I’m sure we all remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel 3:19-21. 3 young Jewish captives in Babylon who would not bow down to the image that Nebuchadnezzar set up to be worshipped.
Think about it. A huge crowd of people who when the signal was given bowed down to this image leaving these 3 young Jewish men standing up in the middle of a crowd of people who were all face down to the ground. The thought “sticking out like a sore thumb” certainly comes to mind here.
No way to hide, they were busted. And yet they stood their ground and refused to worship.
They were faced with death in the Fiery Furnace. And yet they told Nebuchadnezzar that while they believed that God could and would save them out of the fire they also concluded that “But if Not…” they were willing to die if God decided not to save them out of it rather than worship the image.
I wish we had all had more of this spiritual character both lay members and ministers when the Apostasy began. The situation might have been much different if we had the spiritual courage to do the right thing immediately as these 3 Jewish slaves did. There was no thought of losing a paycheck or a retirement. No thought of where would we worship with other brethren. No just immediate action on their part. They continued to stand up in the middle of the prostrated crowd, becoming a spectacle to those around them and a target for who were waiting for them to do just that.
How do we have that kind of character. A Christian writer once produced a list of characteristics that revealed a “Spiritual Man” a man of Spiritual character like these three;
- A spiritual man has a prevailing desire to holy rather than be happy.
- A spiritual man has a desire to see the honor of God advanced in his life even if it means that he may have to suffer temporary dishonor and loss.
- A spiritual man wants to carry his cross.
- A spiritual man sees everything from God’s viewpoint.
- A spiritual man would rather die right than live wrong.
- A spiritual man desires to see others advance at his expense.
- A spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments.
Do you notice that it was all about focus on God and His Kingdom rather that what was around him. If we are truly focused on these things then major problems like they endured can be dealt with because in reality we have already made the decision to follow God no matter what. Even the small problems that we encounter with our brethren or ministry can be given to God to handle with the attitude of these young men; “But if Not…..)
Spiritual Courage is not really an act or something that is given to you or “worked up”. Courage is a decision made before hand to follow God regardless of appearances. Because of that you must be prepared ahead of time to make the “right” decision when the time comes.
This preparedness comes having already developed your relationship with God and Christ and focusing your entire self on the Kingdom. You can’t do that at the last moment you must have already committed yourself in order to have that “Spiritual Courage” available to you when you need it.
Use this time preparing for the Passover to truly re-commit yourself to accepting and following Christ. Focus on the truths that we have learned and the calling we have been given so that the Zeal we need to truly repent and put sin out of our lives so that we can begin to live “Holy” lives and be a light to this “dark” world.
Understand this brethren:
- The devil doesn’t care how much we preach . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how much we sing . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how spiritual we are . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how much doctrine we have . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how much prayer we have . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how much structure we have . . . just don’t let them get together.
- The devil doesn’t care how many are here . . . just don’t let them get together.
On that day, three men who got together ended up ruling the day. You need to know that when two or three get together, someone will show up in the midst of the fire!
Christ is Knocking on the door to our minds and hearts. Rev 3:20 He is prepared to feed us and to be with us no matter the problems around us. We have to open that door to Him. This is what He desires from us in this end time ERA of the church. The total commitment of the truly Spiritual Man who is always prepared to stand up and say: But if Not………….