Trust In God’s Will Vs Human Manipulations
As we all know, this is one of the dividing points of the gospel.
When we talk about doing God’s Will, most of the time, we reduce it to just the issue of choosing a life partner which supposes not to be so. As Christians, all our plans, motives, decisions, and moves must be within the Will of God. We must seek His Will in everything we do. It becomes difficult for a man who has not developed the art of hearing God, to suddenly begin to hear God right during marriage.
Another thing we need to know about God’s Will is that it is revelatory. If we seek to do His will at all times, He’ll reveal His perfect Will to us. John 7 vs 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. God doesn’t hide from sincere Seekers.
We often make the mistake of joining any ministry particularly if the founder or the presiding pastor is somebody we know so well or we like his teaching or manner of life. Denominational attachment must be subjected to God’s Will. The fact that a denomination is a family church doesn’t give you the liberty to get attached to it. No matter your commitment to such a church, what you need to fulfill God’s will might not be in that church or ministry.
Service in the kingdom is a function of the Will of God. Acts 13 vs 36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption. It was recorded for David here that he served his generation by the Will of God. It is good to be enlisted into God’s service, but our role in the service must be a function of His will. A lot of pastors on the pulpit today are called to be missionaries who are supposed to be going from one village to another to serve their generation and fulfill God’s will but they’re currently entangled with being founders and pastors of churches, thus, have derailed from God’s plan for their lives. Others are busy moving from one mega-church activity to another, getting honorariums and earthly benefits. There’s no eternal reward for a service done in the kingdom outside of the Will of God.
Romans 8 vs 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Prayer to God and intercession must be according to God’s will. At times, we get carried away during prayer that we pray for what we are not supposed to pray for. Some things should naturally be our heritage in the kingdom without asking for them if we truly live for His glory.
Most of the time, asking for cars, houses, jobs, visas, prosperity, etc might not be according to His will. All these are rewards for faithful servants of the kingdom and we don’t necessarily need to ask for them. That doesn’t mean He won’t give us if we ask for them but most of the time, we prioritize them above the things of the Spirit. Also, their presence in our lives has reduced our service and commitment to God. Unbelievers have all these things without praying for them. The fact that a believer is blessed with worldly materials is not a sign that he is living in God’s expressed will. Whenever God entrust us with wealth or other material things, we must ask for His Will concerning those things He has given to us and use them strictly for that purpose.
*There are a lot of prayer meetings in the church today with mountains of requests that aren’t according to His Will*. One of the problems of the modern-day church is that there are a lot of prayer bulletins that are being distributed to members which aren’t according to His Will. The truth is that when the supernatural is gone, men always find an alternative to replace it. That’s the reality of the modern-day church and Christianity by extension.
1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Our continual abiding in Him is a function of doing His Will. If we don’t do His Will, like a branch we will be completely removed from Him, and thus, we become exposed to every danger out there. As we’re abiding in Him, we must check every time whether all the steps we are taking are according to His Will.
Anything we do outside the will of God, no matter how good it may be, amounts to waste as it has no record with Him. Sometimes we force ourselves into many things outside the will of God merely to save appearances or to please men, whereas, we have lost His presence. Exodus 33:15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
When we’re doing His Will, all the resources that we need to fulfill the kingdom mandate will be provided for us; because “Whatever God ordains, He sustains”.
Understanding His will is to say we are walking in his steps. Faith starts where the will of God is known. Your first duty in prayer is to know if it is the will of God.
Many times while we are waiting for the Will of God to be fulfilled, we become impatient and then resolve to use human manipulations, decorating it so well to look like His Will. This is unacceptable before God.
When the basis of our Christianity is on signs, we can easily be deceived but when the basis of our faith is the word of God, we have a sure word of prophecy and fulfillment. There are a lot of cathedrals that have been built or are being built in our country today that are outside His will. When the resources aren’t forthcoming, the church leadership will use human manipulation to raise money from the members to fast-track the completion of the buildings, they will decorate it so well that the members won’t know it’s just mere human manipulation.
What we need to know is that every human manipulation that replaces the will of God will always attract divine punishment until the error is corrected through repentance and return to doing the revealed will of God.
Most of the time, human manipulations are always motivated by fear. Fear, that if I wait for the Will of God, a lot of time could be wasted and my contemporaries might have gone ahead of me before the Will of God is fulfilled. This is an ungodly comparison. God can never be late and you cannot hasten His Will to come to pass until the time appointed. His will at times is to test your patience.
We must have a deep conviction about the sovereignty of God. He has the power to do whatever He chooses to do and nothing happens that is not allowed by Him. Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
We must trust in His Will at all times even when it doesn’t make sense or fit into our reasoning! It sure seems most of the problems we encounter in Christianity are based on losing focus on God and concentrating on what people will say or think. See the example of King Saul in 1 Samuel 13:11-13.
It is also noteworthy to mention that manipulations do not come from false prophets alone. You can be manipulated by genuine men of God even when they think they mean well. How do you know when you are being manipulated? Examples- You are in a Branch of a church and someone does not want you to leave at all cost when clearly, God is leading you to another; You want to marry someone and God has validated it, but a minister has someone for you and therefore manipulates it to make it difficult for you to proceed with the will of God; You have been transferred from a Church but the Pastor maintains you must continue paying your tithe to his Church and when you object, he becomes angry. I knew a pastor who helped a couple secure jobs in a federal government establishment with the condition that they must leave the parish where they were attending to come to his own, which they agreed to. They have gotten the job now and I saw them in his parish the last time I was there. This is a typical example of human manipulation. These things make me wonder what kind of Christianity we are practicing.
