We live in a world that is increasingly hostile toward God and biblical truth. So, how do you stay faithful to Jesus and His word? It is hard to know when to stand firm when your faith is under fire. Honestly, sticking with the convictions of your faith takes moral courage. On one hand, we want to stand firm on God’s truth. But, we’re also called to love others with the grace of Jesus. Is it possible to do both in a culture of compromise?
IF YOU STAND FOR NOTHING, YOU'LL FALL FOR EVERYTHING
This week as part of The Daniel Dilemma Series, we're taking a closer look at Daniel 3 in the Old Testament of the Bible. In this famous passage, we learn from the courageous example of the prophet Daniel and his friends: Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. In their culture, Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, and he wanted nothing more than to be worshiped. So, Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people of Babylon to bow before a giant statue that he created. This left Daniel's friends in a cross-fire. If they didn't bow down, they would be thrown in a fiery furnace and left to die. If they did worship the idol, they knew it would be in direct violation of God's 10 Commandments.
STAND UP AND SPEAK UP FOR GOD
So, what did Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego do in the face of opposition? They courageously stood their ground in a culture of compromise. In a war on their worship, Daniel's friends had faith that God would rescue them from the conflict they entered into. In Daniel 3:18, we see their faith is so courageous that, even if God didn't save them from the fire, they were willing to stand their ground. This is incredible, defiant faith under fire - literally!
WHEN YOU STAND FOR JESUS, HE STANDS WITH YOU
Next up, in Daniel 3:19-30, something miraculous happens. God stands with them in the fire and protects them! This is believed to be what is called a theophany: A rare, pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament. Not only does Jesus save Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, but King Nebuchadnezzar is amazed! The testimony of God's protection leads King Nebuchadnezzar to proclaim that the God of the Jews is the highest, most mighty God. Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego's faith was bold and courageous - and God used it to redeem a wicked king.
All in all, this incredible Bible story shows us that Daniel and his friends persevered in a corrupt culture that closely resembles our modern culture — and emerged as an influential force in God’s plan to redeem all that is broken. Today, this passage reminds us that if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything. Like in Babylonian days, a time will come when the world will turn up the heat and test our faith. While standing and speaking up for God can be intimidating, if we keep our hearts pure and our words seasoned with grace, we can trust God with the outcome!
To continue learning how you can stand firm in a culture of compromise, check out these additional resources from Liquid Church's series, The Daniel Dilemma:
- Message: Grace & Truth. In part 1 of The Daniel Dilemma, Pastor Tim Lucas introduces us to a young man forced to live in a fast-changing and godless society-- the prophet Daniel. Daniel persevered in a corrupt culture that closely resembles our own—and emerged as an influential force in God’s redemptive plan. Click here to watch.