Survival Principles #9

Obedience Over Consequence


Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!

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Obedience Over Consequence

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from you hand, O King. But, even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
— Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)

“It’s your show, and you can do what you want with it, but we do not do five minute rape scenes.” With this line, the Christian writer-producer made a moral principle clear to one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. He knew full well the statement could cost him his working relationship with the mogul and separate him from the network television series on which they were collaborating. This and other moral issues eventually did result in a separation of ways, but you can be sure of one thing. The word got around that there was someone in Hollywood who answered to a Higher Authority.

Spiritual authority is something that most media power brokers do not understand. They understand positional authority, financial power, and intimidation, but not spiritual authority. To survive as a Christian in the often-hostile environment of media, one must possess it. Spiritual authority is the power a believer derives from being identified so completely with Christ that His power neutralizes all threats, fears, and forces.

That the three valiant Jewish men in Daniel 3 possessed spiritual power is clear from their response to the life-threatening situation they faced. The first proof is that they felt no need to argue or defend themselves.

Survival Principle: Those with spiritual authority in their lives never have to argue or defend themselves.

“We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter” was their statement of divine confidence. In his powerful book, Spiritual Authority, Watchman Nee says, “God doesn’t argue,” and the one who possesses His power doesn’t either. Only those insecure in their power or position get defensive or argumentative.

The second proof that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tapped into God’s power was that they were totally unshakable.

Survival Principle: Those whose lives are built on the foundation of their faith in an all-powerful God are unshakable.

The Christian who trembles in fear of man’s consequences and violates God’s law to accommodate human threats doesn’t understand God’s power or His consequences. “The God we serve is able to save us . . . and he will rescue us from your hand . . .” was the way the Israelite men expressed their confidence in the power they possessed in God’s care. I’m convinced that the only ones able to deal successfully with the insecurities, pressures, threats, intimidations, and occult principalities at work in media are believers who are secure in God’s defense of them.

The three Hebrew slaves then made a stunning declaration which indicated they had not lost touch with unpleasant reality. They boldly declared, “But even if he does not [save us], we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” In saying this, the three acknowledged they did not possess the full knowledge of God’s plan for their lives . . . and that, sometimes, things don’t turn out well for God’s followers. But, they could see beyond present circumstances to distant benefits.

Survival Principle: Count on the long-term rewards of obedience, even if the short-term situation goes against you.

The writer-producer above had three other professional opportunities in hand within one hour after being let go for not supporting the values of the executive producer of the show.


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This post has 2 Comments

  1. Helena Jones on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Larry, thank you for telling this inspiring old, old story in a modern context. Praise The Lord for this executive’s conviction and courage.

    • Mimi Sagadin on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Larry, I am so grateful for your commitment to this industry all these years. I appreciate this story…it’s an encouragement to keep following God and not man! Bless you, brother.

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