Not The ‘What’ But The ‘Who’

In Daniel 3, the king demands that all his subjects to submit all their agendas to Babylon’s agenda. He uses the carrot and the stick, by combining a magnificent opera to create an irresistible ambience for them with a furnace  in the background, as a not-so-gentle reminder that this was not a choice. There was very little time to think through a response. It’s easy to downplay how difficult it is to stand up for our convictions in life. If I was in their situation, I just know my mind would have been buzzing with the options… 

  • Everybody else is doing it.
  • This is just how things work here; when in Babylon…
  • I’ll just pretend to be bowing but inside I’ll be standing up
  • I can always confess to God later
  • I’m too young to throw away my job and harm my career for something so small
  • Surely, God will understand, He’s the one who put me here!

The reality is that many of us when faced with a moral decision will often evaluate it at that moment to see whether we agree with what God says. Does it make sense to me? If it does, then I obey; if it doesn’t then I pass. But for the three guys, it wasn’t about the ‘what’ but the ‘Who’. When God’s Word said something, they didn’t evaluate, they obeyed. Hence their ability to make the right decision despite the enormous pressure to do otherwise… 

Lord, it’s not always easy or convenient to do what You ask me to do. But please help me remember that no matter how difficult the situation, it’s not about the ‘what’ but the ‘Who’. Help me today not to evaluate but to obey. AMEN

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6 responses to “Not The ‘What’ But The ‘Who’

  1. Morning, Pastor M! Wow! Thank God first for you. The book of Daniel has shown me that wisdom is not for the pulpit only 🙂 I will obey and not evaluate. As a Christian, I have a fear of sticking out, now, I look at it as Standing Up and Out! Have a blessed day!

  2. Pst M,
    How real how so real. I relate with the many times I have evaluated what God has required of me in the workplace. And sadly I have terribly failed the obedience test, yet the situation has not been as dire as the one Daniel’s friends were facing. Lord help me obey you no matter what is costs me because I cost you everything
    Baraka Tele!

  3. Thanks for this post, surely it is really easy to say this on paper, but when an actual situation actually comes up, then it becomes really difficult to stand up. For you to do this you must have a strong faith … you know that one that says you can move mountains, I mean literally move them. Pastor really on an honest and serious point, what am I to do… I am a single parent, I have school fees to pay, rent to pay, health insurance to pay, little eyes that look up to me when they are hungry or sick, no one to help in the home and you want me to fight my boss when he tells me to give a kickback A.K.A a bribe, to the procurement officer to get things moving with the tender or loss my job… sometimes after listening to sermons like this I question myself, and my faith and then I wonder am I really cut out to be a Christian, you see its so hard.
    I was reading the other day Daniel 3:16-17 where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to talk about this anymore. We might be thrown into the blazing furnace. But the God we serve is able to bring us out of it alive. He will save us from your powerful hand. “But we want you to know this. Even if we knew that our God wouldn’t save us, we still wouldn’t serve your gods. We wouldn’t worship the gold statue you set up.”
    And I put myself not in their shoes (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) but in the shoes of the other guys from Judah,( you know in the beginning of Daniel it says that there had been some other dudes apart from Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from royalty who had been selected,), I mean this other guys must have know about the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, they must have been taught about the many miracles that God had done for the Israelites in the past, and I was thinking about what must have been going through their minds as they saw these three men standing up to the king and probably thinking to themselves “they must be mad”, but secretly admiring their guts and then probably watching them being thrown into the fire and seeing the miracle happen, where they did not burn and to add to it there was a fourth person in the fire with them and then hearing the King stating in Daniel 3:28 “May the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be praised! He has sent his angel and saved his servants. They trusted in him. They refused to obey my command. They were willing to give up their lives. They would rather die than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

    And in their mind these other guys secretly feeling guilty and perhaps even jealous of not having joined Shadrack and his friends in the fire, secretly hating themselves and I was thinking, those other guys that is me lord, I am those other guys from Judah

    In my heart I enjoy listening to those great stories such as that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego but I am so scared to death to test my faith, in my heart when you were preaching on Sunday I was so energized, excited especially by that last part of the Daniel 3:17″But we want you to know this. Even if we knew that our God wouldn’t save us, we still wouldn’t serve your gods. We wouldn’t worship the gold statue you set up.”

    And by the end of the sermon I was so charged, But as usual in the market place where we have targets, by Tuesday I was so beaten down all these was watered down, and instead what are we to do… am I bad pastor? Am I like Judas who sold Christ for 30 pieces of silver?

  4. yes how easy it is to “go with the flow”, after all i will confess my sins later…quite powerful

    and Pst M even if we dont blog, just jua we are still reading and taking this daily walk with you.

    mob blessings to you and family

  5. Hi Pasi

    Yaani this blog is such a blessing esp for those of us who’ve not made it to Bible school as yet 🙂 Logging on daily has helped me become consistent in my quiet time and has unlocked a great thirst for God’s word.

    I got lost somewhere thinking that my maturity would be determined by the volumes of scripture I read and when it didn’t happen I felt disappointed that I could not run as fast as the rest. I reclined.

    Now I realise that if I am faithful in small things (spending a few minutes in God’s word & prayer), I’ll be able to handle greater things (O Nebuchadnezzar, I do not need to defend myself before you in this matter… the God I serve is able to save me from it… But even if He does not, I WANT YOU TO KNOW…)

    Pasi, we thank God for you. May the Lord continue to equip you. And as you take care of His business, may He take care of yours – you, Pst. Carol & your children.

  6. well…”I’ll pretend to be bowing but in the inside i will be standing up”…that’s the one I’ve gotta deal with daily!!!it is easy for me to tell myself “it’s the thought that counts” en i go ahead and just do what is easier,less painful,has less consequence….i so feel confused guy when he talks about those other guys from Judah,i feel like them too when i end up doing the things i do….well we have to work one day at a time to accomplish what God desires in us.thanks pasi for another thought provoking post…to confused guy,let’s hold hands in prayer and target to cross over to the Daniel side….baraka

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