Have you ever heard someone say, “I know God wants me to marry my boyfriend,” or “God told me to take the job.” Have you ever said, “God told me ‘this’….or God told me ‘that’?”
There are certainly times when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. He may direct us in a very specific way or create a situation which is far more than just coincidence. Perhaps someone was perfectly placed in our path. There are instances when we KNOW God is speaking to us. Absolutely, positively just know.
But, how many times are you unsure what God is saying yet you make the call on his behalf? Are there decisions which you credit to God, all the while knowing in your heart he’s not really behind the urging?
There’s a fine line between serving God’s purpose in your life and using God to serve yours!
I speak in Declutter Now! about a situation where I began dating my ex-husband. Okay, so many of you already see the red flags with this already, but sadly, I did not. You see I ‘knew’ the life lessons God had just walked me through were for this man and I was the one who was chosen to make him happy. I was going to make it work, no matter what the cost, and I had it all figured out. Did you notice how many I’s I just used? The truth is, however, when I actually listened for God’s word on the matter, I was way off base. It wasn’t what God had in mind at all, but in my brokenness, it was all too easy to use God to serve MY purpose.
Often our choices are buried in a mire of confusion. Even when we might legitimately be trying to listen, we can still get it wrong. But think about it. Have there also been situations when you knew better? When you hid behind the façade of what ‘God wants’ and used him to serve your purpose instead? This is the dangerous territory I'm speaking of.
God takes his responsibility to us very seriously. He follows through on all of his promises and never falls short. We can count on him to guide us correctly, provide the tools we need for success, love us unconditionally and keep his word forever and always. If this is the case, then why would we circumvent his desire? Unfortunately, our humanness can get in the way! Can you relate to any of the following?
- Impatience – You want what you want…in your time, not his.
- Selfishness – You want it your way and only your way.
- Pride – You think you know better than God. If something’s going to get done right, you better do it yourself.
- Rationalizing – It’s going to happen anyway, so why not help it along and just get it going quicker.
- Control – Hanging on to the reins tightly gives you a feeling of greater security and having more control.
These are all very common emotions which trip us up from time to time. The bigger problem, though, lies with attributing YOUR decisions to God’s will. That’s a far more dangerous slippery slope.
Ephesians 5:17 is very clear on the matter, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
If you are going to credit God’s will with the decisions you’re making, be extremely careful that you’ve genuinely sought out HIS will and followed it to the best of your ability.
Perhaps you’ve listened and proceeded with what you felt God was directing you to do? Are there going to be times that, try as hard as you may, you’re going to get it wrong? Sure. But a sincere heart motive is a far cry from blatant disregard for God’s will and then using him as an excuse for the selfish decisions made.
Anyone brave enough to share a story about a time when you overrode God’s direction and took it upon yourself to carve an alternate path while justifying it as God’s desire? It may be difficult to expose such indiscretion but the result can be personally freeing while also helping others with their own self-realization efforts!** If you like what you see, be sure to sign up for our weekly email notifications!