Stand Firm/Love Well | What Happens in the Fire | Convictions
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.” Daniel 3:16
“Why not? What’s wrong with it?” We’ve all heard or said that at least once. It’s usually in reference to someone’s conviction about doing or not doing something the other person thinks is fine. What follows is often an awkward pause and a fumbling for the right words. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were prepared for that awkward pause. They knew there was no way this pagan king would understand or approve of their convictions, so they told him so. They did not need to defend themselves because it was God they wanted to please. If the Lord was pleased, the king’s approval was not necessary.
God’s commands recorded in scripture are not up for debate. However, as we live closer to Him, He softens our hearts and increases our sensitivity to things not specifically stated. As we follow Christ, we develop personal convictions about things that others may view as fine: “Why don’t you drink or wear those kinds of clothes?” “Why won’t you see that movie?” We know God has whispered to us about this subject, but obeying may draw attention. It helps to internalize this truth: “I don’t have to defend myself to the world.” A polite smile and a simple, “No thank you” is enough. We owe no one an explanation. When people press for a reason, we can share in more detail what God is teaching us but not as a means to judge them or seek their approval. If God is pleased, the world’s approval is not necessary.
Final Thought: What personal convictions has God given you? Are you honoring them or compromising to please others?
Prayer: Father, I remember long ago feeling convicted about certain things that I now do. You wanted to take me to a higher place with you, but I compromised and lost out. I want to be all you want me to be, so I recommit to those convictions. Amen.