Can't Afford to Bow!
July 1, 2014
Daniel 3:1-30

~~King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image and he called all the princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs and rulers of provinces to the dedication of the image. The command was that any time all the people heard the music, they must fall down to worship the golden image the king made. The decree was made that whosoever did not fall or bow to this image was to be thrown into the fiery furnace.

Certain Chaldeans went to the king and informed him that there were certain Jews in his kingdom who did not respect him; they refused to serve his gods and worship his golden image. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The king was enraged and asked that these men be brought before him. He asked, "Is it trued.... that ye do not serve my gods, nor worship my golden image?" What he was saying was, “How can you mere “slaves” disobey the command of your “master?  I do not believe you refused to bow to my image. I do not believe that you refused to serve my gods even after I gave a command to the whole nation. I do not believe you have the nerve and audacity to go against my word even though thousands are bowing to the same image. I do not believe only the three of you are bold enough to disobey my words." I do not believe you refused to compromise even though you are aware of the consequences of your actions. I do not and still cannot believe...."

Yes, he did not understand and he could not believe it! Imagine thousands of men bowed to this one image and in their midst three men standing!! If you stand for something, you will never bow for anything! If you bow for anything, you will never stand for anything. How could so many give in and only three do the opposite? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not the only Hebrews in Babylon at the time of this decree, but they were the only ones who did not bow.  In Daniel 3:15, the king said if they changed their minds and bowed to the image, it would be well with them, but if not, they would be cast into the fire. He went further to say, “…And who is that God that will deliver you from my hand?” What the king failed to understand was that because they refused to bow, it was already well with them. What he did not understand was that the God that would deliver them out of his hands is the same God he (Nebuchadnezzar) and his people would eventually bow down to; worship and praise.

Just as God revealed Himself to the Egyptians in Exodus 14:27, he had to reveal Himself to this king as the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:29). The unfortunate thing was that the Egyptians saw the God of the Israelites in action, they did not live to testify about it. It is the same God that revealed Himself to the prophets of Baal as the God who answers by fire. He had to reveal Himself to this heathen king and he would have to testify to the greatness of Jehovah!  It is time for God to be revealed by our actions that glorify Him and testimonies in our lives! God will reveal Himself to people who are watching and thinking you will fail or fall. They will testify to the greatness of you God in Jesus’ name.

According to the Webster’s dictionary, to bow means to bend the knee or body or incline the head, as in reverence, submission, salutation, recognition, or acknowledgment, to yield or submit. These men said “We are not careful to defend ourselves in this matter…” In other words there is nothing to argue about when it comes to who we will bow our heads to. We will not give it a second thought. We will not argue about it or defend ourselves. Our minds are made up. We will not bow. We will not turn back. We will not give in or give out. We will step up and step out. Whether or not our God delivers us, we will not bow! We do not even have to think about it. Even though everyone else has done it, we will not. We will not compromise. We will rather die than live to compromise. Even if you turn on the fire, we will not bow. If you like, turn up the fire, we still will not bow. Dying is an option. The fire is an option, but bowing is not an option! We will not reverence, submit, salute, recognize, acknowledge or yield to any other god! When the king heard this, he was enraged and he told his servants to turn the fire up seven more times, bind the three Hebrew boys and throw them into this fire. When they were thrown in the fire, some amazing things happened:

• The men who threw them in were scorched to death.
• The king saw three men loosed and walking in the midst of the fire and a fourth man that He said looked like the Son of God walking with them.

Amazing, isn’t it? Even a heathen king recognized the Son of God! God opened his eyes to see what He had not seen before, “God in action!” If the devil asks, “Will you bow?” Your answer must be, “I will not bow. I can’t afford to bow. There is too much at stake.” Unbelievers must see my God in action. People must see and know that there are still some of us who will not dine with the enemy. Unbelievers must know and see that there are still some remnants that will not “kiss up” because of that promotion. They must see and know that there still some remnants that will boldly say, “No, we can’t afford to bow!” They must know that there is only one GOD. They must know that there is only one CHRIST, Jesus Christ. They must know that there is only one WAY, Jesus Christ!

Can you be trusted not to bow in the face of adversity? Can you be trusted to step up when others are stepping down? Can you be trusted to stand up while others are bowing? Can you be trusted to look up while others are looking down? Can you stand alone to righteousness? There are more with us than there are with them. There were three men bound and thrown into the fire, but guess what? A fourth man appeared and was seen loosed in it. How could that be possible? There are more with us than there are with them. How could Samson use the jaw bone of an ass to kill 1000 Philistines (Judges 15:15)?  There are more with us than there are with them. How could Gideon’s 300 men fight and defeat a host of Midianites (Judges 7)? There are more with us than there are with them. Surely, there are more with us that there are with them. Can you believe that?

Don’t quit believing that the word is true. Don’t quit believing that the word is alive and real. Don’t quit believing that God is ABLE. Yes, He is able. Yes, He is true. Yes, He is God. Yes, there is nothing impossible by Him. Yes, He still delivers, saves, heals and sets free. He is still God all by Himself; there is no controversy; He is GOD in heaven and here on Earth.  I have made up my mind, “If I perish, I perish; I will not bow. I will not bow to money, riches or wealth. I will not bow to position. I will not bow to sin. I will not bow to fame, fortune and influence. I will not bow to the enemy. I will not serve my enemy. I will not sell my soul to the devil. I will not……..”

May be you have bowed in the last year, last month, last week or maybe you bowed yesterday. Don’t stay down. Get up and refuse to compromise. Get up and refuse to ever bow again. The sin is not in bowing, it is continuing to bow even after you have read this message. If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. If you want what you have never gotten, you must do what you have never done. If you want to see what you have never seen, you must do what you have never done. You must refuse to bow again. You must refuse to go down that path again.

I declare in the name of Jesus, that the hand of the Lord will rest upon you. The Spirit of the Lord will strengthen and uphold you. You will not serve your enemies again in Jesus’ name. The devil will not make you a laughing stock. You are head you will never be tail. You are first you will never be last. You are a champion; the enemy will not defeat or oppress you again. There are more with you than there are with them. The Lord will reveal Himself to your mockers. You will not be put to shame. He will make you a show piece before them. Your testimony will bring many to Jesus. He will not leave you or forsake. Your testimony will make the ears of believers and unbeliever tingle in Jesus’ name. AMEN.


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