I wrote yesterday that freedom starts inside. I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago when I hear that. You can read Daniel 3 for their amazing story, but they basically got thrown into fire because of their faith. They refused to worship the king’s statue and was sentenced to death for it. They survived the fire.
Before they were thrown in, this is what happened
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NLT)
But even if he doesn’t.
Even if God doesn’t save them from the fire, they will never worship anyone or anything else. They will never compromise their faith. They will stay true to God.
We can plainly see that by sticking with their faith, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago lost their freedom. They sentenced themselves to death. They willingly gave up their lives. The path they chose cost them their freedom.
Yet when they got thrown into the fire, they were saved. Not only that, a fourth person appeared in the fire with them (some commentaries say it was an angel and some say it was Jesus). The point being, the fire was supposed to be the end of their freedom but it became the beginning.
After the king saw the power of God when He delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, the king made a decree that punished anyone who spoke against God. Also, the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago to higher positions.
Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39, NLT).
Freedom starts inside, because it is in our hearts and spirits that we resolve what we believe in. You may be imprisoned for your faith, but they can’t take away your faith. You may be imprisoned for a cause you believe in, but they can’t take away your beliefs.
Plus, often it is in our imprisonment that freedom blossoms. It is in the hardships that we start to truly understand what it means to stand up for what we believe in, to fight for our faith, and to find freedom no matter our circumstance.