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|Christian Obedience||JULY 21|
"My God sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths.". . . So Daniel was lifted out and no trace of injury was found on him, because he had put his faith, in his God. Dan. 6:22-24, N.E.B.
No one respects a coward. Whatever else a man may not have, if he has courage he is able to salvage something of his life. These days it takes moral courage to live right. The time will surely come when you will have to stand alone for what you believe.
Daniel and the three Hebrews in Babylon were no followers of the crowd. They did not ascertain first how the others were going to vote before they made up their mind on the stand they intended to take. These men were right. The rest were dead wrong.
Why did not the lions devour Daniel? Why did not the fire consume Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Ask God about that. They lived close to God, so close as to make them independent of men. The Bible tells the fate of two cities where evil and immorality had become their trademark—Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember! Ask God about that, too. Under the rule of Adolph Hitler, millions of Jews were destroyed. Multitudes of decent religious people closed their eyes, their noses, and their ears. They were unwilling to take a stand while there was time. Then it was too late. A Christian has no right to back down on moral issues at any time. We can always be in the right when we do what God wants us to do.
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (1 John 1:6). What is the true test of fellowship with God? It is quite simple. "He that doeth righteousness is righteous" (chap. 3:7). He that has the fruit of the Spirit is born of the Spirit.
Daniel and his fellows did something for all of us who have come after. When many others acceded to pagan worship, they stood firm. Because they were true and faithful and strong by God's strength, the cause of God became more triumphant in the earth. God's presence in life is more real to us because they lived. Their courage and integrity can be ours, too, as we walk with God. Faithfulness to our Lord, certainty of divine strength, victory over all our enemies—all this belongs to us.
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