“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, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:12)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three young men caught in the web of a pagan nation’s immoral edicts and laws. Trapped in a vicious ploy of jealous men, they were set up for a showdown of eternal proportions. With God’s guidance, Daniel helped the king remember and understand his dream. This event was the very thing that catapulted these three men into public office, while at the same time opening the door for this new idol of gold to be publicly worshipped.
Sadly, after hearing from God, the king did not consult the Lord about how to put into practice what he had learned. Now these three men were positioned to pay a dreadful price for their personal convictions. When challenged to recant and genuflect, their personal values guided their actions, rather than justifying unfaithfulness.
Boldly, they responded, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) They were politically incorrect though applauded in heaven!
When they were thrown into the fire, Jesus showed up that day and they walked out of the furnace as heroes of the faith. Nevertheless, God allowed them to go to the very end of their confession of faith.
Leaders are willing to pay a personal price for their beliefs. The fabric of true leadership exemplified by those three men is the only fabric woven on heaven’s looms. It is a garment to be worn at all times by those who would lead the King’s army and equip the saints in the pews. It is also the only dress outfit approved for show, whether it is seen before thousands or simply sensed by another when shoulders are brushed together in ministry. It comes not from a closet of clothes on hangers, but it comes from a cross of crucifixion on a hill. The old hymn says it best, “Jesus paid it, all to him I owe…” Lead, dressed that way!