THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD (10)
Sub-Theme: The Strong Belt of Truth
Topic: The word of Truth
Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount of Olives by saying, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall. For it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.
What would keep the man’s house from falling? The word of God he hears and obeys. To win any battle in life you have to know God’s word and live by it. His word is written out for us in the Bible.
Difficult times will surely come to everybody- the times from the above when the rain descended, the floods came and the wind blew. What determines whether one falls or stands strong in the face of these challenges is THE WORD OF GOD YOU KNOW and OBEDIENCE TO THIS WORD.
If you know and obey the word of God, then you will withstand the storms of life; the challenges of life will not consume you, rather they will make you stronger, you will walk through them and come out better, more matured in your faith. That is what the word of God does for you and me, as we read/study to obey it fully by God’s grace.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abadnego is very relevant in this very difficult time, where those who call on the name Jesus and following in His ways are facing many persecutions.
They were taken as slaves to serve king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Though being appointed as officials in his government, they maintained their strong faith in their God and obeyed His command rather than the contrary command of the king.
The king made a gigantic image of gold, and called to gather all his satraps, administrators, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image, which he has set up. When they had all arrived, and were standing before the monument, a herald shouted out, “O people of all nations and languages, this is the king’s command: that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music. You shall fall down and worship the gold image that the king has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” This sure sounds like where we are today, and where we are going to in this perilous time, where one is forced to compromise one’s faith and go with the wrong crowd.
Sure enough, all the people did as commanded, except for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abadnego who know the command of God that they should not bow to idols. They were reported to the king and the king was very furious with them for disobeying his orders. He gave them a second chance, saying, “now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down, and worship the image which I have made, good!, but if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. And who is the God who will deliver you from my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abadnego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up”
At this, the king who was full of furry commanded that the furnace be heated seven times more than it was usually heated. Then he commanded men who were in his army to bind the boys and cast them into the burning fiery furnace, because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abadnego. The boys were thrown into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
The king was astonished; he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, “did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” they answered and said, “True O king.” “Look!” he answered, “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 the Son of God.” Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abadnego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then they came out from the midst of the fire. The satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counsellors gathered, and they saw the men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not burnt nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “ blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abadnego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God. “ Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abadnego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abadnego in the province of Babylon.
Hmm, the whole decree changed, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abadnego is now the one to be worshipped and honoured not the gods and the golden image of the king as originally planned. All this because these men knew their God, trusted Him and obeyed Him even in a foreign land. Choosing to obey the command of their God against the command of such a powerful and influential leader. Note that they were promoted after the battle; this tells us that our great challenge/difficulty comes at the edge of our promotion. Many have aborted their outstanding promotion because of unbelief, lack of trust in God, which give rise to disobedience to God, they have chosen the way of mediocre instead.
Obeying God, even in battles and storms of life lies the victory. Even if the fire had burnt them to death, they still would have been victorious because their journey to heaven would have been hastened. It would have still been a win- win case, nothing lost at all. It is better over there.
You and I will definitely face our times of little and great challenges; trials, afflictions, temptations, when our faith is put to test, our resolve should be to stick to God’s word and standard no matter what is at stake. Choose to obey God over the quest for money, fame, positon etc., even unto death.
The test of our trust and obedience to the God we serve come in diverse ways… God has said to us not to fornicate, not to commit adultery, not to practice homosexuality, and all forms of sexual immorality, not to worship idols, not to lie, not to cheat, steal and the like. Do you trust Jesus to help you live in total obedience to His word? Or you ignore God’s command and live according to the dictates of your flesh and according to the expectations and lifestyles of the society?
God has given you and me all we need to live godly, fulfilled and a victorious life the choice is ours to make whether to hear and obey Him or not.
The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.
TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-18, Daniel 3:1- 30, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:11, 2Timothy 3:16.