Recently, I set my face like flint upon a course of action which I believed was ordained of God. The signs were there, confirming words were spoken. It seemed all but assured.
I had faith (was it presumption?) that this was the thing to do.
Others didn’t see it that way, questioned my resolve, my commitment.
But I am a stubborn man, and wouldn’t relent (was this perceived as controlling?).
In my stubbornness, I missed it:
One cannot believe for others, bestow faith upon them. Though I tried–how I tried.
I said “See? The signs are there.”
“No, this is not for us, not now.”
Had God really spoken? It had seemed that way at the time; doors had been opened. It didn’t matter. Whether he had spoken or not, had opened a door or not, the simple fact is this:
There’s no wanting something for others more they want it themselves.
Oh, sure, one may want all one wants, but all the wanting in the world can’t change other’s hearts. Thus it was that my faith and trust became mere pixie dust–a kind of magical thinking whereby I thought I could bend reality to my will.
But all of the faith in the world is no match for the power of free will.
The simple truth about it is that this ordeal, avoidable as it was, was more about the condition of my heart than it was anything else:
Because I gave it power over me, let it invalidate me. Because I wasn’t being followed, I questioned my ability to lead, and dug my heels in even more.
The truth is, it became an idol. I wanted this more than I wanted God. A very wise man told me:
“Your desperation in this matter smacks of control. Fight for your heart first, then for those in your charge.”
I didn’t want it to be true.
But it was: I wanted to be in control. Faith became presumption, because I was sure I knew what was best for others.
I was playing God.
I repented in dust and ashes.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been so sure of something that you missed God, and thus mistreated the hearts you were supposed to care for?