What convictions will identify you with the Kingdom of God at school? How might you be labeled in your dormitory, apartment, lab, extra-curricular activity, part time work effort at school, or actual employment after?
Read Daniel 3:16-18.
The King of Babylon made a ninety-foot statue of himself and demanded everyone in his empire (including Jews in captivity) to bow down and pay homage to him directly. The account details that everyone responded to the music and the command and knelt down to literally worship King Nebuchadnezzar. Yet three Jewish young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood upright and refused to bow down to the golden image.
How do you explain the boldness of these 3 government employees?
Did courage develop because they saw it in their buddy Daniel when they first went to college together at the University of Babylon? The U of B was a very difficult place far from home with no support structure. They were on their own. Exposed to a new culture and language, new food, new surroundings, and different people.
The Bible says that faith inspires courage. The leper in Matthew 8:2 had faith Jesus could heal him. So did the blind man in Matthew 9:28. And the sick and diseased in Matthew 14:26. They all approached Him and ALL were healed. Then they went and told their friends.
Faith inspires courage because it inspires confidence in God. Remember what David said when he faced the giant Goliath? 1 Samuel 17:27 “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
These three guys showed absolute confidence in God, stating that their God was greater than King Nebuchadnezzar, and their God was able to deliver them from his judgment in a display of His superior power. The king had declared himself above all gods in v 15, and even asked, “what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” He was challenging any god to test his authority.
Note the words of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in v 17, “the God we serve.” They knew God’s authority was greater than the authority claimed by the king. Their God demanded obedience and forbid them from worshiping any other gods. And they were now standing for Him. They were courageous in a pressure-packed situation because they had determined their convictions before hand.
Regardless if their parents (and local rabbi) taught them what to believe and why, these young men decided sometime before or after they were taken into captivity that their God was the One True God. The commandment to love and honor Him alone had been accepted by each of these men because He was Truth. Giving allegiance to anyone else would be wrong.
Live communally. Make up your mind about what is true before you are tested. Find, develop, and nurture mutually supportive relationships with like-minded believers. Then trust God for His strength and presence to stand together in the fiery trial(s) you encounter.
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz