Arm-Twisting for God
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care … not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples."1
On more than one occasion I have sat on a church planning meeting and as we were about to discuss the matter at hand, one member stated that God told him how the matter was to be.
End of discussion! Who can argue against God?
Well not quite.
My response was, "Well, God hasn't told me; so can we pray about and discuss the matter further."
As you can imagine my questioning this man was not appreciated.
On another occasion a man came to me and told me that God had told him he was to work for me. We won't discuss his qualifications for the job, but I thought I'd take the risk that God wouldn't punish me for not giving him a job. I didn't … and God didn't!
While God does speak or communicate to us in various ways through his Word, circumstances, a sense of inner peace, a deep conviction, or in a word that you sense deeply is from him, it is never contrary to his Word, and it is never manipulative.
Unfortunately "the Lord told me" is sometimes used as a way of controlling or manipulating others to get one's own way, and/or for being a power broker. When this happens, we need to recognize it for what it is and not buy into it. And we need to make sure that we don't do it ourselves. God doesn't need us to arm-twist for him.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, you desire truth in my innermost being so help me always to be truthful to myself, to others, and to you, and never seek to control anything or anybody in your name or in any other way. Ever! And help me always to discern when others are attempting to arm-twist for you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV).