Saturday, December 01, 2007

Trust or Manipulate?

I had an "oh, me" prayer time this morning.

I love the "Oh, my" times with God ... those times when I sense His Spirit, hear His voice, receive from His Word, and bask in His presence. But sometimes, He throws me a curveball! He'll speak something so clear and unexpected about an area of my life that I can do nothing but beg for His assistance.

Today was one of those days. He called something by a name I wasn't expecting. You see, I am in the middle of making a significant decision about whether to pursue something that might lead to a change in ministry emphasis and time commitments. I've really wrestled with the situation, and was calling my struggle by all sorts of spiritual-sounding names.

This morning, God called it something I wasn't expecting: manipulation.

Not manipulation of people - praise God He freed me from that ages ago and by His grace I walk free of that area. But manipulation of circumstances - ah, that's a different story. I hope I'm not the only one who has faced this battle ... it's so easy for me to "make something happen" especially when I know people, when I know "the system", when I know what needs to happen - or think I do. It's one of the easiest ways for me to get ahead of God. Let Him tell me to go from A to E and I'll start working the situations to be favorable for B, C, and D!

Don't get me wrong - I know that God uses people and circumstances. However, when I intentionally try to make something happen -- or, like this case, stay in a situation I can "control" rather than step out into the unknown -- I enter the realm of manipulation. I become like Sarah with Hagar, rather than walking in the truth of God's faithfulness.


So, the choice is clearer today. I still don't know God's answer to the opportunity before me ... but I do know I don't have as big a role to play in the decision as I had thought. I really have two paths to select from: Believe God or Manipulate Life. No choice there.

By grace alone, I'm believing God! I pray tonight for you to also have increased faith to believe Him!

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's Word is alive and active in me.
(from Believing God study by Beth Moore)

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