Daniel's Three Friends
To those who are familiar with understanding God's desire for worship and participating in a worship service, there is always a concern for God to be the object of our worship and not us. There are several warnings that should be observed any time we enter the sanctuary with the intention of worship among believers. We must be intentional about making sure that our time for worship is God-centered and not man-centered. Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, understood that their devotion to the one true God was to exalt no man. Their ultimate victory came out of a refiner's fire. Their courage exalted them to become models of worship that would not blaspheme the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Man- centered worship is blasphemy, and to worship any man or creature for any reason is blasphemy. Blasphemy can be disguised by the trappings of religion when individuals and not God are the center of worship. When-ever much is made of the person, less is made of the Lord. Blasphemy is natural to the human heart; it will therefore manifest itself in our religious activities unless it is deliber-ately rejected. Ceremonies of worship can be a veneer for the deepest blasphemy, which is worship that is creature-centered and not God honoring. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans that because of the wickedness of man's heart, he substituted the knowledge of God for a creature, and the creature became the object of his worship. This lie was substituted for the truth of God where the creature rather than the Creator was to be adored. We must raise up a generation that has a sound and solid foundation of the true meaning of worship. Our intention must be to truly worship the Lord with a sincere heart, and our motivations to do so must be pure.
Ask yourself these two questions. Do you look forward to worshiping the Lord and prepare yourself for the sanctuary we are told not to forsake? Is your worship a sincere expression of your love and devotion to God and Christ? Like Daniel’s three friends, we can overcome every threat or action that would deter us from worshiping the only true God and King, Jesus.