If the fire is hot enough will you bow or burn?

When the three men were threatened with being thrown into the furnace if they refused to worship the image of the king in Daniel chapter 3, their response demonstrates what should be the way believers in all generations handle the pressure to compromise. There is much that can be learned from what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:16-18:

“ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not fear to answer thee in this matter.

17 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.

18 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.”

Hidden within these verses lies the great truth many Christians fail to see when it comes to persecution, affliction, threats and compromise. The three men first voiced their absolute faith that God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, but then they went on to say that even if God did not deliver them, they would still never serve or worship the golden image he had set up.

Of course we know how the story ends, how they were cast into the furnace which was heated seven times hotter than normal. Instead of burning up, the king looked into the furnace and saw not only the three men but a fourth who was like the Son of God. God not only delivered them from the furnace but He also proved Himself to a bunch of rank unbelievers.

Unless our attitude is one of absolute faith God will deliver us, we are sure to falter and fall apart when the pressures of life cascade upon us. Unless we are so committed that we are willing to lay down our lives for the truth, we can never truly say we are fully His. Faith and commitment are both needed if we desire to fully manifest for all to see just who is our Lord and God.

That which is most important to people is their life. Of all the things that people cherish, protect and love; a person’s life is at the top of the list. From God’s point of view, one’s life is NOT what is most important but rather one’s heart. What good is life if it is wrought with compromise and lack of fidelity toward God? Why bother drawing breath if our heart is not fully committed to God?

When confronted by the threat of this world to “bow or burn” and when the pressure to compromise is greatest, we must be absolutely committed to God within our hearts or we will fold like a house of cards. Only when we value pleasing God more than life itself can we truly say that the three men in Daniel 3 are not only our inspiration but were our brothers in faith and commitment.

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