// With us in the wilderness, faithful to provide. Every breath and every step, we see. Sing out, lift your voice and cry out. Awesome is our strong God, mighty is our God. //

Strong God: Desperation Band

Never change your character to fit someone else’s belief.

Oppression. Opposition. Obstruction. These words display the roadblocks to moving forward & can hinder your dreams from being fulfilled. I’m glad you’re back! If this is your first time, catch up by reading ( 1.Finding Your Why, 2. Doing Life Together) our previous articles. We’ve been reading Daniel chapter 1-3, our base of reference from scripture.

We’ve seen the importance of knowing why you started your journey, whatever that may look like for you. We’ve learned that you can’t do it alone. Now it’s time to understand the strength of faith in the face of the unknown. Daniel 1, took us on a journey from being captives to victors. Daniel 2, enlightened us to the power of prayer & the contending of friendship. Now Daniel 3, let’s jump in & discover.

We start the chapter off by King Nebuchadnezzar creating an idol of gold. This being his prized possession. That may sound outlandish in today’s view. However, much like today, we can create our own idols. “Come see my new…” you can insert something. For example cars, houses, jobs. Anything really could fit here.

It doesn’t have to be all bad, sometimes it can be good things. Examples: spending time in a relationship, binging tv shows or movies, going out with friends. While alone and done in moderation have no problems. On the contrary, if it takes your attention away from God it can become an idol. Period.

What do think about? How do you spend your time? How do you spend your money? These are three evaluation questions that can alert you to if you’re spending too much thought, time or money in one or more areas. Especially if they’re not consistent with the thoughts, time or money you spend with God. Who have you let become your master?

So the king was pleased with his creation. He used his power to influence others to adore his masterpiece. He expected everyone to follow his way because there was no other choice in the matter.

“and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This was the decree the king made that would set fear into those who did not see the way he did. Intimidation releases fear to try & control those who believe differently than you. In hopes, they will conform to your way of thinking.

Just as there is even today, there were some who loved to talk. Especially, when it came to talking about how “those people” did not follow the law, the rules of the land. They did not bow before “our gods.” So their jealousy & hate for that which they did not understand caused them to display their emotions through their actions.

“Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “ Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Here you see the full show. Those who were jealous of the success of the Jews tried to bring shame to their reputation. The king already knew who “the Jews” were. Of course, they had been placed in high honor. That doesn’t come without recognition. The king knew them by name.

As the scriptures carry on the king asks the question directly, “why don’t you bow down? You’re going to bow down, right? This will make me look bad if I don’t follow through with this. More so because I know you.” Can’t you just hear this conversation? Then they responded:

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

They choose not to respond in anger. They did not have to stoop down to the level of the accusers. But it is the next verse that really captivates the faith in God for these believers. They have a choice to once again prove their loyalty to God. It is a common theme for these men. Do they follow the crowd, & turn their back on God or will they chose God & go against the grain? It’s not easy to go against the popular vote. You’re normally marked as radical, or an outcast. In some cases, you’re labeled a troublemaker. Simple obedience changes history.

“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There are several thoughts to chew on here. First, they declare, I know who I serve & He will deliver me from anything you do. The boldness to decree this must have taken a lot of faith. Or could it be it came easier because of the trials they had already been through, & knew God would never let them down? It still took a lot of faith don’t get me wrong, but could it be they took that step a bit quicker because they believed God for who He said He was. Not only by belief but by the testimony of what He had already accomplished.

“If not,” is another powerful statement. Even if they were wrong they wanted the world to know, they would not follow the ways of man. They were willing to die for the cause. They wanted to leave a legacy for people and generations long after them, “we owe God our lives & to my last breath I will serve him.”

We have to come to a place in our lives where we ask ourselves those very questions. Will I serve the Lord fully? “If not,” what do I want to leave the world knowing?

We are right at the apex of this journey. The next move is the King’s, how will he respond? Find out next week, in “simple obedience,” as we close this series.

Once again if you’ve found this enjoyable, please like, share! If you’ve got a testimony of how these posts are transforming your life, we’d love to hear that too! Until next time, peace & blessings!!