Good morning Friend,
I trust you had a fantastic weekend.
By God’s grace, today we will continue in the insightful series on the Book of Daniel and trust God to take us deeper in the knowledge of His Word as revealed in this amazing book. Last week, we learned how that Music is such a carrier of spirits, and we need to be careful what we allow entry into our soul’s space. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t.
Today, we will be examining a profile that I hope every Christian will seek to emulate; The Non-Conformist. After the music was played for the people to bow to the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, there were some Hebrew boys who dared the King and chose not to bow. In contemporary terms, it’s a bit difficult to picture this scenario since we don’t do all that monarchical system of governance anymore, and even monarchs of the modern day are smart enough not to command subject to bow to an image of them, no matter how self-obsessed they may be. But we see a parallel!
King Nebuchadnezzar was not the one who identified these Hebrew Boys, it was other Chaldeans, perhaps their colleagues. Daniel 3:7-13. Their colleagues saw them and challenged them about their refusal to bow to the King’s image. The matter was then escalated to the King who afterwards commanded that the boys be brought to him. He gave them another chance to bow, perhaps they would fear when they come to terms with the consequence of not bowing and then bow. He threatened and made them realize that they could die from their stubbornness. Guess what? The boys didn’t budge! They were even bolder in their resolve.
How often do we feel bad for being different? The devil always magnifies our difference and defines it as awkwardness. He makes your uniqueness a weakness, and how well does he sell his lies. These guys were not going to have any of those. They were The Non-Conformist and were most convinced about their convictions not to bow. How easily do we conform to the standards of the world, all in a bid not to feel like the “odd one out”? The colleagues challenged, the authorities threatened, the furnace blew hot and reinforced, the soldiers were a command away from dumping them right in the furnace of fire, but they wont even reconsider their position. How were they able to defy evil with such boldness, even in the face of possible execution?
1. They Feared God: I know this is not as emphasized anymore, but trust me friend, nothing guards your heart from turning your back on God like the fear of God. This fear isn’t that unrighteous fear that is without knowledge, this fear comes from a depth of the knowledge of God and the sacrifices He made for us on the Cross of Calvary. It is a righteous fear that is all shades of holy. We ought to fear God. Anyone who fears God, has no fear room left for man or perverse authorities. When you see anyone, who is bold before men, it is because He is in reverence and filled with godly fear before God. No man can push him around to do what the culture demands of him, he deeply understands, that he is not in that arena to conform, but to reform. If some people will not choose to stand on their convictions, we definitely will never have what we know as revolution. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005), God bless her resolute soul is regarded today as the first lady of civil rights. She chose to stand for dignity over intimidation and racism. She could have been killed, but it didn’t matter. She believed with all her heart that every human was made equal and no race should exercise dominance upon the other based on the colour of skin. We remember more of Martin Luther King Jr, but Rosa Parks’ bus incident sparked that revolution he would eventually lead. Thank God Peter was not shunned by the council, he chose to keep speaking of the things he had heard and seen. Non-Conformists are not afraid to be alone at first, because they are certain a generation will follow their trail.
2. They had a Living Hope: When you see folks you cannot threaten with death, you just found people who are certain there is such a thing called an after-life. Not the kind that brainwashed terrorists and suicide bombers believe in, but the one that promises the eternal presence of God. King Nero roasted several Christians in the famous colosseums just to thrill the Romans, but for every Christian he killed, 7 Romans became believers… Why? Because the Christians literally burned with a smile on their face and a song on their lips. They could care less about burning of their flesh on earth, they knew a glorified body was waiting on them on the other side. This expression of Joy moved more Romans to defy death and become believers. It is called the Living Hope. If you would read Daniel 3 to the end, you will realize that indeed, Jesus appeared to them in the midst of that fire and brought heaven into their situation. Is this hope alive in your heart? That some day, you will spend eternity with Jesus? Let that mind remain in you, that where He is, there you will also be.
These are the two biggest factors that will help put stability in your heart when evil confronts you. That the punishment of men is not a strong enough deterrent to do God’s will. Become that Non-Conformist believer. Don’t be weird and obnoxious, but truly represent the Kingdom that you come from and in that, never be ashamed.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God bless your heart. Have a productive week ahead.