Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up,” Daniel 3:16-18, ESV.
Be careful where you worship. No, I am not talking about which church you attend, or what type of service it is. Although those both are important, (and should be checked against the Holy Scriptures to be sure they are pleasing in His sight), I am referring to the altar of your heart. When you visit with the Lord in the throne room of your heart—who sits there? When you drop to your knees as a sign of submission, who sits above you? The easy, “church” answer is an indignant, “God the Father, of course!” or “Jesus Christ—duh!” But, what is the true answer? When playing church is stripped away, when you are alone and no one else is around, or when everyone is around and you are standing in the middle of the church congregation—where do you worship? Do you face the altar of convenience? Culture? Society? Security? Status? Success?
So many of us who have grown up in the church are seeking for a deeper, truer relationship with God; we try hard to cast off “the list” of do’s and don’ts to find something better. But then, living by faith gets hard, and we settle for “somewhat satisfied.” We have to keep pressing on—we have to refuse to worship the idols that are obstacles, even if it means a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were careful where they worshiped. When everyone else around them bowed to an idol, they stood. When criticized and threatened for their decision, they didn’t back down. They put their hearts on the line, and God showed up in a big way for them. They were careful where they worshiped in a world of compromise and anti-God culture. Even in their positions of leadership, they remembered who their King was and they worshiped only at His feet. And remember what happened in the fire? Yes, we know Jesus showed up in the flames—but I cannot help but allow my imagination to enjoy this scene just a little. What do you think they did in those flames? Do you think they discussed the politics of their day? Do you think they talked about their positions or their culture? No, I am pretty sure they worshiped. Be careful where you place your allegiance today, and every day. Worship God and God alone, and then be absolutely awed when He not only brings you through the fire, but He shows up “huge” in the midst!
Thought-provoker: Who, or what, is sitting on the throne of your heart today? Take time to be honest with God and if He is not on your heart throne, will you remove the idol and put God back in His rightful place?
Lord, thank You that You are Who we worship! Help us be careful to worship as we should. Amen.