Courageous Leadership

Daniel 3 records the story of King Nebuchadnezzar building a 90-foot statue and then ordering the people to bow in worship when “you hear the band strike up” (Daniel 3:4-6). If you’ve read the story, you know that the three young men from Judah–Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–refused to bow to the idol. As a result, the king became furious and threatened them with the “roaring furnace.” Fully understanding the consequences, these three Israelites boldly declared:

“Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, The Message)

Daniel 3:19 says, “Nebuchadnezzar, his face purple with anger, cut off Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” They were thrown in the fire and then God rescued them in an outrageous way. Even the king said, “There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this” (Daniel 3:29).  The reward followed the risk.

So here’s a thought–before you can experience outrageous outcomes you must first exercise courageous leadership. Even the king acknowledged Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s courage when he said, “They ignored the king’s orders and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own” (Daniel 3:28). The only leadership endeavors that shape history are those marked by courage. Everything else is mundane.

Question: Have you experienced any amazing, outrageous outcomes in your church, ministry, or organization lately? If not, maybe you need to courageously lay it on the line.