BRAY ALL YOU WANT TO BUT GOD WILL NOT BE MANIPULATED
I have told you all many times that I am a very “churchy” person. I believe in the local church for education, worship, fellowship, and outreach. Sometimes I tell funny stories. They all go together for my love for the church. I am not being ugly about church, but one cannot go there for 83 years without a range of experiences. At least not in my background. I must confess in recent years I don’t have the same kind of stories. I’m glad I learned in the little church.
I’m making some observations today that will fit my theme.
1. Once upon a time we had a preacher in our little church who lacked a few eggs in his egg crate. Kind man and all but… One night he decided he was going to preach until the glory came down. He preached, and preached, and preached, and …by one o’clock most everyone had gone home. My folks were left and what do you do? Walk out and leave him alone? No, but about 2:30 mother got tickled. So she laughed. Did you every start laughing at 2:30 a.m.? I have – with my sisters a couple of times; it is hard to stop! So she laughed some more, and more, and more. Preacher was delighted that the glory had come down! We finally left; he was still preaching. Manipulation? It didn’t work.
2. It won’t work with singing either. But I believe I have seen it tried. Now I like singing. I like lots of singing. I like it for praising; I like it for entertainment. I like it for learning. I like it for music’s sake. I think God likes it too, for lots of reasons. But not to set the scene for the preacher. An anointed preacher does not need to be motivated by a “warmed up” audience. Neither the singing nor the preacher will manipulate God.
3. You have probably heard this advice; maybe even given it. “If you are praying for something, find a scripture to stand on, then stand on it!” You claim “God’s word will not return void” etc.
God has many more scriptures than the one you might “find” to stand on. Many people know Mark 11:23-24 about asking and receiving but not nearly as many cite John 15:7. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you can ask whatever you will and it will be given you.”
Claiming his promises but not fulfilling his conditions, is a giant manipulation maneuver. God will not moved!
Singing until the audience is warmed up will not manipulate God.
Preaching until the power falls will not manipulate God.