At times in our occupations we may be faced with moral and ethical decisions that require our courage to stand for the truth. In some scenarios, it may even appear that our success is in jeopardy unless we conform to the world’s standards and go against what we know is the right thing to do. How do we face these seemingly difficult scenarios without fear of forfeiting our income or job security? How can we continue to shine as lights in this world as witnesses for God and confidently claim His will for our lives as stated in III John 2?
III John 2:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health [good health], even as thy soul prospereth.
One key way we can continue to prosper in all we do, including in our professions, is to keep our souls prospering by keeping God first. Our prosperity and health are dependent upon how our souls prosper, or are “led in a good way.” We never have to be concerned about forfeiting our prosperity when we keep God first and carry out His Word with believing. God will continue to lead us in a good way; He’ll continue to prosper us His way. When we keep our souls prospering according to God’s Word, we reap genuine prosperity and success. We can make a positive spiritual impact, and God will open doors for us to be witnesses in our occupations and bring glory to Him.
God’s Word provides examples of real employees who maintained their prosperous souls by keeping God first and carrying out His Word with believing. They stood firmly on the Word and did not conform to the world’s standards; therefore, they prospered the Word’s way. We will consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they worked for King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel when he served under King Darius. They made godly, ethical choices in the face of fear and pressure from their bosses and fellow workers and maintained their spiritual integrity. As a result of their stand on the Word, they prospered and made a spiritual impact, exerting great influence in the royal courts.
After being taken into Babylonian captivity, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were put over the affairs of the province of Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:49). Yet at a certain point, they were faced with unfavorable work situations. King Nebuchadnezzar made a large golden image, which was set up in the province of Babylon. He called together “the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces” (Daniel 3:3). He wanted all his “employees” to worship this idol he had made. The consequences for not doing this were grave—much more than being fired from a job!
And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were commanded to worship this new idol the king had made. However, they maintained their integrity on God’s Word that they knew (Exodus 20:1-5) and chose to worship neither the king’s gods nor the golden image. Certain of their co-workers observed their disobedience and turned them in to the king for not doing as he had commanded. King Nebuchadnezzar questioned these three believers and gave them another opportunity to worship his gods, attempting to motivate them out of fear.
Daniel 3:14 and 15:
Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
The choice was set before them—bow or burn, fear or no fear! How did they respond?
Daniel 3:17 and 18:
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 thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
They chose to believe in the God they served and in His power to deliver them. They stood firmly on the Word. These three men acted without fear and refused to worship any other god but the true God. Because of their bold actions, they were thrown into the fiery furnace by command of the king. But they trusted in God to deliver them, and He did! The Word says that they had “no hurt” and that “the fire had no power” upon them (Daniel 3:25-27). Furthermore, God got the glory….
This is an excerpt from the January/February 2016 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2016 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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