Inspirational Sunday

"If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up." Daniel 3:17-18

Rae's Thought: Daniel 3 talks about three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who stood their ground, even when faced with death. They lived in a time where following God wasn't the most popular (or safe) thing to do. King Nebuchadnezzar had made a 90ft tall golden statue that everyone was to worship at the sound of music. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to follow the decree, even after being warned of the consequence, which, by the way, was death by fiery furnace. The king ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than normal - unbearable for the king's strongest soldiers, who died from the heat. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego still held their ground. They were thrown in the furnace, but, and this is the amazing part, they were unharmed...clothes weren't not blistered...they didn't even smell like smoke. To the king's amazement, a fourth man appeared in the furnace with them (some say the man was an angel of God, others say it was the Son of God).

Just like these three boys, we may end up facing our own 'fork-in-the-road'. Path one: do what everyone else is doing, even if it's not the right thing to do; or, path two: stand your ground, even if it's not the popular thing to do. There's a saying: 'What's right isn't always popular. What's popular isn't always right'. Choosing path two could mean alienation, persecution, loneliness, or maybe even death.

Despite the grim outlook, it's time for the children of God to stand up for what is right. Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we live in a time where following God isn't the popular thing to do. People look at us like we're crazy because we're serving a being that we've never seen before. We're worshipping someone (Jesus) who is said to have done something as impossible as raise from the dead. We have no physical evidence that what the Bible and our belief are saying is actually true, and yet, some of us are willing to die for our belief. Keep standing. Truthfully, I'd rather go against the flow and please God, than go with the flow and please the world (I mean, really...the world isn't the one waking me up in the morning and taking care of me).

When you choose to take a stand, remember that God is able to deliver you from your fiery furnace, just as He did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Even if He chooses not to deliver you, He is still able. Cassie Bernall, one of the Columbine victims, had to choose between God and life...she chose God. Although she was killed, in her death, she's touched thousands of people because of the stand she made. When it came down to it, Cassie was a stronger person than many of us. God will be with us at all times, in everything we do. Having Him softens the blow we take when we stand our ground. In the end, we will be the ones blessed, just like the three Hebrew boys.

Which path are you willing to take - path one or path two?