When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with an ultimatum, they did not flinch. Nebuchadnezzar gave them a choice. Worship the statue or burn. Their response was quite impressive – “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.
This historical event reminds us that true, Biblical faith is unconditional. Circumstances do not determine whether or not God’s people will do what God wants. Unconditional love produces unconditional faith. Jesus did not say to the Father that there were certain things He would not do. He did not say that there were only certain situations under which He would obey the Father’s will. Jesus and the Father are, were, and always will be ONE (John 10:30). In order to be children of God, the same must be true for us.
Ask yourself if your love for God is conditional or unconditional. Ask yourself if your faith in practice is conditional or unconditional. Three Hebrew men in the book of Daniel taught by example that we have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves completely obedient. But they also taught us that it is possible to do what God wants regardless of the situation.
“Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” ~ Hebrews 5:8-9
-Jeremiah Tatum preaches for the Willow Avenue Church of Christ in Cookeville, TN