The lessons that have proven most valuable in my life have seldom been learned in school or any formal setting. School can provide you with valuable knowledge, but knowledge does not equal wisdom. The greatest lessons seem to consist of a small pinch of knowledge, a healthy portion of common sense and a generous helping of wisdom. The latter comes only with God’s blessing, maturity, patience and time.
Take, for example, something my dad taught me when I was just a kid; something that took me repeated reminders to fully learn. I understand, now, that it was because of my strong-willed, stubborn nature. At the time, his advice was just frustrating to me, but certainly no less true. The lesson? “don’t force it!” This was advice and direction he gave as I was working on a model ship as a youngster. I was following the directions that came with the model to the best of my young ability, but the pieces didn’t fit just right. I could make them fit, if I pressed hard enough, but the project would not be done properly. “Don’t force it,” was good advice. Because sure enough, something was wrong; when I looked closer, I discovered I was trying to put two of the wrong pieces together. When I used the right ones, they went together easily.
I found that advice to be valuable later in my teen years as well, whether I was dealing with a woodworking project or a minor car repair… whenever I’d hit a snag in the process, I had a choice to make — in my stubborn, willful manner, I could force the pieces together, and try to make them work the way I thought was right. But instinctively, I knew it wasn’t right… my dad had taught me, and I knew from experience, that if it was right, it would go together easily and naturally. No force was ever needed. Forcing it would never turn out well. In fact, the use of force would ruin the whole thing.
There were other occasions as well, when I found myself tempted to force things, simply because I wanted them so badly. I admit that as a young man, I would sometimes deliberately not seek God’s counsel on a matter, because I knew — and the Holy Spirit was telling me — that my will would not match His. I was young, impatient, and strong-willed. I had to learn the hard way that you can’t “force it.” Now I know that if it is truly God’s will, and the best and most perfect and proper way, it will come together easily and naturally. There is no need to “force it.” Indeed, the worst thing you can do is cut corners, and use force. (Please note, when I talk about things going together easily and naturally, I’m not talking about feelings here. Jeremiah reminds us the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. So, feelings often appeal to our fleshly, human desires. Especially in this era of such widespread spiritual deception, what may “feel natural” for you can be a huge mistake, so never go solely by your “heart” or your “feelings”).
Now that I’m older, more spiritually mature, and I hope, a little bit wiser, I can see a bigger picture, still. I understand now that the impatience I sometimes wrestled with as a youth was simply a symptom of my fallen, human sin nature. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression — this was never a major problem for me, but it was a temptation I dealt with occasionally, even though I knew better. It was an annoying flaw in my personality that needed to be honed and refined as the Lord raised me up as his child.
Throughout my life, I dealt with only a tiny bit of this desire to use force. But as I have recently studied the greater overall concept, I realize that this particular sin — the use of force — is one of the key attributes of our enemy, Satan. Let me explain.
We learn about some of the characteristics of Satan in Isaiah 14, where we see that the reason for his fall from grace was because of his prideful rebellion against God. He wanted, not just “equality” with God, but he actually wanted to rule over Him.
Revelation refers to Satan as “the great dragon,” and “that ancient serpent,” and describes him as the “deceiver of the whole world.” Matthew 4 describes Satan as a tempter. We also know that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. We know he was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar, and has no truth in him.
As fallen human beings, we have inherited a sin nature from Adam and Eve, our first parents. So, we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, we must continually fight a battle for our souls in the spiritual realm, because we’re constantly tempted by the enemy who longs for our destruction and death.
Scripture tells us that Satan can’t force our decisions. We have freewill, which is a gift from God, and that makes him really angry. And so he — and his demons — will do everything possible to tempt and trick us into making choices that ruin our lives and the lives of our children.
God’s Word, however, reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way of escape so that you can stand up under it.” Imagine how Satan must hate this. He cannot force us to choose him, he can only tempt us. And as hard as he tries to tempt us, God is there with us, helping us to resist and making, for us, a way of escape! Just imagine how this must make Satan seethe with hatred. God’s Word goes on to promise us in the book of James, that when we choose to submit ourselves to God, and when we resist the devil, he will flee from us! What a defeated enemy this is that we’re dealing with!
Still, when men and women choose to allow Satan free reign in their lives, when they choose to follow his evil plans, they become his tools of warfare against God’s children. The results are devastating. And while Satan cannot force or compel people to obey him, he has found a way around this law of nature… he gets evil men and women, evil rulers of this world, to force evil and compel the innocent to submit to wickedness, under great threats to our comfort, our way of life, and even our very lives.
