Most of what God requires is so easy and beneficial that we obey without even thinking about it. A smaller number of commands require discipline, commitment, accountability groups—some intentional decisions and maintenance. But periodically, the leader finds they are backed into a corner. That’s when it’s crunch time: “Obey God and lose the deal,” “Obey God and kill the chance for a promotion.” For these three young men it was, “Obey God and lose your life.”

For Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—and for all of us—obedience at that level requires a clear conviction. At that level, obedience is never based on what’s at stake, what’s to be gained or lost. It is only based on what’s real. To these three men the furnace was real. The threat on their life was real. The choice they faced was real. But, more importantly, so was the sovereign God.

For these three young men, this issue was highly focused. Although two conflicting orders were given, the issue wasn’t so much “What was the order?” but “Who gave it?” For these three, the order of a king who could take their lives would never take precedence over the will of Almighty God. Their story of courage has inspired untold numbers of believers who have faced the fire—both literally and figuratively—over the centuries. Let their courage work its way into your life as well.

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