The story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue always puzzled me. How was it possible for a king to erect a statue and then demand that everyone bow down to it? (Daniel 3:1,5). The whole story seemed silly. And that was before the Veggie Tales video version, which substituted the statue with a chocolate bunny. Have you heard the “Bunny Song”? “The bunny, the bunny, yeah, I love the bunny. I gave everything that I had for the bunny!”

A struggle we all face is to seek God and His ways instead of our own ways. It can be so easy to simply strive for what makes us happy and not concern ourselves with how it might affect others. The idol of individualism is so prevalent that a fast-food restaurant chain has changed its slogan from “Have it your way” to “Be your way.” The new motto may encourage us to live the way we want, but far greater freedom and joy can be found in living by the wisdom of our great God.

Nebuchadnezzar’s herald shouted, “Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” (Daniel 3:6). With that in mind, today we will sometimes feel the sting of persecution over values and choices that contrast with the ways of the world. But it’s so worth it! For only as we love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, will we find real life (Luke 10:27-28).

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego showed great resolve in lifting God high as they challenged the king: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve . . . will rescue us from your power . . . . But even if he doesn’t, . . . we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).

God is worthy of our full allegiance!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Isaiah 6:1-13