Living a Stand-up Life in a Bow-down World
“Be on your guard; stand ﬁrm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV
“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial ofﬁcials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial ofﬁcials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, ﬂute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, ﬂute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” Daniel 3:1-7 NIV
“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up. Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? I’ll give you one more chance. When the music plays, if you fall down and worship the statue, all will be well. But if you refuse, you will be thrown into a ﬂaming furnace within the hour. And what god can deliver you out of my hands then?” Daniel 3:12-15 NIV/TLB
✓ Standing ﬁrm takes courage.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.” Daniel 3:16 NIV
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is standing ﬁrm in spite of my fear.
✓ Standing ﬁrm takes faith.
“If we are thrown into the ﬂaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected.” Daniel 3:17-18 TLB
If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar was ﬁlled with fury and his face became dark with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He commanded that the furnace be heated up seven times hotter than usual, and called for some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and throw them into the ﬁre. So they bound them tight with ropes and threw them into the furnace, fully clothed. And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot ﬁre in the furnace, the ﬂames leaped out and killed the soldiers as they threw them in! So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell down bound into the roaring ﬂames. But suddenly, as he was watching, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisors, “Didn’t we throw three men into the furnace?” “Yes,” they said, “we did indeed, Your Majesty.” “Well, look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the ﬁre, and they aren’t even hurt by the ﬂames! And the fourth looks like the son of god! Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the open door of the ﬂaming furnace and yelled: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God! Come out! Come here!” So they stepped out of the ﬁre. Then the princes, governors, captains, and counselors crowded around them and saw that the ﬁre hadn’t touched them—not a hair of their heads was singed; their coats were unscorched, and they didn’t even smell of smoke!” Daniel 3:19-27 NIV
✓ Standing ﬁrm inspires others.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and deﬁed the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:28-30 NIV
Be a voice, not an echo.
1. Stand in prayer.
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes... Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand ﬁrm then... and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:11, 13-14 NIV
2. Stand for my purpose.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand ﬁrm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV
3. Stand for God.
“Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 MSG
“Where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1 NIV
“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56 NIV
When I stand, Jesus stands with me.