In my own opinion, I think most Christians prefer to follow human dictates to please their leaders so that they also can have ungodly allowances to satisfy their secret indulgences. It takes a lot of conviction to stand against the ungodly dictates of church leaders. When a leader tells you: “Everything about you and all the money in your account etc I must know because I am your spiritual authority”, know that such a leader is only seeking to control your life. While you may tell someone something about you, it must be voluntary not mandatory, or by force. We can go on and on. Let us know that the first thing about us should be the will of God. If you yield to manipulations, you will walk the road alone and thereby, many have lost their home, children, and family to this unscriptural milieu.
One of the reasons why many succumb to manipulations is the “hero worship” of their leaders. The day we draw the line between hero worship and respect for authorities is the day we become free from human manipulations of leaders. This can be traced to the way churches are set up today. Everything is centered on the “owner” of the ministry and the converts are molded to become radical disciples of the leader. The pastor is “all in all”. There should never be a Church or group where a single man has absolute authority, else, the Church can easily slip into the leading error of the leader. Another reason is the little benefit or potential benefit from the manipulator. When you believe you have met your “destiny helper” you will be willing to obey any instruction without checking if it’s the will of God or not. When many are prayed for by a minister and their petitions are granted, the man has become “God” to them. That’s dangerous, God CAN NEVER do everything for you through a single man all the time, else, such will take the place of God. This is both detrimental to the “man of God” and those who made him into such.
One of the safest things about church followership today is to place the Bible above all men, irrespective of the person. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into His will as we are led by people in place of spiritual authority. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. We must advocate a system like the Apostles where they have councils of Elders and can give feedback to each other as required. That was why Paul could challenge Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. Let it be clear that we must always look at all men through the lens of God. When we have answers to our requests through the prayer of a pastor, we should never ascribe the glory to him as the doer, but to God. I Corinthians 3:4,5 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. That does not mean we should not respect the leaders or their offices, but never give God’s glory to them or allow any manipulations by men.
We bring all these points so that if you see them, you will quickly know and run away
This is the sad state of the church now. Also as leaders, we must always strive to be seen as believers and ministers under God’s authority, never as manipulators or men doing the work of God as our own business. And when we see that people want to make us into their “God”, we must firmly correct them and bring the word of God forward, placing the will of God above the plan and motives of men. Acts 14:11-15.
At times, our loyalty to Denominational doctrines and way of doing things is the reason why human manipulation is prevalent among us these days. Any doctrine that can’t be established in the Bible shouldn’t be obeyed no matter who gave the directive. Most leaders don’t have in-depth and expository Bible Study programs, they only schedule Prophetic and Apostolic Meetings in a bid to prevent the people from growing in the Word enough to challenge them. Compare those saved in the early 90s and those saved in early 2000, You will see the difference. How about those who have a strong Bible Study and yet still allow themselves to be manipulated? Yes, few conservative assemblies rely on the view of the Church leaders than a personal search for the truth of scriptures. Many of them are people who only read the scriptures through the lens and understanding of men. We must always place the word of God above human administration. Manipulation in Christianity is what we should have no mention at all. However, seeing it in the church tells of the kind of congregation and the pastors/leaders we have this day. People go to church to look for favors, jobs, contracts, etc I believe this issue is like two sides of a coin. When we have believers whose faith is not grounded and rooted in Christ, there will also be evil men, and manipulators, who would take advantage of them. Therefore, we must be deliberate about our seeking God and our depth of God must be sound so that we are not tossed away with the wave of false doctrine and human manipulations. Our denominations have become political grounds where favors and being in the good books of the leaders trumps the church’s constitution- the Bible. One thing I know is if you become a loyalist to men you will go down with Him but if it you are inclined to the word of God, you will stand firm for life. Acts 17:11 (KJV) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. I was in a service one day when a few of us were called out and they told us the church had borrowed some millions of naira on behalf of the members because the headquarters was putting pressure on them to remit their contribution. I told my pastor that if God wanted me to borrow money to do His work, He would tell me Himself, not the church leaders. Most of the time, our silence about things like this is the reason why manipulation thrives. We must confront manipulation in any form the same way we confront errors. We see a lot of borrowing these days to build Churches, are we business ventures? Anything God cannot do, we leave it.
In conclusion, some of the prayers we pray today are only to avoid the will of God. You cannot weary God. He has said his spirit will not strive with any man. Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not strive with man forever. It is futile to negotiate with God without knowing his will, but worse, it is suicidal to negotiate when His express will has been made known. The best form of prayer is a prayer of aligning ourselves to God’s plan. No matter how ridiculous his instructions and offers may look, it is far safer and better than the options you present to him. Most times, we pray to present our options to God to approve disregarding his offer and instructions. This ought not to be. 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. The consequences of following our will as against God’s will far outweigh the fears that make us disregard them. I pray that God will deliver us. Amen.
Let us reflect on the decisions and steps we have made that have brought us to where we are today and let us make the necessary corrections where we have erred. Let us teach our children how to subject all their moves and motives to the will of God. Let us prayerfully and courageously confront all forms of human manipulations. If there’s an assembly to quit or attachment to detach from, let’s do it. Nobody gets to heaven by obeying manipulative leaders. We should also check ourselves and make sure we’re not manipulating people. Like Bro Gbile Akanni said in one of his messages “Manipulation and witchcraft are the same”.