This article was first published on TheRebelution.com, where you can read it in its entirety.
I was born into a culture that coddles teenagers, so I forget many of the people God used for his purposes were my age.
Daniel was a youth when Nebuchadnezzar captured him. His three friends–Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–were likely teenagers when they refused to exalt the king’s idol.
I’m eighteen and I’ve never been kidnapped. I’ve never been forced to defy my God. I’ve never been shoved into a furnace. I’ve never stood so near death its heat brushed my skin.
And this gets me thinking: What if?
What if my faith in God did endanger me? What if it killed me?
Daniel’s friends challenge me. They remind me that costly rebellion is worthy rebellion. These real life rebelutionaries teach me to prepare for hard things, persevere through hard things, and promote my God even during the hardest things.
Rebelutionaries Prepare for Hard Things
King Nebuchadnezzar’s besiegement of Judah wasn’t thoughtless. He chose only the best—the boys “without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace…” (Dan. 1:4)
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego eclipsed Nebuchadnezzar’s expectations.
“…Among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah… In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (Dan. 1:19-20).
Long before the king’s fury, long before the golden idol, long before their Hebrew names were stripped from them, three young men readied themselves. They armed their hearts with solid weapons. They studied hard and thought deeply and trusted God completely.
Restless rebelutionaries like me can overlook this step. Striving to defy low expectations, we can forget to prepare ourselves. But Daniel’s friends warn us never to sprint into battle undressed.
Rebelutionaries Persevere Through Hard Things