Do you know what it means to be a committed disciple?

The truth is that the Lord calls all believers to be Christ’s followers. And unfortunately, many people are Christian by preference, but not many are by conviction.

When we have a preference, we identify with Christianity when it is convenient and popular, which is quite the opposite of living surrendered lives.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego: A Story of Commitment

Daniel 3 shares an exemplary story of three Hebrew boys who model what it looks like to be wholeheartedly committed to God every day and every moment.

King Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon, created a golden statue that was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. Upon its completion, he commanded that everyone he ruled over bow down as soon as they heard music. However, among the crowd were three boys who refused to worship this false god.

Well, word got back to the king that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego chose not to worship his idol, and he was filled with fury. The boys were brought to stand before the king, who questioned their actions and gave them the ultimatum: “Bow down and worship what I have created, or you will be burned in a fiery furnace!” This threat they knew was no match for the power of God, and they stood committed to the conviction of God that was within them.

What about you? Do you have convictions?

Convictions of Today

Sadly, many believers don’t stand firm in their convictions. They fly with whichever crowd they are with, pleasing the ears and ideals of the world, speaking their language, singing their songs, and agreeing with their statements.

I.Today’s Idols (Daniel 3:3)

“So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

Daniel 3:3, NKJV

All of the officials, leaders, and politicians were in place. They supported the king’s ruling and enforced this decree, calling everyone to come and bow down to the image he had set up.

This scenario isn’t much different than what we are dealing with today. We live in a culture where many images, gods, and ideals have been established. The world wants the church to bow down to abortion and the support of the LBGTQIA+ community, among many other things.  Well, I’m sorry, I cannot and will not bow down to anything God’s word has declared is wrong!

II.Lack of Leadership (Daniel 3:12)

“There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:12, NKJV

These young men made a resolute decision that they would not bow down. They were a rare breed. While the nation followed its leaders, these three boys were adamant about not giving in.

Our nation lacks political and religious leaders to take a stand for what is right and true. They are persuaded by who gives the most money and who supports their agendas. This is problematic when our believing leaders engage in these acts because they represent God!

Are you among those who can be bought? Remember, God is looking for people who will stand up for what is righteous in the kingdom of God!

How Do I Know If I Am Convicted?

Some years ago, the Supreme Court defined what it means to have a conviction. It states:

I.Your Conviction Must Be Seen

There must be evidence of your integrity. In other words, don’t claim to be a Christian and not walk the walk.

Be careful not to identify with being a follower of Christ if your fruit does not align with His.

II.Your Conviction Must Be Consistent

To be consistent is to not waver or change, even with peer pressure, threat of persecution, or death.

If your ideals flow toward the world’s opinions, you may be operating out of preference, not conviction.

Principles of a Committed Disciple (Daniel 3:13-30)

These young men bless me because of their declaration to the king. They respond with tenacity and resolve in deciding they don’t need to answer him about where their worship lies. There is much to glean from their commitment to the Lord.

I.Committed to Uncompromising Convictions (vs. 13-16)

“Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, ‘Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?’ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.’”

Daniel 3:13-16, NKJV

In verse 16, these young men are consistently responding out of their convictions. But here is what is fascinating: they didn’t have a Bible, the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, and they didn’t have a body of believers to belong to, and yet, they had strong beliefs in the power of God.

The problem with today’s church is that we pick and choose what we will and will not do. We have selective commitments and convictions; in other words, we select the ones we like and reject the ones we don’t.

One of our consistent goals here at FBCG is to disciple you to obey the scriptures whether you like the principles or not.

II.Believe God With Unwavering Confidence (vs. 17)

“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.”

Daniel 3:17, NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego challenge the king to do whatever he will because they know that the God they serve can deliver them.

No matter what circumstance you are going through, our God is more than able and fully capable of bringing you out of whatever you are facing!

He’s got the power, the might and will be your source of deliverance in whatever you are struggling in. Let me prophesy over you; stand up for what is right, and the God we serve will prove Himself faithful!

III.Foster a “But If Not” Mindset (vs. 18)

Andrae Crouch, a songwriter and Gospel singer, wrote the song I’ve Got Confidence, and his lyrics relate to these three young boys of Babylon. The song goes:

I’ve got confidence
God is gonna see me through
No matter what the case may be
I know He’s gonna fix it for me

But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:18, NKJV

As believers, we know God is always victorious according to His will. But I’m here to encourage you that even if His faithfulness doesn’t look how you expect it to, it’s not because He isn’t able; it’s because He is merciful. And His goodness is found in His perfect timing and His perfect way.

I encourage you to have a “but if not” attitude, especially when it comes to your convictions.

But if not, I’m not bowing down.

But if not, I’m still not aborting any babies.

But if not, I won’t marry a man with a man or a woman with a woman.

I will not bow down, say what you want, I will not change!

IV.Operate From Our Identities (vs. 19-22)

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.”

Daniel 3:19-22, NKJV

The fire that was meant to punish these three boys killed the men who were preparing it! I can tell you this, we are His children, and the devil better be careful in his plans to hurt you and me.

V.Rely on God’s Presence (vs. 23-25)

“And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished;  and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”

Daniel 3:23-25, NKJV

The fire we walk through is an attempt to harm us. But do you know what’s going to happen? You will get loosed when you experience pressure, and freedom will be found as we put our faith in God!

He walks with us, talks with us, and tells us that we are His own! Wherever you go, He is with you, beside you, in front of you, and will never forsake you.

VI.Know We Are Protected (vs. 26-27)

“Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of the head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

Daniel 3:26-27, NKJV

Saints, here’s the good news: you won’t smell like what you’ve been through, and nobody will be able to see what you’ve endured!

God is covering you under His wings of refuge and will put off everything meant to destroy you!

VII.Await Our Miracle (vs. 28-30)

“Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.’ Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.”

Daniel 3:28-30, NKJV

Have you been through the fire? Well, God is about to prosper, promote, and bless you for your commitment to His truth!

Over my life, I’ve had two job situations in which I was working for a supervisor. However, God flipped the script and made me their boss! I’m only sharing this testimony of God’s favor to encourage you; He has something in store for you.

There is a miracle He wants to provide for you, and instead of waiting to praise Him when it happens, why don’t you praise Him now? The God we serve is the Living God. His name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords!

So will you choose to bow down only to Jesus and stand firm in the convictions of His word?

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