“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego 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.””
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV
God is trying to tell me something. Over the last few months, a message has come through to me from the Scriptures. He reminds me daily that I am His and that I do not belong to the world. He reminds me also of the opposition that I face as I resist the coercion of the world, seeking to press me into its sinful mold.
I read the familiar story of Daniel’s friends, disobeying the king, and being cast into the fiery furnace. I read of the great victory, as they withstood the pressure, went into the furnace and were protected by “One like the Son of God.”
As I read, I rejoiced in the this reminder of the victory that we New Testament believers can have in Christ. As I read further this morning, I encountered a note of caution. The evil one does not give up so easily, as He prowls about looking for openings, moments of lapse, when he follower of Christ is not alert.
Very often we are at our most vulnerable when when we have had a victory, when we have resisted a given temptation, and begin to wax proud, thinking that we had something to do with that escape from the temptation to sin.
Peter cautions younger believers, whether they be in age or spiritual age, to humble themselves before the elders, for they have gone before and have the experience to remain steadfast against the devil.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
I Peter 5:6-11 NKJV
I can’t tell how many times I have experienced escape from sin only to turn and stumble. The devil is always lurking for an opportunity, and providing temptation upon temptation. If something, or someone comes into your life, and you sense that it is not of God, that is the Holy Spirits way of alerting you to be on guard.
It is crucial to withstand the pressure of the world. Often those who are applying the pressure are also watching to see how you respond. They are looking to see if the God you follow is truly worthy.
Going back to Daniel chapter 3, the move of God accompanying the young men in the fiery trial was a get testimony for Nebuchadnezzar, as he too gave glory to God.
“Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, 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 Abed-Nego 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.””
Daniel 3:28-29 NKJV
Resisting the devil in the face of temptation is the hallmark of one saved by the blood of the Lamb.
Brothers and sisters, let us go and be the ones who withstand the wiles of he devil, keeping the salvation of those watching in mind. We are the ambassadors of the God of Heaven, bringing the good news. Let us be humble, not thinking too highly of our selves.
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
Romans 12:3 NKJV
Humility keeps our hearts in check, and useful to God, and also maintains peace in the body, as the Lord has given each of us a calling and a ministry.
As I have been brought low, I have found that it is easier to resist the wiles and machinations of the evil one. I know that I am weak, and require the constant, unrelenting grace of God to survive.
Be steadfast and humble in victory, that the devil not have a means of bring about your stumbling, casting shade on the Gospel of Jesus.