Unconditional Obedience

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17–18, NASB95)

Ultimate faith is demonstrated by unconditional obedience. It takes great faith to take a stand for God. It takes greater faith to speak out for God in the face of adversity. It takes the greatest faith to obey and serve God unconditionally, knowing that you will suffer hardships or even death.

Three young adults, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, faced the ultimate challenge. They were publicly commanded to follow the king’s order to bow and worship the king’s image or die. This command was a clear violation of God’s commands against idolatry in the Decalogue. All the people of the land were compelled to fall on their knees and pay homage to the idol whenever they heard the down of an orchestra. The law stipulated that those who would not obey the command would be burned alive. Everyone in the land was following the law except the three young adults who, in turn, were singled out for their faith by their enemies. If you were in their position, what would you do? Would you bend a knee at the command of a king who is clearly asking you to violate God’s Word and save your life? Or would you take a stand and unconditionally obey God’s Word out of obedience to God, personal conviction, and faith?

Before you say, “I will never have to make that choice” think again. Everyone at some level will have to make that choice. It may not be a life or death decision. It may be a decision that will cost you a job, family member, or relationship. Life as a Christ-follower will become harder because of the world’s depravity that challenges our faith and obedience to God. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NASB95) Consider how many of the disciples of Jesus had to make that choice only to suffer a martyr’s death. Think about Steven in Acts 7 who had to make that choice; also, Polycarp, Huss, Tyndall, Wycliffe, and Jim Elliot all had to make that choice to follow God rather than man and were put to death.

As the days grow darker, the enemy will become more embolden in his attacks against the church and those who have faith in God, forcing believers to make a life or death decision? What will you do? Will, you unconditionally choose to obey God, or will you bend a knee to the world. Consider Jesus’ words and make the right choice, ““For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25, NASB95)

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