November 16, 2020
Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
“Next time! Next time I’ll do it!”
In the course of your life, how many times do you think you’ve vowed something like that to yourself? You found yourself confronted with a choice, and deep down you knew which choice was ultimately the right one. If you were honest, you could even say which direction would please God most! Yet in the end, for any number of reasons, you allowed your fear to win the day. You chose the other direction, and immediately you knew you had succumbed to fear once again. “Next time I won’t!” you tell yourself. “Next time I’ll be brave and do the right thing!”
We’ve been looking at Daniel 3 and the choice of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for a few weeks now. And man, it’s awfully easy for me to assume of course I’d make the same choice they did! Someone’s threatening to kill me unless I deny God? Well, of course I’ll stand for God and do what’s right!
Except, so many times, so many days, in so many little ways… I actually do not. Too often I give in to fear. Too often I have found myself once again vowing, “Next time…” So why do I assume I will obey the big things if I don’t even do it in the small?
How about you? What kinds of choices are you facing in your life this week? Do you already know which direction is right, which choice God would have you make? Make the decision today to take a courageous stand like the three brave Israelites and choose God’s path – no matter what. It’s only when we trust Him with the outcome that we truly learn we can indeed trust Him with the outcome!