The New Thing By Cleo Dailey, III (Modernday Lazurus)

Turn Up!

Daniel 3:17-18

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

In case we hadn’t known it, the summer is officially upon us. Gone are the curt attitudes of hastily running to and fro. We now use cavalier expressions of glee and joy, as we bask in hammocks on summer evenings, and we let our “guards” down. But there is more…

Just as in the day of the three Hebrew boys, we see increasing trends of acceptance and decreasing trends of standard. Many of us will see our children go from the classroom setting to the community streets, and without the establishment of a standard, they lie in wait for these trends to play out in their lives. Do we sit in fear? Do we worry? No we turn up! King Nebuchadnezzar erected idols to be worshipped and told anyone who would not bow that they would be thrown into a burning fire. Sure of their standard and confident in their God, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (whose birth names are Hananiah, Mishael, and Azaria) refused to worship any other image than that of the One true God. Even in the face of danger, they boldly proclaimed that if God did not deliver them, He was still able. What our communities need are not more policing. We do not need another program to place a bandage on the bullet wound of neglect. We need a generation whose culture is the standard. Come what may, this remnant knows that they are His, and because they are His, when the “fires” of peer pressure, violence, and “status quo” are turned up on their faith, they turn up with the standard of God. 1 Peter calls us a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who called you out…” We need to raise the standard of righteousness in our streets, on our jobs, and in our homes, so that we are the majority. When this is done, we will see change multiply by the hour!

As ambassadors of Christ, we are not a reactive people, but a proactive nation. Pray today for our youth and for us all, that as the summer heat turns up, so does the moral fiber and expectation of greatness. Many times people see what they become. Understanding this, I commit this summer to turn up; I will be the change that I want to see in this world. I will not be bothered by the enemy’s tactics or strategies as they concern our youth, because “greater is He that lives in me than He that is in the world.” In this certainty, I will live it loudly and unashamed, so that those who see me can mirror that. You are empowered. Turn up!

-Modernday Lazurus

Cleo Dailey, III is a freelance writer and aspiring author who has written for several city and nation-wide publications. He is currently studying to obtain a degree in both English and Clinical Psychology, and the Minister of Music for New Life Christian Church in Peoria, IL.