Do You Know What It Takes?

Title: Do You Know What It Takes?

Bible Book: Daniel 3 : 16-18

Author: Vince Hefner

Subject: Victory; Commitment; Healing



Do you know what it takes to have victory in your life? Do you know how to be positive in faith no matter how difficult your circumstances may be? I am going to tell you about three young men who faced certain death if they stood for the Lord, but were unfazed by the danger. They courageously took at stand and overcame fear, defeat and the world. They knew what it took; you and I can know that same truth and practice it in our lives no matter our circumstances.

Read Daniel 3:16-18.

In our passage today we read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These young men had been taken captive by the Babylonians and removed from Jerusalem to a foreign land where idol gods were worshipped. They had been placed in a situation where a godless king ruled the land and called for a commitment to his false idol. To fail to obey would mean death this foreign king - to fail to bow down to the king's idol god - would mean immediate death.

These three young men believed in the true God and were committed to him, but now they faced a very difficult decision. Would they bow down to the foreign idol? They knew that to refuse would likely mean their deaths. They were far from home, family and friends. If they bowed down in order to get along in this new environment, who could blame them. You know, go along to get along! After all, they were under the constant surveillance by the enemy and the enemy had complete control over their lives. The decision had to be made. What would they do?

These young men put obedience to God above their personal safety, popularity and acceptance in the world. It sounds easy to say these words today, but we need to put ourselves in their shoes, so to speak. It was a serious issue and it would have been much easier to simply keep their commitment to God secret and bow down to the idol. But these young men were not going to play games with their faith in God. They refused to bow down to anyone or anything but God.

We know now that God delivered them. But, I want you to note one important thing in their commitment. These young men did not know for sure that they would be delivered from the fiery furnace. In fact, they said that whether God delivered them or not, they were taking the only stand that committed believers could take – they were standing for the Lord.

This is the need we have today. We must take a stand for our Lord and refuse to worry about the consequences to our jobs, income, or acceptance in modern society. So many of us need deliverance from one issue or another. Your problem may be financial, social, domestic, work related, physical, involve children/grandchildren or be psychological, but the only answer is to commit to and take a stand for the Lord in your own situation. If we perish, we perish, but we will lay everything on the line for the Lord and follow His will.

In order to take the kind of stand these young men made and to have the chance to experience the victory they experienced, we need to be aware of three things.

I. Things That Matter - Things That Don’t

We must understand what is really important and what doesn’t matter in the long run of life.

A. Our Relationship to God Matters

The first and foremost issue of importance is our relationship to God. Those of us who are Christians simply must understand and grasp this fact. It sounds silly to even make this statement. You would think every believer understands it, but that is not the case. Christians all too often place friendships, acceptance, income, pleasure and other things before their devotion to the Lord. It is no wonder that we are losing the current generation when it comes to our faith. The world watches us and they don’t see an all-out commitment to the Lord and they simply don’t believe that it is real.

The three young men in our story put God first because they knew that in the end that is what mattered most. Do you feel that way? Let me ask you, do you ACT like life God matters most in your life? Many will SAY that the Lord matters but most do not ACT like He matters most!

B. Our Relationship to Others Matters

Once the issue with the Lord is settled, you need to understand our impact upon others. Think of these three young men. What if one of them had decided to yield to the controlling authorities? What impact would it have had on the others? You need to love God and realize that any unwillingness to be faithful to Him can negatively effect those around you.

We need to stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is sad to see Christians divided and separated by issues that don’t really matter that much. What really matters? Are we honoring the Lord? Are we putting aside personal preferences for the sake of the Lord? Are we willing to stand with our brothers and sisters for the sake of the Lord?

Of course, if there are those who turn against the Lord, it is important for you to remember rule number one: The Lord Comes First. That is why Jesus said that the Lord comes before father, mother, brother or sister.

A preacher told me about a problem that developed in his church. He was told that a woman in the church had joined in this conflict. He could not believe it because he knew how sweet this woman usually was. So, he went to visit the lady in question and asked her about it. She agreed that her friend was upset and so she was standing with her on the matter. He then asked if she really agreed with the matter at hand. The lady said that she did not but she could not desert her friend. In other words, she felt her friend was acting in an unchristian way but she was going to go along with it not to lose her friend. The pastor then asked, “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you jump with her?” The lady said, “Yes, I would.”

My dear people, that is just wrong! We are never to join in cahoots with people who are out of the will of God. On the other hand, when someone is obeying God we need to join them even if it places our necks in the noose. That is what these three young men did. That kind of faith in the Lord, commitment to His will and unity of purpose matters – really matters!

