If you were an extremely wealthy single male or female in the business community, how would you go about finding a spouse? How could you determine if someone you were interested in was interested in you or your money? Would it be possible to find out ahead of the wedding ceremony?
I have reason to believe everyone on the planet wants to know the answer, from at least one person, to this question: “If I'm stripped down to nothing, would you still choose me?”
If He wanted to, God is in a position to make all of us choose Him. He could manipulate our human nature into choosing Him. He could deceive us into choosing Him. If man can be manipulated into serving the devil, God could certainly reverse the situation by His own manipulation.
But God wants us to choose Him of our own free will:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He [is] your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:19–20 NKJV)
When, as a consequence of sin, the Israelites were plagued with deadly snakes, God gave the people a choice: Look at the brass serpent on the pole made by Moses and live, or don't look and die. Everyone had a choice but not everyone made the choice to live (see Numbers 21:4–9).
When this brass serpent on a pole was lifted up, the people had a temporary fix to save them from destruction. When Jesus was lifted up, this fix was made permanent for anyone who will look to Him for salvation.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:14–15 NKJV)
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. (John 12:32)
The word “draw” is used in this passage to mean: To draw by inward power, lead, impel. Jesus is doing some heavy‐duty persuasion to draw each of us to Him. We choose life by choosing Him. But we have the right to refuse Him in this life—and in the next. He will not make us choose Him. He does everything short of making the choice for us. But He leaves that choice to us. He does everything short of making the choice for our children. But He leaves that choice to them.
The greatest threat coming against your children is their own free will. They don't have to choose Jesus and nobody (even Jesus) can make them. Although we might be on the lookout for some obscure verse in the Bible indicating otherwise, we already know this in our gut. So let's stop wringing our hands and living in fear of something we have no control over, and let's shift to what we can do.
Meditate on Psalm 139 for a few minutes and then pray this prayer with me:
“Father, You love our children more than we do. You love them with perfect love. They are on Your mind twenty‐four hours a day. They are on Your mind even outside the concept of time. You have gone to extreme measures to give them every opportunity to choose life. You go with them into their dark places. Any time they reach for You, Your hand is immediately available to lift them up. Lord, we surrender our children to You. You are the One who does the saving; we can only cooperate with You. So Lord, we rest from our worry. We rest in You. We listen intently for Your voice. We follow Your leading. We trust You with our precious children. In Jesus' Name.”
Are you ready for some action? Let's begin to eliminate those threats coming against our children that are “against their will”—those things we can do something about.
While human beings must be stopped from harming those we love, we are not really at war with human beings. Instead, we fight against what drives those people to do bad things. Our real war is against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places] (see Ephesians 6:12).”
Simply stated, if we stop the devil's influence over the bad guy, we stop the bad guy. Or said another way, if we just hold the bad guy down, but don't stop the devil's influence over him, the bad guy will still be the bad guy when he gets up.
If a bad guy is trying to harm someone who is in your physical care, would you stop the bad guy? How far would you go to stop him? Would you resist him to the point of death—his death preferably, but yours if necessary? If your “protection switch” is working you would.
I'm not saying there are no other ways of stopping a bad guy other than killing him. But you cannot protect another human being if you don't have a do‐or‐die attitude. If you hear an intruder opening the window of your child's bedroom, are you going to whimper and say, “Please, Mr. Bad Guy… please leave us alone or I'll have to call the police.” No…! You will do whatever you can… use whatever is available… to stop him… or die trying!
Your attitude itself can be either a deterrent or an invitation. If the bad guy knows he cannot get past you without a serious threat to his own welfare, he will be more likely to look for a pushover down the street. The che‐chuk sound of a 12‐guage being loaded is a far more effective deterrent than trying to sweet–talk the bad guy away.
It's no different regarding spiritual deterrents. Used properly, spiritual deterrents are much more powerful than physical deterrents. I say “used properly” because it's the attitude behind the words that makes them effective. You can “in Jesus' Name” this and “in Jesus' Name” that all day long, but without the right attitude you will have no effect whatsoever on the bad guy.
Moses' “children” were trapped between the sea and the approaching Egyptian army. Moses needed to eliminate the threat coming against them. At first he did what so many of us do when we try to talk away the threat; we think about some Bible verses and just stand there, hoping for the best.
Moses told the Israelites: “Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again (Exodus 14:13b NLT).” What Moses said sounds good, but his words had no power because he took no action. When we say “In Jesus' Name” but take no action and make no application of God's Word to the threat, then we are speaking words that sound good but have no power.
God corrected Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground (Exodus 14:15b–16 NLT).”
If we want to eliminate threats to our children, we must do more than just say the right words. We must put on our “do or die” attitude and get moving.
Have a good day,