says He Is and aside from Him there is no other. Can I make it plain? Shout Shine! Your enemies saw you get thrown into the fire, and they’re thinking to themselves “How is that they ain’t died yet?” Shout cue on the way! Shout Shine! Tell them, The fire that you thought was going to kill my flesh is being used to kindle my faith. Tell them, because I didn’t compromise my God showed up and has me covered under His wing and He’s using the fire to make me better! To make me stronger! To make me wiser! To make me purer! To make my light shine brighter than it ever has before, so that I can walk in it and He get the glory! Shout Shine! Tell them I’m not mad and I’m not bitter, but I’m thankful! I’m grateful! For this little light of mine, I’m getting ready to let it shine!
Can I go higher? Reach brother! I think I will. Shout Shine! I’m getting ready to shine from the mountaintop! I’m getting ready to shine in the valley low! I’m getting ready to shine everywhere I go! So that the people will know that the God I serve is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above anything that I can ask or think! Shout Shine! I’m getting ready to shine in my house! I’m getting ready to shine on my job! I’m getting ready to shine in the grocery store! So that the people will know that the God I serve provides all of my needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus! Shout Shine! I’m reminded of a song that says, “Walk in the Light, Beautiful Light. Come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright. Shine all around us by day and by night. Jesus, the Light of the world!”
In closing I say to you, Finish the Course that has been set before you! However, do not compromise your stance for and position with God in order to attempt to take the easy way out. I know the trial seems overwhelming and the burdens seems as if they are unbearable. Therefore, always remember this little passage of scripture that says “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:6-11). In other words, humble yourself and allow God to do what He’s going to do in your life, through your life, and for your life. In the end, you will without a shadow of doubt inherit the promises of God concerning your life.
Until Next Time,
Be Blessed, Stay Encouraged, and Have A Very Blessed New Year!