Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust: a Post About Control

randomlychad  —  October 15, 2012 — 8 Comments


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?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Ricky Anderson

    I think I go the other way and question myself about whether something is God-led until I convince myself it isn’t and then do nothing. I’m a tireless doubter.

  • Very interesting. I can see that happening, and I’ve surely wanted things for people so badly that I let that part of it take over all my thinking and doing. Somehow in that process, God gets shut out. Overall, I’m more like Ricky, though, in terms of not trusting myself that I’m really understanding God correctly.

    • For me, I want to be surrendered, and I’m tired out doubting--so I want to see confirmation.

      Or something like that. 🙂

      • Talking about confirmation, my prayer for help today wasn’t answered how I thought it would be. I was trying to cover a shift for someone tomorrow, and I really wanted to do it because this girl is in pain. I prayed and I did think that God would do that, would send help. But he didn’t. She has to work, and I feel really bad about it. I find myself wondering why. Why, since I asked this thing for her and not for myself.

        Just now as I typed those words, I thought about Undead (which since I’ve been working on the videos over the last two weeks is constantly on my mind) and what I was just working on last night, about Martha and Mary asking Jesus, “Why?” when he didn’t do what they expected him to do. And this situation pales in comparison. He had other plans that they couldn’t know at that time. Clay says, Jesus didn’t throw that back in their face and say, “How dare you!” I’m thankful for that!