Read:  Daniel 3:1-30

Focus:
“They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” Daniel 3:28b 

King Nebuchadnezzar builds an 8 story statue and commands everyone to worship it.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Daniels friends and followers of God, refuse to compromise their faith and worship another god.  Under threat of death they defy the king and are thrown into the fire to be executed.  God comes through and rescues them, and the king has a change of heart after seeing their faithfulness and God’s faithfulness to them.

Daniel and his friends are willing to risk their lives to obey God.  Now don’t get me wrong, they were well assimilated into the Babylonian culture.  They most most certainly dressed like them, talked like them, and were even educated by them.   They were not trying to make a statement here.  They were simply unwilling to violate God’s commandments and worship other Gods.  That was the line for them.

So often modern Christians miss this.  Either we refuse to assimilate into our culture, rendering ourselves useless as influencers and reconcilers, or we end up crossing the line of God’s commands and standards and worshiping the god’s of our age (money, success, power, sex, ourselves).  It really is a balancing act of being part of our world, while having our standards clear and knowing where the lines of obedience to God are.

This requires some thought ahead of time.  Do you know where you are unwilling to compromise?  When these decisions are made ahead of time, it makes it easier to not bow down in the moment.  God honors our obedience and blesses us when we are willing to take a hit or even die, rather than disobey Him.  He does come through.

So what are your lines – the things you would be willing to lose your job over, the things you would be willing to get a lower grade for, the things you would choose death over violating.   These are heavy thoughts I know, but it’s so important to be clear on your standards and God’s standards before you’re asked to compromise.  If you are… your head can be clear and you can move confidently when that day comes.  And even though it looks like you’re going to die in that furnace, God will carry you through… He loves when we are willing to take risks to follow Him no matter what.

Prayer:
Father God – Help me to walk with that kind of trust in You.  Make me unwilling to compromise on the things that matter to You and keep me from becoming a legalistic, cantankerous christian who is just trying to make a point.  I need Your wisdom and Your strength to live with this kind of faith.  Today, be my God and my standard.  Today I choose to obey You no matter what it costs.  Thank you Father for Your great love and the plan You have for my life.  May You be glorified by how I live –  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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