Just because something great happens doesn’t mean it was from God; I know how to manipulate.
Honestly, I hate that word — manipulate. It rubs something rough and grainy into the softer places of my heart.
But there it is. And I know it. Because sometimes I do it. I manipulate.
I know how to sell an idea I think is really great.
I know how to go the extra mile.
I know how to strategize to make my plan seem like a great plan.
And not that any of this is intrinsically bad. Some of these things are great qualities God can certainly use in great ways.
But what if I use these skills and talents outside God’s will? To push past God’s timing, God’s direction, God’s plan to teach me stuff in the process?
I think He lets us push past His better plan sometimes to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. Boy do I know all about that. I’ve jumped headfirst into something I thought I wanted so much, only to find extreme stress, fear, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of regret.
It’s great to know how to sell an idea. But it’s not great to do it outside God’s will.
It’s great to go the extra mile. But it’s not great to do it out of a desire to secure what I want — rather than out of a desire to serve another.
It’s great to strategize and have a plan. But it’s not great if that plan stretches me so I seek “more” rather than truly seeking God.
So, I am learning. Learning to not always push so hard. Run so fast. And desire so much more.
This week I had the opportunity to be considered for something huge. Really huge.
And I knew how to secure it.
I knew the words I could use to sell my idea. I knew I could go the second mile with my pitch and look impressive. I knew the strategy that should be implemented and the plan to propose.
But what I didn’t know is if this was God’s plan or my desire.
If I knew for sure it was God’s plan, all my efforts wouldn’t be manipulation — they’d be smart.
But I didn’t know.
Therefore, all my pushing and plotting were manipulation. So, I stopped. I backed off. I stepped aside.
I sat quiet.
And I experienced the sweetest sense of trust and peace.
Now, I can rest in the assurance that if this is to be, it isn’t up to me. It’s up to God. I give what I can give. And then wait for Him to give what only He can give. So, if He makes it happen without all my chaotic self-effort, than I will know it is His best.
And if it doesn’t happen, I will praise Him for saving me from myself.
Do you ever catch yourself manipulating past God’s plans to secure your own desire?