C. Our Places and Circumstances Don’t Matter

The young men where in a strange place and they could have said, “When in Rome (or Babylon, in this case), do as the Romans do.” They knew that it didn’t matter where they were; they were to stand for the Lord. At work, school, a party, a ball game, and everywhere, you are to stand for Christ. The place will not matter in the long run, but your commitment to the Lord will matter – really matter!

II. Things That Last - Things That Won’t

There are things in this life that really don’t matter much and there are things that matter a lot. You need to be sure you know what those are and place your priorities appropriately.

A. Your Soul is Forever – Protect it at all Cost

The late Adrian Rogers entitled a sermon, some years ago, “Why I Know That Elvis Is Alive and O.J. Simpson Will Get A Fair Trial.” His point was that we don’t ever really die and one day we will face a true judge. Death in this life is simply a door opening into the life beyond. You will never cease to exist. You need to make sure you are ready to meet God. The prophet once said, “Prepare to meet your God.” You are going to meet Him.

1. First, you need to be born again.

You need to be saved. You need to trust Jesus as your personal Savior. You are a sinner and unless you accept Him, your sins condemn you. It is not that you might be condemned; The Bible says we are condemned already if we are unsaved. You soul matters – really matters!

2. Secondly, those of us who are saved need to realize that we are bought with a price.

We don’t have the right to refuse our Lord. After all, He is LORD! That word means something. Lordship meant something to the three young men in our story. It ought to mean something to us. It matters – it really matters.

B. Your Flesh will not Last Forever – It wasn’t Meant To

You need to know the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. The three young men knew that the flesh would not last and they were not going to protect their hide by denying their Lord. When it came to saving their skin, they decided to trust their Savior. We must never put the flesh first. It is always a mistake. Committing ourselves to love God and walk in the Spirit matters – it really matters!

III. Things That Help - Things That Hinder

A. God’s Word will Always Help

God’s Word will guide you in God’s will for your life and God’s way for your life. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. When it comes to trusting a path, always choose the path found in God’s Word.

B. God’s People can Help

God’s people can help you with encouragement and fellowship. It is important to choose the right friends – the right Christian friends. It is apparent that these three young men had made great choices. There were no deserters in that group. There were no cowards in that fellowship. There were no fair weather friends in that circle. Be sure you have chosen Christian people who will encourage you to do the right thing at all times.

C. The World will Pull you Downward

The world will always pull you away from God. The world will always discourage godly conduct. You must know the difference in godly and the ungodly thinking, talking and acting.

IV. Things That Change - Things That Can’t

A. Times are Always Changing

Nothing stays the same. Life is always shifting paradigms. We have gone from the horse and buggy to the space age. We have gone from writing with quills and pencils to communicating with emails, twitters and Facebook. We have gone from the herald crying out the news on the corner of the city to the internet and 24 hours television beamed from around the world. The times will change.

B. People are Always Changing

A new boss, a new teacher, a new president and a new neighbor will reveal that people are always changing. If you don’t’ believe that people change, just go to a reunion. You see yourself changing so slowly that it is difficult to measure the way you are aging. But, look up your photo in a high school annual. Get some old photos and look at the hair styles, clothes and recall the music three or four (and maybe seven) decades ago. People are always changing.

C. Circumstances are Always Changing

It is said that the world is always rolling over one someone who was sitting on top of it yesterday. The three young men in our Bible reference today were living in Jerusalem and, no doubt enjoying life when suddenly everything changed. They were shackled, chained and led away. The times they had known were gone. The people around them spoke a different language, dressed differently and served a false god. Their circumstances changed drastically.

Circumstances are always changing. Your life will not stay the same.

D. God Cannot - Will Not - Change

God cannot change! He will always love you. He will always protect you. It may not be the way you think He will protect you. It may not be the way you want Him to protect you. But, He will carry you like lambs in His arms. He will always desire the best for you. When are obedient to God’s will, nothing else matters. God did not change just because the three young men were carried away to Babylon. He was still there for them. He knew where they were. He was still on the throne.

What is going on in your life today? Whatever are you facing? Whatever it is, God is still God - He is still on the throne. He has not forgotten you. Let me tell you why I am preaching this sermon today; I feel there are some people here who need to bring your burden to the Lord. It may be physical. God can heal. It may be financial. The cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him. It may be vocationally. He always has a door of opportunity that He can open for your income. It may be your marriage. He created marriage and He can make it work. Whatever it is – God is a healing, loving and powerful God.


Would you come to Him today? I am going to ask you to come this morning to the front of this church and kneel or stand before the Lord. Once you have gathered, we are going to pray a prayer that says, “Lord, whether we live or die, you are our God. No matter what I am going through, I trust you! I ask for your deliverance, but I will trust your wisdom for the answer.”

Most importantly, those of you who have never fully trusted Christ as you Savior need to come to Him now!

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