As we continue in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel Chapter 3, we discover they didn’t indulge in anything that had the potential to distract them away from God. They guarded their hearts. I suspect they watched out for each other and encouraged each other to remain faithful to God, even in the face of extreme peer pressure. They never gave into peer pressure to bow down before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Have you made the decision to not give into peer pressure and do what you know God says isn’t right for you as a christian, even if it means losing friends, suffering persecution and being made fun of?
Just because everyone is doing something that appears right, it still may be wrong for you as a Christian to do. Even your Christian friends may do wrong things. You follow God, not people. God warns, “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.”(Exodus 23:2 NIV)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced some serious peer pressure. They faced being cremated alive for disobeying the king’s order to bow down and worship his statue representing him and his evil kingdom. They knew the commandment of God, “Do not worship any other gods, besides me. Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds, animals of fish.You must never bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affections with any other god.” (Exodus 20:3 NLT) If you worship anyone or anything more than God it is an idol and it is sin. If God asks you to give something up for him and you can’t, it sits as an idol on the throne of your heart. It is sin. An idol can be your music. Do you love it more than you love God? Can you give up your ungodly music for God? if not, you have a heart problem.
Think about this. If you can’t give it up because you are afraid of what your friends may think, even Christian friends, you have given into peer pressure. Maybe you don’t want to be made fun of when you tell them you do not listen to the same ungodly music they listen to anymore. You have chosen to honor God and give Him all your worship. You suffer for doing what is right in God’s sight. God will reward you for it. At the end of Daniel 3, you’ll see that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego where eventually blessed, promoted and rewarded by King Nebuchadnezzar. Actually, because they obeyed God and didn’t bow down to the statue, God rescued them from the blazing furnace and worked in the heart of the king to bless them. But, they didn’t obey to receive a blessing and reward. They chose to obey because they loved God and wanted to bring glory to Him. Have you made that decision?