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Daniel 3:6 “Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s reponse: “So what, we have God” (Paraphased)

The message that I got from this passage of scripture is that forced obedience does not compare to personal, committed sacrifice through obedience. This potrayal mirrors the debate between Islam and Christianity. The birth of Islam was through forced following, where disciples of Mohammad threatened people to adopt their practices or be killed. The AD years of Christianity were characterized by oppression; ie, followers were laying down their lives for the Gospel. Both involve the threat of death but I would rather be on the side of dying for my faith.

The other point that I would like to highlight from these chapters is Daniel 4:27 “Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past by being merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.”

This is not a complex message. STOP SINNING! It doesn’t say gradual decrease bad habit. It says cold-turkey, just stop it. Here’s a link to a MadTV “therapy” session. As a counselor, this is just for comedy and should not be taken as offensive. Underneath the comedy, the message “STOP IT” shines.

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One Comment

  1. The obedience point is key. Not only with our relationship with God, but with others. We have a mission set before us. Go throughout the world and make disciples of Christ. But how?

    We have a huge task before us and often go about leadng people to Christ is the wrong way. We need to learn how to use our circles of influence in a positive, Christ seeking way.

    In 2 Samuel, Saul and his 600 men are sleeping under the pomegranate tree because they are afraid to attack the giant and numerous Philistines perched above them in a perfect military position. Jonathan his son, sees the divine moment that is presenting itself. He takes his armor-bearer and invites him to join him as he goes to challenge the Philistines to battle.

    Jonathan could have undermined his father and convinced the 600 men to join him while his dad was sleeping, but he did not have authority over them. He knew his role. I think we often get frustrated with leaders in ministry. Us on the lower levels of the totem pole complain or go around their back to do things our own way.

    Jonathan would have been justified if he gave up because he didn’t have the authority or resources to logically fight the Philistines. However, Jonathan was wise. Erwin McManus says, “Jonathan didn’t allow his limitations to limit him”. He had authority over his armor-bearer. But more than that, he had a deep friendship. “Title, position, and authority may hold power, but influence travels through relationships. And in the end, influecne is the fountainhead of power.”…”This is the essence of influence, to win the heart and soul of another person through the strength of your own character and personhood.”

    Jonathan knew this. He had won the heart and soul of his armor-bearer, and even still, invited him to the fight, informing him of his plan and the dangers that await them. He didn’t force him to join, he didn’t undermine his dad…he used the authority and resources he had. “Two roadblocks that often mislead us are lack of authority and lack of resources.”

    When we see the odds stacked up against us, we think that God has closed the door to the opportunity of a divine moment. But the odds are irrelevant to God. Jonathan had odds stacked up like mad, but he had faith and hope in God. He new what was right…to face the Philistines. It didn’t make sense, but it was right. And God, when we do right, is always pleased. Jonathan could have been slaughtered and God still would have been pleased with his obedience. Our failures aren’t always failures in God’s eyes, when they are done in good faith. God always wins.

    Are we ready to fully seek justice and righteousness? Let us stop seeing obstacles and closed doors and persevere in His name. May we hear God’s voice and obey, no matter what the cost…Whether it be fire, giant Undertaker/Kane-like Philistines, or difficult head pastors.

    *All quotes taken from Erwin McManus’ book “Chasing Daylight”…this book is changing my life…highly recommend


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