"Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:4-6
The people of God are citizens of two worlds. God commands His people to be model citizens by obeying the civil laws and paying required taxes.
This is normally easy to do but where it gets tricky is when the laws of man come into direct conflict with the law of God. When man-made laws require you to contradict the clearly stated law of God, the follower of Christ must obey God's law. That decision has cost millions of Christians great suffering, deprivation and even death.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ran head first into the decrees of a delusional king who exalted himself to the status of a god by demanding all people to worship his nine-story golden image.
Their reaction to this decree by Nebuchadnezzar was a resolute but respectfully reply, "We will not bow even if we have to burn."
As Christ-followers in 2012 America, we should take heed of how these Hebrews responded since we have a Chief Executive who seems determined to challenge the authority of God through his attacks on religious freedom and marriage. For nearly 250 years the First Amendment has protected religious freedom from the intrustion of governmental power. And over 6,000 years of human history marriage has been been understood as a divinely sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman.
What are we to do if our President persists in theses attacks and decides to bring all the force and power of the US Government to force churches to drop their objections against abortion? And how are we to respond if he increases the pressure to accept gay marriages as equal to traditional marriage between one man and one woman?
Like the Three Hebrews, you and I may see the day when we say, "I respectfully refuse to comply." And like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego you and I must also be prepared to face the consequences of civil disobedience.
When those in authority turn the nation against the laws of God and the will of God, the people of God will feel the heat. Heat comes from pressure and from friction, and when the laws of our nation stand in opposition to the laws of God we must stand with God and against the law. Doing so will create friction and pressure and we will feel the heat.
How are you to stand up in the midst of that heat? You must have a fire in your soul that is greater than the heat from without! Do you have that? You will need it. It will be hard to stand for God without it.
Will you take your spiritual temperature? Will you stir the embers in your soul and refuel the fire of passion for God?
Over the next four days I will be sharing how you can develop a fireproof faith that will enable you to stand against the heat we may face in the coming years.