Know the cost and don’t compromise
It's time for part 4 of our series on Daniel
It’s easy to compromise. Sex. Parties. Alcohol. Popularity. These are just some of the areas where it is tempting to think and behave like the rest of the world rather than how God would have us think and behave. Sport. Career. Possessions. These are good things that, like the rest of the world, we are tempted to turn into god-things. What will help you to not compromise in your life as a Christian?
In both Daniel 3 and Daniel 6, God’s people are called to compromise their faith in God by giving their total allegiance to Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are told that every time they have hear certain music they are to bow down and worship this massive gold statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar; if they don’t they will be thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-15). Likewise for Daniel, during the reign of King Darius, it was decreed that anyway who prayed to a god other than Darius would be thrown into the Lion’s den (Daniel 6:1-9).
What would you do in the circumstances? Maybe you could bow down to the statue, but on the inside say that you are worshipping the God of Israel? Or if you were Daniel, you could still pray to the God of Israel, but just do it in secret?
Dan and his mates didn’t compromise. They all knew that while they lived in Babylon, following God would be costly. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship a statue (3:16-23) and Daniel continued his normal practise of praying in public (6:10-18). They weren’t afraid of being different in Babylon and so continued to obey God, no matter what the consequences.
They all knew that their God is the “living God” (6:26) and he is able to rescue them: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (3:17-18) If God doesn’t rescue his people from strife in this life, God’s people can be certain that they are part of his kingdom that “will not be destroyed” (6:26). Knowing this enabled them to trust God and not compromise their faith in him.
Jesus makes it clear that following him will be costly (Luke 9:23-26). Paul says that it’s normal for godly Christians to be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Peter says we shouldn’t be surprised by painful trials in the Christian life (1 Peter 4:12-14). Count the cost of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Know that you’re part of a kingdom that will NEVER BE DESTROYED. And therefore, don’t compromise! Know the cost.