Summary: Learning to say no to the forces of evil is important in living a happy christian life.
Daniel 3:14/15 16/17
Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, “Is it true you do not serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? If you worship not the image which I have made you will be cast into the fiery furnace, and then who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.”
This message is about THE ART OF SAYING and meaning it.
Knowing how to properly prepare a meal is a work of art. Just as driving a car, building a house or reading a book, and there is also ART in serving an awesome God. “Art” is a nice expression meaning “having a knack for something” or “know how.”
When you have gained, by experience or observation, the ability to do something that is difficult, you have developed a degree of art; and should know how the thing is properly done.
Well, there is an ART IN SAYING NO. There is a proper way to say this little short word, and there are careless ways to say it. The tragedy is that so few people never learn how to properly say no. Perhaps you think this is not very important or has no spiritual implication. Perhaps it even seems foolish to you. But, do you really know how to say no?
Every step in your Christian journey is going to be filled with allurements, trials and temptations that will keep you from the path of right; and could tear down your character, destroy your witness and fill your life with shame. When these enticements face you, do you really know how to give an answer? Or, are you at a loss and don’t know how to say no.
The reason so many people are overcome by temptation is because they don’t know how to say no and really mean it! They say, “Well, I guess I had better not,” or “I really shouldn’t do that,” or “Well, I don’t really know if I should.”
Don’t be vague when you express the word no; it leaves too much room for further debate or temptation. Just learn how to say no. In our scriptural text there were Chaldean men who came to the king, accusing these three Hebrew boys of not obeying orders.
They said, “O king you have made a decree that when the music begins to play and the people began to sing, every man shall bow down and worship the image.” Yet, there are three Hebrew boys who will not bow down, so what shall be their fate?
Here is what these boys were facing, they were to bow down and worship or be cast into the fiery furnace. But, this was their reply. “Be it known unto thee, O king that we are not going to serve your gods. We are not going to bow down nor worship the golden image which you have set up.”
These three Hebrew boys knew exactly how to say no, and that stopped the discussion? The king knew precisely where they stood, and what he must do to carry out his threat. They said no as it should be said when facing life’s temptations regardless of what the outcome might be.
It is never too late to decide against evil when it is presented. Make your preparations in advance and be ready to say no. The word of God teaches us that if we are going to serve the Lord, we must prepare our soul for temptations… in other words be ready.
The Apostle Paul admonished us to equip ourselves for the battle that lies ahead and no soldier waits until the enemy charges to get ready for the battle. As soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ we should be ready to do combat before the conflict begins.
In season out of season, the scripture instructs us to be ready to give an answer of the reason of the hope that lies within us. In other words, have your answer ready when the evil one comes with trials and temptation.
If we are going to have good success in our Christian walk, we must follow the admonition given from God’s word, and prepare ourselves in advance for the conflicts.
In the book of Luke chapter nine and verse fifty-one, we read, “He steadfastly [speaking of Jesus] set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Jesus was determined that nothing was going to prevent Him, hinder Him, or divert His attention from making this journey.