“There is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience” ~ MLK
What will you let defeat you today? And at what cost will you be vanquished?
Standing up for what is true against any opposition takes a unique person. To stand against the flood of negativity and criticism that rolls down like a mighty current, to stand back up after a blow to the gut or a broken heart, takes a person who knows in whom and what he believes. It’s easy to live in a vacuum when there is nothing to bring you down… but what about when you must decide between your friends and your belief in the Gospel? How about when what you love the most is taken away, will you still trust our God then?
When faced with their own death for holding on to their faith, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stated, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”” (Daniel 3:17-18)
Can you say that with them… “But even if He doesn’t?” If God doesn’t do what you expect or desire, would He still be your hope? I am not talking about giving Him platitudes… saying all the right things others expect you to say, but will your life sing out with the affirmation of our Savior, “But thy will be done”…?
What enables one to stand fast like these men and others like a Martin Luther who said, “Here I stand; I can do no other so help me God.” Or a John Bunyan, “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a mockery of my conscience.” How about Abraham Lincoln who risked everything because he believed, “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” All these men knew a God ‘who was “known.'” No platitudes, no half-hearted beliefs, and no backing down… “Even if He does not save us.” These men along with Paul, “knew in whom they believed, and were convinced that He (God) is able to guard what they had entrusted to Him (their lives) until that day of His return.” (1 Tim 1:12) Does your life reflect that kind of fortitude and character or are you just one of the crowd who accepts the graces of God when it is easy and falters when the heat turns up?
Be what God intended you to be, relying on His grace that you will ‘know’ either in this life or the next. Be extraordinary, ‘even if…’
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” (Psalms 37:4-6)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Daily Quote: “If we walk away from risk to keep ourselves safe, we will waste our lives.” – John Piper
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 6:40