Have you ever felt that you prayed about something and you made a choice that you knew was the choice God was telling you to make and all of the sudden after you made the choice you found yourself in a hard, painful, frightening situation? I have, especially as I have made the turn to the Back 9 of life. Doing the hard right thing can bring about danger in your life! I love that Mark Batterson calls it “Running toward the Roar.” Let’s turn to scripture to find our comfort and God’s leading.
I love the story found in the book of Daniel, chapter 3 of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…they made the HARD RIGHT decision not to bow down to false gods, the result, was rage and anger and the furnace was heated 7 times hotter, Daniel 3:19 tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar’s attitude changed toward them. If you do a little more digging/reading you will see that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego held high positions of authority over the province of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar was predictable in that he was irrational and had a very quick temper. Just before Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to false God’s, the King had previously said to Daniel, chapter 2:47, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and the revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” (remember the King knew that Daniel was close friends of the 3 and they worshiped the same God) I hope you see when you study the story that the King did a whole lot of flip-flopping.
Point of post: In life there will be irrational people along the way, people who flip-flop, some in positions of authority, some not, but they can be found in our homes, in our extended families, in our churches, in our schools, in our work places, in government and in neighborhoods these people may even confess and acknowledge God but often we may be faced with a choice… and hopefully we will make the HARD RIGHT choice, looking to Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as our example and realizing that when we make the HARD RIGHT choice things can Heat up to 7 times hotter in our lives and other’s attitudes can change toward us.
We have to keep our eyes completely focused on Jesus and display the same attitude that these men of God did, “If were are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not we want you to know, Your majesty that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Remember the world is changed by our actions, not our opinions. Trusting in God, is standing even if no one else is standing and even if the “furnace” of our lives heats up 7 times hotter by making the HARD RIGHT DECISION! We could burn up but I love the ending of the story…Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego…came out of the fiery furnace without a hair on their head being singed nor did they smell like smoke, the king witnessed the power of God through these men and another thing that happened that is VERY encouraging is found in verse 10 of Daniel chapter 3, “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” They got promoted by the very one who wanted them dead! When we choose to follow God no matter what, even when we are threatened it allows His Light to shine in our lives in ways we cannot predict!