“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:18)
Do you look up to these three men, do you admire Gideon for his courage, Joshua for his heart to serve, Paul willing to be imprisoned and die for the Lord? Do you look up to them, or do you look over towards them?
I will not say that we can be the equal of those who came before us, for they were empowered in ways that is more than rare today, the circumstances are always the same though, the Almighty is searching for those who are willing to stand for Him, no matter the possible consequences to themselves.
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18)
It is, in part, the reason for the dark days that we are approaching, not so the Lord can see how you are going to react to them, but so that who you truly are can be revealed to you. There are those who are born-again, serving with joy and gladness of heart, and always for the glory of the Lord our God, and there are those that Hebrews 11:38a speaks of even in these days. “Of whom the world was not worthy.”
Which one you want to be can only be answered by you, and if you will look into your soul, you will reveal the truthful answer to yourself.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2nd Tim 3:12)
But how godly and at what cost to yourself is the question for you today.
The Holy Spirit promised to Paul that in nearly every town he went to he would be persecuted in some way for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those in Ephesus were sorrowful when he said, “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” (Acts 20:25) And then he left to continue his journeys. He knew in every town some form of pain was going to come upon him, and he went anyway.
It did not matter to Daniel’s three friends if they died that day or not, they were going to stand.
Do you want to continue admiring those who came before us, or do you want to stand as they did? I am not saying that the Lord will honor your request in these matters, He will do with us as He sees best, I am not saying that you should pray to be imprisoned, to be tortured, to be sawn asunder for His glory. What I am saying is that if He asks you to, will you?
It is just as easy for me to sit here and write these words to you as it is for you to read them, no one is breaking down your door to arrest you for being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. At least not at this moment.
“The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” (Luke 12:53)
Informants are what they are called, those who work for them who want to have their way followed. In the first century followers of the Lord Jesus Christ were called “Those of the Way,” because there is only one way to the Father, through Him.
What do you desire? How much of Christ do you want? Are you honestly willing to say with Paul, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Phil. 3:10) Are you prepared for serious persecutions?
If you have witnessed for our Lord to others, you already know persecutions, perhaps some of you reading this short letter more than others, perhaps He has allowed pain to be your constant companion. How close you want to get to the throne will tell you how much you are willing to suffer for Him whom you say you love.