But If You Refuse…

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The ultimatum.

Three young men stood before the most powerful man on earth, under guard, muscles tense, adrenaline pumping as their lives hung by a thread. Then the king said, “If you refuse to bow down to the statue, you will be thrown into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”

Stunning, isn’t it? Of course, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego knew where their allegiance stood.


They knew that even though their circumstances were grossly unfair, and it would be reasonable to just do a little outward conformity in order to fight another day, they knew a cosmic line had been crossed. Sustaining physical life required spiritual death, but they were not going to sell out.

My ultimatums don’t come in the form of the Great King Nebudchadnezzar threatening to throw me into the furnace. Yet, his sinister question still surfaces in the toilsome aspects of the day-to-day. “Bow down, give in to fleshly desires, jealousy, and ambition. If you don’t, what god will be able to rescue you from Loneliness? Fear? Failure?”

And day in and day out, it is my choice. Do I recognize that the cosmic line has been crossed? Nope. Not always. But, when the Holy Spirit shows me that I’ve been presented with such an ultimatum, it’s my choice.

May God grant me the grace to live spiritually alive trusting that my God is able to save me, even if I must be thrown into circumstances I dread. I have His promise that He will be in the midst of that furnace with me.

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