Standing Under Intense Pressure:
Around 605 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar had a huge golden statue made and erected in Babylon. He then commanded that all people should fall down and worship the statue when the signal was given. Most everyone did this, since the consequences for refusing were to be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. There were three men, however, that refused to bow to the golden statue because of their loyalty to the Lord God of Israel. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The king was furious when he learned of their defiance of the decree, and called the three to appear before him. Then, he gave them one last chance to bow before the statue, reminding them of the fate awaiting if they refused, and pompously flaunting his power by asking them what god could possibly save them from a fiery furnace.
Have you ever been faced with death, loss of a job, loss of a love one, divorce, calamity or living in distress? I bring you good news today. Just as the three Hebrew men were faced with an eternal sentence of death, many of us are in the same situation and circumstances.
Cast into prison for not bowing down to the King’s god and the King’s demand left the three Hebrew men with only one option and that option was to continue believing that the living God of Israel would came to their defense. Because of their disobedience to the King’s demand the King commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
Do you feel like you are under fire? You are be bombarded with money issues, down sizing, children rebelling, disturbances on the job, conflicts with family, turmoil every where, drama with the ex, pressure from co-workers, or challenges in ministry? What ever the case may be, you find yourself in the furnace of affliction. You know the old saying if it ain’t one thing it’s another.
Just as the King offered the three Hebrew men another opportunity to bow down, you will be given another opportunity to either stand for what you believe or give way to the demands of the oppressor. What will you do? Here is what the King said “Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
For the people of God there can not be any compromise. We must absolutely without doubt stand up for righteousness and defend the Gospel. Paul put like this: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God's power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 amp)What ever situation you find yourself facing, you have the ability to stand and endure.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king [saw and] was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered, True, O king.” (Daniel 3:24 KJV)
Know this that the enemy is watching you to see if you are going to crumble and buckle under the difficulty. He’s looking to see if you can handle the heat and how you are going to respond. He is hoping you die under the pressure. The enemy is trying to desperately break your spirit. He’s hoping you give up, and doubt what God is going to do.
“He answered, Behold, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” (Daniel 3:25 KJV)
God is ready to loose you from the hand of the enemy; from bondage to light; loose you from those grave clothes; loose you from sin; loose you from everything that binds you. Loose the shackles, chains, restraints. As long as God is with you, you will walk through every adversity, trial, test, tribulation, hard ship, attack, setback and so forth. The enemy must get his grip off you. David said it like this: Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Ps 23:1 KJV)
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! And they set aside the king's command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. (Daniel 3:28 KJV) If you stand firm in the midst of the fire, God will promote you! We may not like the place that we are in, it might be rough, and tight, everything is coming at you, and the test might have intensified but hold your position, hold your ground, stand firm for you shall see the salvation of the Lord.
Minister Paulette Harper
Author of “That Was Then, This Is Now”
Co-Author "Victorious Living for Women""