Only three young men dared to disobey. Everyone else did exactly as they'd been ordered -- as soon as the musical signal was sounded, they instantly fell down and worshipped an immense golden idol. Offenders would be put to death.
It must have seemed to others that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were brazen, certainly foolish, in refusing to worship the idol. But these three knew exactly what they were doing and why. They deeply loved and trusted God. Nothing could intimidate them into even appearing to honor anything less.
What an unshakable conviction of God's power they must have had, for when they were thrown into a raging furnace as punishment, they were not consumed. The fire didn't touch them, nor did their clothes even smell of smoke. God was proved supremen. n1
n1 See Daniel 3.
Throughout the Bible are many inspiring accounts of individuals who boldly challenged popular beliefs in a power besides God. Their examples give us courage to do the same.
There are times when we may feel bullied into worshiping, acknowledging, a power other than God. How about when symptoms of disease appear? Do we feel compelled to "fall down" at their signals (sometimes literally, as into a chair or bed) in fear or speculation about what's wrong with us? Do we wind up mentally on our knees before the problem, unwittingly agreeing to whatever sentence of ill health has been handed out? We don't have to. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, we too can safely refuse to submit to any but God's authority.
Christian Science explains that a correct understanding of God and man enables us to resist and heal sickness rather than fall helplessly at its feet. This scientific Christianity teaches that God is, as the Scriptures illustrate, infinite Spirit, eternal Life, unchanging Truth and Love. He is the intelligent divine Principle of all, the Father and Mother of the universe, and man is His flawless spiritual offspring.
God is All-in-all, but He never creates or permits evil, including disease. The entireness of God necessarily precludes the real existence of anything opposed to Him. This is hardly the way things look from a material standpoint. yet when we reason from the premise of God's allness, the only logical conclusion is that evil's boastful assertions of discord, of life and substance in matter (the opposite of divine Spirit), are deceptions, illusions, illegitimate pretenses to reality. They do not deserve our awe.
Feelings of pain, malfunction, inflammation, and so on, would pull our thought away from God and attempt to fasten it on the idol of matter. but these false gods are devoid of true power and intelligence with which to affect us. They do, however, need to be thoroughly disbelieved -- cast out through the Christly truth of God's allness and goodness -- in order to be deprived of their apparent hold.
A material body can't control us, any more than a golden idol can. But the body reflects what we believe about it. It becomes more harmonious as we learn that Life is God, never confined in nor defined by matter.
We can prove this for ourselves. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, -- neither in nor of matter, -- and the body will then utter no complaints." n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 14.m
The ability to fearlessly refuse impositions on our health, then, has nothing to do with human will, blind faith, self-hypnosis, or psychological technique. Instead, it is the inevitable result of realizing the truth. How can we continue to fear and obey something when we discover that its claim to power is a mistke, an error? Christ Jesus' reassurance to his followers applies to us today: "Ye shall know the truth, and the trust shall make you free." n3
n3 John 8:32.
So whenever symptoms of disease appear, we can refuse to fall for them. We can know the truth that God alone governs us. His authority is supreme, entirely good, health-preserving, and invariable. It is the only authority to which we need ever bow. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Take heed that ye be not deceived. Luke 21:8