Recently, I discussed the story from the book of Daniel, of Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego, thrown into the fiery furnace in Babylon, because they refused to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s false god when the music played. He could TRY to force the young men to bow down and worship the idol, but worship isn’t something you can force… these men could not deny the true God of Heaven, and for their faithfulness, they earned the wrath of the evil king.
All throughout history we see the same thing. In fact, it has occurred to me that whenever you want to know if something is really evil, really of Satan, this is one test that never fails: if it’s demonic, it will be something that is forced upon innocent people.
Because, you see, God doesn’t do that. And that’s the whole point of this message. He has given us the gift of freewill, and He offers us the wisdom and guidance to make righteous choices. He doesn’t want slaves or robots. He wants children. And so, if something is of God, there’s no need to use force. If something is naturally good and desirable, God’s children will flock to it peacefully, easily and naturally.
It is only when things are wicked and evil that they must be forced upon us under some threat or intimidation, compelling us to submit and obey. We see it over and over again.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that those who choose to follow after Satan also exhibit one of his other key traits: hypocrisy. How often have we heard the accusation, “You Christians just want to force your morality on the rest of the world. What gives you the right to force me to accept your God?” But this is a lie! God doesn’t force people to accept Him. He gives us every opportunity to choose Him, but He doesn’t force Himself upon us. And as Christians, we don’t force our faith on others either. We lovingly share our faith, but we don’t force it.
We don’t hold a gun to anyone’s head and force them to worship the one true God. And here in America, as the wicked are steadfastly pounding away at our freedoms, we fight for the right to worship God openly… or at least we should; it’s part of being salt and light. But we would never try to force others to join us. That’s not God’s way. That’s not love. You can’t force love.
And now, as we near the end of days — and I believe we are at the very brink now — these truths have never before been so evident. Look at the examples all around us. Our wicked government has chosen to turn the natural laws of God upside down and declare homosexuality and “transgenderism” and pedophilia “normal,” even to the point of redefining marriage itself. Nature says this is impossible. Yet man, following the temptations of Satan, has chosen to force the issue. What’s more, the militant homosexuals, like their father, the devil, don’t just want equality. They want superiority, and the submission of everyone else. But now these wicked ones are using the power of the godless State to force others to not just accept but participate in their wickedness too.
Don’t believe me? Look at the Christian photographers, the bakers, the owners of reception halls, the florists, the county clerks who have been forced by government to participate in homosexual celebrations or lose everything. We either bow down to the abomination, bless it, celebrate it and agree that this evil is actually good, or we suffer their wrath.
Look at how the godless lawmakers have taken over our healthcare system and turned it into something deformed and utterly dysfunctional. Nothing we’re told about “healthcare” today is true. Note that if “Obamacare,” as it was called, was so very wonderful, people would have flocked to it, lining up to sign up for all the great benefits. But since it was truly horrific, the government had force it upon us, and if we tried to object, we were forced to pay even more, as a penalty on our taxes.
Never before has the use of force been so blatant as in the last two years. The wicked have forced the closure of churches and businesses, they’ve mandated the wearing of useless and harmful masks and forced people to be locked down in their homes. In other countries, they force people into COVID concentration camps. It won’t be long before those camps are open for business here too, and people will be forced to go there. And now, world-wide, they’re forcing deadly de-population injections, which they call “vaccines” — “take the jab or lose your job.” They also force truth-tellers out of the public arena. Truth is banned from the internet and the public square. Persecution follows if you dissent. Evil public officials are calling for criminal prosecution of those who express viewpoints that oppose the government narrative, even if those viewpoints are absolutely — and provably true.
Consider also, the Satanic system of Islam, which the father of lies calls “a religion of peace.” Like the ancient false religion of Babylon, you either bow down and worship Satan, here known as “Allah” or you die. There’s no freewill, no option to freely come to “god” in the system of Islam. You go by force, or you die. The same is happening now with orchestrated racial division. Now we’re being forced to repeat their divide-and-conquer strategy: “Black people always good; white people ALWAYS evil.” Accept that or it will be forced upon you until you get your mind right. Express your concerns at a local school board meeting and you’ll find the label “domestic terrorist” forced upon you.
See, the one true God of heaven doesn’t rule like this. Only Satan rules like this. Forcing us to accept and celebrate our own destruction through obvious lies and deceit. Satan always tries to force us to accept and participate in lies. True Christ-followers cannot do that. Though we face punishment and persecution, though we be made outcasts, not allowed to buy or sell or travel without our “vaccine passports,” we seek only the Way, the Truth and the Life. Understand: God never forces things on us. God gives us the freedom of freewill, along with power, love and a sound mind. And that’s a terrible thing to waste.
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