Returning to the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we find that there was a second important ingredient in their success: they recognized their Boss’s sovereignty. When the fire threatened both their careers and their lives, they responded with confidence, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 NASB)
Like Joseph (Genesis 45:4-5) they knew that what man meant for evil, God meant for good. If they did have to face the furnace, it would not be because God was unable to deliver them, but because He had a bigger plan… and that the bigger plan was also a better plan. Their bold confidence is echoed repeatedly throughout Scripture.
Jeremiah 29:11 affirms, “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (NASB) And in Romans 8:28-32 the Apostle Paul declares, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (NASB)
Understanding both God’s sovereignty and His love for them before they faced the fire was the key to the Hebrews’ boldness when they found themselves standing in the midst of the fire. And the same holds true for us, today.
So before you head off to work each morning, determine that God is your Boss – not your manager, the company president, your customers, or your coworkers. Once you’ve made up your mind beforehand that God is the One whom you really serve, you too will have the courage to stand up and speak the truth – regardless of the consequences.
An added bonus? When God is your Boss, most of the time it’s easier to earn the respect of your earthly boss! But more on that, later!