It all started back when this kid named Daniel and his 3 homies, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego decided to follow the Lord. They were in this group of teens picked by King Nebuchadnezzar to be taught and instructed for 3 years so he could choose the best and smartest ones of them to serve in his kingdom. (Daniel 1:4-7)
The Lord blessed these guys big-time for putting Him first, and after 3 years, the king (weíll just call him Neb) picked them out of the whole line-up of strong young men. They were tested, and turned out 10 times smarter than all the other guys! (Dan. 1:19+20) They had special skills, and Daniel even knew how to figure out what dreams and visions meant. (how cool is that). (Dan. 1:17)
"I want these guys to serve me!" Neb decided.
Time passed, and everything was going cool. But eventually, Neb had a dream that no one could interpret but Daniel. Neb saw how the Lord worked through Dan and made him a great man.
"It is true that your God is a God of gods, a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, seeing that you could reveal this secret." Neb told Daniel.
He gave him all kinds of gifts and made him ruler over all of Babylon and the chief of the governors over all the wise men. He was the top dog! And Dan chose his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to work with him. So they all got to work, hang out, and pray together. (Dan. 2:45-49)
But it wasnít long before Neb forgot all about how great God is and built a huge image of gold. He told everyone, "Whoever does not bow down and worship this statue will be thrown into a fiery furnace and burned alive!" (Dan. 3:6)
At this time, Shad, Mesh and Abed were living in Babylon, and when the rulers found out they wouldnít bow to a false God, they narced on them! "Hey, king, did you know that those freaks you thought were so smart and strong wonít bow down to your image?"
The king was so pissed, he had them brought before him.
"Look, I may have hand-pick you, but that doesnít mean you donít have to obey my orders. Iím the boss! Who do you guys think you are?" he stormed.
"I told you Iím going to burn you alive if you donít worship the image! Who is that God that you think will deliver you out of my hands?"
"O king, we donít need to answer your question." They responded.
"If it is his will, the God we serve will rescue us from the fiery furnace, and deliver us from you. But even if not, we wonít serve your gods or worship that golden image.
The king was so furious, his face got red. "Heat the furnace 7 times hotter than usual - NOW!" he screamed. "Get the strongest weightlifters in the army, tie these fools up, and throw them in the fire!" (Dan 3:14-20)
So Shad, Mesh and Abed were bound in all their threads and their baseball caps even, and tossed into the flames. The fire was so freaking hot that the flames killed the army guys that threw them in! Shad, Mesh and Abed fell down bound in the raging fire.
Then the King, who was watching, all pissed of, was astonished, and asked the guards, "Werenít three men thrown into the fire?"
"Yeah, why?" they glanced at him.
"But I see four men loose, walking around in the fire, and theyíre not hurt! And the fourth one looks like the Son of God!!"
The guardís mouth dropped as they turned to check out the strange scene.
The king came closer to the furnace and yelled to the guys, "You servants of the most high God, come out of there!" His heart pounded in his chest.
They walked out of the furnace, and everyone stared at them in shock. The fire had no power over them at all! Not even a hair on their head was singed, and their clothes didnít even smell like smoke! (Dan 3:27)
(If youíve ever been around someone smoking and had to wash your clothes afterward to get rid of the smell, you can imagine how amazing that is!)
The kingís voice was full of awe. "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who sent his angel and saved his servants that trusted in him, and have even changed MY word, these men who risked their own bodies so that they didnít have to serve any god but their own!"
"Today I make a decree that any people, nation and language who speaks anything against their God will be cut in pieces and their house will be made into a dung-hill." (Dung = Poop) "Because there is no other God that can deliver like this!"
Then he turned to the 3 guys and shook his head in amazement. "From now on, you guys are promoted." (Dan 3:30)
THE MORE FAITH YOU HAVE, THE MORE POWER YOU HAVE.
PRACTICE YOUR FAITH MUSCLES. IT MAY BE SCARY, BUT IT PAYS OFF - BIGTIME!