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In Daniel chapter 3 of any Bible, you will most likely find a heading that reads something like this: The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace.
This is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and his proclamation that at the sound of the music all the nations of Babylon were to “fall down and worship the image of gold” that he had set up or be thrown into a blazing furnace. There were three Hebrew men who refused to do this. They knew “the God they [do] serve is able to deliver them . . .” They went on to tell the King, “But even if he does not [deliver us], we want you to know that we will not serve your god . . .”
The king had them tied up and thrown into the blazing furnace.
Well, instead of just immediately delivering them, God chose to join them! Yasss, when the king looked into the furnace and saw that there went from being 3 men tied up to 4 men walking around, he himself went from being furious in verse 13 to being amazed in verse 24!
The king shouted for them to come out!
The men had been in the presence of the God and were not harmed in any way. The king literally praised God in response to this! He said
“…they trusted in [the Most High God] . . . and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” Daniel 3:28
Are we willing to “give up” our lives—or in more modern and applicable terms: Are we willing give up our comfort, our status, our own will—to obey God?
The idols being crafted and set up today may not be literally golden but they certainly shine and manage to capture our attention and loyalty like literal gold. Pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately any form of rebellion against God are all idolatrous images proclaiming that we either bow before them or burn.
How do we keep from giving in and bowing? How do we choose to give up our lives?
Well, these men were willing to give up their lives as “they trusted in [God]!” Trust was the fuel in their tanks that enabled them to obey the word of God above the word of the king.
When it comes to having a willingness to “give up our lives”—our comfort, our status, our own will—trust in our trustworthy God is what it will take to power such a move.
This is where daily time in His word, prayer, and being connected with other believers comes in handy! These tools foster a transformation and a renewal of our minds. We are then more likely to consider His track record of victory and faithfulness when asked to bow. We can rest assured that He is able to deliver us from any “blazing furnace” this world threatens to cast us into—be it in the form of mockery, unfriending on social media, a breakup, or some other type of rejection. And even if He does not deliver us, we know he is able!
Sending the message that we will not accommodate or feed any decree to rebel against the one true God must remain our pledge as believers in and followers of Christ.
Will you choose to obey God by refusing to bow to whatever idol has been set up before you? Will you trust that he’ll either deliver you or join you?
It’s a win-win situation!
Go ahead. . . give it up?