"The Lord is leading me to..."
"The Spirit is guiding me..."
We've all heard it. Many of us have probably even said it. God is directing us to fill-in-the-blank.
I think my personal favorite was when it was commonly used at Bible school in reference to dating. "The Lord is leading me to date you"... and subsequently, "The Lord is leading me to break up with you." Since when did God impart divine wisdom through fickle 19-year-old hormones?
My brother has a friend who had a similar situation. Wanting to marry his girlfriend, he approached her father. The father said that God told him it was not His will for her to marry him. The boyfriend responded, "Well, God told me that it is."
I do not doubt that there are times that God really does direct and lead people to do things.
I also do not doubt that such words have been uttered not at the Spirit's prompting, but instead as a manipulation tactic.
You don't like your daughter's boyfriend? Say it's not God's will.
You don't like the decision leadership has made? Claim God's leading otherwise.
You aren't happy in any given situation in life? Attribute your feelings to God, and no one will have a leg to stand on.
I mean, come on, when someone tells you that God told them to do something, what do you say to that?
I strongly believe that God is not impressed at all when people use His name to further their own agenda, and I believe that it happens more than most of us would like to admit. Not only do the church's "troublemakers" do it, volunteers do it, deacons do it, pastors do it...
And no one questions it.
It is a matter of the heart that is not only personal, but deeply spiritual.
This thought came to me this morning, as there is a small... ahem... "issue" surrounding a decision I (and others) made last spring.
This is incredibly frustrating to me. How do you know when it's God and when it's not? More so, how do I know when it's God telling you to do something?
I mean, unless asked, I do not make any attempts to tell you what God is saying to you. However, when what you claim God tells you directly impacts my life, I feel like I should have a say.
You know, there are very few people who I would without question (or at least with few questions) accept what they told me from God. Very.few.people.
But can I tell you how difficult it is to even allude to someone that I wholeheartedly believe they are hiding behind alleged spirituality to get their way?
There is, as you can probably tell, much more to this situation, as well as to my thoughts and feelings on it.
Suffice it to say that it's at times like this that I'm thankful I have the thick skin which comes with the experience of being a pastor's kid.
By the way, you'll be happy to know that the boyfriend and his young love mentioned earlier have been happily married for several years.
Guess God decided to bless after all...