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    Jumpstart Your Day 5-minute radio broadcasts

Jump-Start Your Day

Thursday, July 19th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

FORCING THE ISSUE

"...you shall give it to me now, and if not, I will take it by force" (1 Samuel 2:16)

 

How do you know something is from God? One sure way is to discern whether you are drawn by it or driven by it. A shepherd draws the flock; a cowboy drives the herd. One calls with His "still small voice", the other fires his six-shooter and cracks a bullwhip. There is a difference between asking politely and "making" someone do something. The Spirit inspires and nudges but never compels or forces us into compliance. Though He easily could, God never forces the issue.

 

It is possible to be "right" and still be wrong. "Woman, the Bible says you are to submit, so I'm going to make you submit!" Yes, the Bible is right on submission but the attitude and method is wrong, dead wrong. A person may have the power to force results but he doesn't necessarily have right to use that power. Paul concurred that the "power" given him was to be used for "edification, not to destruction" (2 Corinthians 13:10). Just because a pastor is the "boss" doesn't give him right to boss people around. Israel's shepherds were rebuked because "with force and cruelty" they had ruled the people (Ezekiel 34:4). And Jeremiah added, "...their course is evil, and their force is not right" (Jeremiah 23:10). When the course is wrong the force will be even more wrong.

 

It is the playground bully that uses coercion to get his way instead of waiting on the timing of the Lord. Tamar begged her half-brother Amnon, "do not force me", but he "being stronger than her, forced her, and lay with her" (2 Sam 13:12-14). Date rape is the crime of concern today but the same use of brute-force occurs on the job and even in the home much more often. We hear of corporate buy-outs, forced closures, power grabs, blackmail, etc. These are activities of the flesh, intimidation, putting on the pressure, "if you don't do what I want there will be hell to pay". That was the M.O. of Eli's son, who in our text spouted off, "You will give it to me now, and if not, I will take it by force!" James wrote, "This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:15).

 

A crafty person knows how to use the bait, "with the flattering of her lips she forced him" (Proverbs 7:21). Nowhere in the Bible is it written that the end justifies the means. And worse than being forced by another is that battle that wages inside the soul that causes us to act in opposition to our own consciences. When Saul offered that burnt offering, without a priest, contrary to the Law of Moses, he said, "I forced myself..." (1 Sam 13:12) Saul overrode his good sense and yielded to promptings from his lower nature. The first time that line is crossed the issue is "forced". After that, yielding to the wrong spirit becomes easier and easier. Believers must be very alert to what spirit is leading them. As mentioned, grace draws while manipulation and evil drives. The voice that demands, "You have to act right now!" is a compulsion, bent on making us jump the gun. Such presumption usually hurts others. Patience and seeing that all things are "done decently and in order" brings everyone into harmony and makes allowance for others' feelings. They say you can't force a square peg into a round hole. I suppose it can be done with a sledgehammer but that technique doesn't win very many friends. Advice? Quit forcing the issue; "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord".


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