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BE ON FIRE FOR GOD

June 2, 2024

SERMON SERIES: STANDING STRONG IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD

Book of Daniel

SERMON # 3: BE ON FIRE FOR GOD

Daniel 3:1-30


When we grew and began to know Christ in a personal way, many of us began to experience pressure being applied on our walk with God by the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Many of us have come to know the truth that this thing called the Christian life is difficult!  We have discovered we are at odds with the world and how they live, Rom. 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” KJV We are at odds with the devil and what he wants, 1 Pet. 5:8.  Also, we are even at odds with the flesh we live in and what it wants to do, Gal. 5:17. 

With all this conflict, there comes the temptation to conform to all the influences around us and go the way of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  And we tend to be caught up in this worldly environment!  We see churches, homes, families, and individuals who have left the high road of separation and have sold out to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

No one can escape the fiery trials of life.  No person can escape the troubles or problems of life.  Every one of us experiences adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, grief, hardship, sorrow, unhappiness, misfortune, and pain.  Sooner or later all of us face hard times.  In such times, we need a strong, steadfast faith and submission to God!

That is why this story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is so relevant and needed today.  These men teach us a valuable lesson on hoe to BE ON FIRE FOR GOD!  Let’s look at three steps that will help us BE ON FIRE FOR GOD!

 

I.               BE DIFFERENT v. 1-7


It looks like Nebuchadnezzar was not content with Daniel’s interpretation in chapter 2 and wanted to establish his own kingdom forever.  He made an image of solid gold.  He set himself as a god to be worshipped.  He made a decree for all people to bow.  Those people who disobeyed were to be sentenced to a death by fire in a furnace.  Shadrach, Meshach and, Abednego were in a serious dilemma.  To be different, there were three specific areas of temptations they had to overcome.  As Christians, we face these temptations in our world today.

 

1.     Temptation of guarding their position – The temptation to look after self and guard their personal interests.  They may have been tempted to say, “AFTER ALL, WE ARE IN POSITIONS OF GREAT INFLUENCE IN THE KINGDOM, 2:49.

2.    Temptation to avoid persecution – in verse 6, anyone who doesn’t bow will be burned!  They may have said, “A living dog is better than a dead lion!  Isn’t it better to be a living coward than a dead hero?

3.    Temptation to conform to their peers – There was the temptation to be like everyone else.

Whether these Hebrew boys face such temptations or not is purely a matter of speculation.  Now let’s look at why these young men were different.

A.   Be separated - Shadrach, Meshach Abednego were willing to be different from everyone else.  There aren’t many in our society who are willing to be different.

B.    Take a stand – While everyone else was bowing down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, these young men were standing straight as arrows.

 

If you want to be on fire for God, BE DIFFERENT.

 

II.             BE DETERMINED v. 8-18

 

When the three Hebrew boys refused to bow before the statue, the Chaldeans were jealous of them anyhow, they ran and told Nebuchadnezzar.  As a result, Nebuchadnezzar seems to have cool down and offered the Hebrew boys a second chance to bow down!  While they chose to be different when they were in the crowd, here they choose to be determined when they stand in the presence of the king.  Their determination stands as an example to each of us today.

They were determined:

A.   In spite of incrimination v. 8-12 – According to these verses, the Hebrew boys were accused of being enemies of this king.  It is true that they would not worship an idol, but they were faithful servants of the king.  However, where the king’s commands violated the commands of God, they chose God’s way over man’s way! 

They were determined

B.    In spite of interrogation v. 13-14 – Nebuchadnezzar seems to offer these boys a second chance to bow just in front of him, where no one else will see them do it yet, they stood determined to stand for the Almighty God! 

 

There will be times when the world will try to pin us down about what we believe.  They will try to tighten the screws on us to make us squirm but stand!

 

Do you want to be on fire for God?  THEN BE DIFFERENT AND BE DETERMINED.

 

III.           BE DELIVERED v. 19-30

 

A.   Delivered to the flames v. 19-23

B.    Delivered in the flames v. 24-25 – Why didn’t the Lord spare them from the fire?  He got more glory in sparing them through the fire.  While in the fire they met the Lord who protected them and taught the king a valuable lesson Who was truly God.  Brothers and Sisters, God may let you go into the fire as you go through life, but you can rest on His Promise in Heb. 13:5.

C.    Delivered after the flames v. 28-30 – After the king got them out of the furnace. 

1.    He praised the God of the three men.

2.    He issued a special decree prohibiting anyone from speaking against the three young men.

3.    He promoted the three friends of Daniel.

By the way, the enemies you make by taking a stand will have more respect for you than the friends you make straddling the fence!

Let’s face it, there are times when we are faced with fire!  If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we backed down instead of facing the flame.  Let’s be like the three Hebrew boys and BE ON FIRE FOR GOD!

 

Responsive Reading: Daniel 3:13-18

 

 

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