Loyalty is not something we suddenly are at the flash-moment of testing. It's something we already were that surfaces in the test. Loyalty, therefore, means that when a sudden temptation poses a character question, if we have true conviction in that area, we do not have to consider how we'll answer it. Loyalty means the question has already been answered. ~ Beth Moore, Daniel Study
So right now I am in a Bible study and we are doing Beth Moore's study on the book of Daniel. Now typically the Old Testament I struggle with. It is alwasy way easier for me to read the New Testament than the Old. I am sure that is the way it is with a lot of believers.
But let me tell you....God is absolutely rocking my socks off with the book of Daniel.
I love how Beth Moore puts loyalty in the statement above. To have true conviction in the fire we have to already have our resolve made up and questions answered. We have to know how we will choose to act before the question is ever asked of us.
I am sure most of you know the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fire. Sure it is that typical story you are used to hearing when you are little and I have never gone too deep with it before.
But really.....I don't know how much more they could have displayed loyalty than in this circumstance. King Neb tells them that they must bow down or they will be thrown immediately into the furnace. Now they are looking two feet behind King Neb and they can SEE the furnace BLAZING. This is not just your typical campfire. They are looking at the very flames that threaten to consume them in mere minutes.
They don't hesitate. They don't deny God. They don't give in. And they definitely don't have a pow wow between the three of them to figure out what they are going to say. The know immediately that they will give their lives for the God they serve.
And it is obvious that they have made up their answer to this question well before this crucial moment.
They were prepared to be loyal. Amazing.
And not only were they loyal to a God that they knew could bring them out of the fire. But they were loyal even if he didn't.
"If it be SO, our God whom we serve is ABLE to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he will deliver us out of you hand, O king. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, let it be known to you, O king, that we are NOT going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
Daniel 3:17-18(emphasis mine)
Wow incredible. The kind of faith that it takes to know that just maybe God won't act the way you hope....but that it doesn't matter the outcome. You would risk your life for Him just the same.
Jesus...if I learn one thing in my life.....let this lesson stick. That I would stop being loyal to myself. And that my loyalty would go to the One who deserves it above all others. The One who is able to deliver me....whether he does or not.
I STRONGLY encourage you to pick up this Bible study....it is life changing.