BY REV. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Daniel 3:30
Chapter three, verse 30 of the book of Daniel simply tells us that the king gave three young men a promotion. Most of us know promotions aren’t easy to come by. There are some jobs where no matter how hard you work and try impressing the boss, promotions just aren’t rewarded.
However, this part of the Bible explains how one is expected to act in order to receive the favor of God and the promise He has made to all of us in exalting and lifting us up using the metaphor of promotions.
The writer James in chapter 4, verse 10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” In the book of Colossians 3:23, Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Lastly we find in Psalms 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
In addition to these three reference points of scripture, there are many more encouraging us to be faithful, obedient and relentless in the laws of the Lord. If we are steadfast in this attitude and behavior, we will be rewarded and promoted as God sees fit. The best thing about promotion of God is that no one can do anything to reverse it. This particular story of these three young men we see in the third chapter of Daniel shows us exactly that. Because these three Jewish boys showed an enormous amount of persistence in their course of action and God given purpose, they were rewarded with a promotion from someone who had tried to kill them just 20 verses earlier (Verse 20).
How does something like that happen? How can I place myself in line to receive that type of favor? I’m glad you asked! God looks for the opportunity to turn your haters into helpers. He looks for the opportunity to make your enemies your foot stool. What holds us back is our willingness to execute the faith, perseverance, determination and relentless behavior we have buried deep down inside of us in keeping God first, regardless of what challenges we face. When we are intimidated by opposition, we are telling God, “You may have created this world and all that I see, but I don’t think you are big enough to help me out of this issue. As a result of my lack of faith, I’m just going to go along to get along.”
When you think like that, not only is it disappointing, it is embarrassing to your guardian who has brought you this far. Why should He be greeted with doubt from his own child who He brought through challenge after challenge?
In the scripture, King Nebuchadnezzar was furious when these three boys decided to stand for what was right and never bow down or worship kings. Even when their lives were threatened, the three believed God would deliver them (verse 17). Because of their steadfastness, the king threw these boys into a fiery furnace that should have killed them instantaneously. But instead, the Bible says that not one hair on their head was out of place. The king, amazed by what he saw, recognized true power and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent an angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.”
This story represents the outcome for you today— receiving the promotion that has been on reserve for you after you overcome the temptations and pressures you may receive in this world from friends, colleagues and even family. God will place you first if you place Him first. Don’t allow others to move you further away from your promotion. Even when others may become angry, mad or upset with your decisions due to your belief, don’t let that deter you from your focus. It is your faith and perseverance that will eventually lead you to your promotion.
God Bless you!
177-06 129th Ave, Jamaica NY 11434
Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org