God is not manipulative in this…

A guest post by: Mitzi Hopper Sahawneh

Testimony:

I want to share this testimony– this is an experience– I know that it can be dangerous to put too much emphasis on experiences– but I have also found, that by sharing experiences or testimonies, when God wants this, is valuable and used of God. I know this because God has used things, that other people have shared, to teach me and help me to understand things. However, the underlying principles must line up with God's Word. 

FAITH– God will call us to do rash acts sometimes– on faith alone. What I mean by rash– is really– irrational on some level. The rational must be tested for faith to operate. 

In thinking about Jack's prayer request, I remember a time when God called me to make a move on faith as well. (this move did not require near the faith of Jack's because I was alone– I was not married and did not have a family and children to consider– that makes a major difference and is much more weighty than what I dealt with— I was alone). Long story short, I came here to visit and never returned back to Georgia, where I was living at the time. 

I was visiting for Christmas, but FELT…. yes –FELT– that I should not leave. God does work in our emotion. We are expected to know when it is God working in our emotion when He is working strongly. I drove two hours to go back to Georgia and FELT strongly that I should not go. I even pulled over to the side of the road and grabbed by Bible…. I found nothing. This seemed contrary to me, because I thought you were supposed to find everything in the Bible! So there I was, at 11:00 at night in Nashville on the side of the road (I was very young–mind you) looking in my Bible trying to make sure this is what God was wanting me to do. I found nothing there.

When I got back on the road to return back here— it was as if God was saying— don't you know when I am showing you what to do?! It was as though He was saying– Don't you recognize My strong pull in your life and don't you believe Me? — Now He did not say this……. I am not talking about anything audible or anything like that…. but I just could not believe that He was asking me to do this….. it made no sense to me…… but it was Him.

I went back to my grandmother's house, at the time I just assumed that God wanted me to stay a while longer. I had no idea He was going to want me to actually move back here…. but was wondering.

I started to rationalize. I had a job in Georgia and was supposed to work the next day. I felt terrible! I believe STRONGLY that you DO NOT just leave your job, you always work out a 2 week notice (no questions asked)– that is just the right thing to do— why would He lead me to do this? This seemed to be contrary to doing the 'right' thing to me. This made no sense. God would never ask me to do something like this… but He did.

They had just started moving me into management– something I thought God was doing in my life at this job. We see things as they are at this moment in our lives. Our logical conclusions about what God is doing in our lives are all based upon what we can SEE. But God is working on a much higher level. He is using what is going on now in our lives, but He has the full picture. This is why we can look back on our lives and see that we were mistaken about what God was doing in the SEEN world sometimes. We come up with conclusions based upon the SEEN, the things we see in our lives. That is the extent of what God shows us.

God is not manipulative in this. It is –us– that naturally draws logical conclusions about what God is doing based upon what we can see right now. I know that God does show leaders His vision for things– goals and so forth– but sometimes He does not show anything of what is ahead but He fully expects us to know 'His voice' in our lives and to obey. 

When I began to look at what God had been doing in my life, I could see His hand clearly at work. It is no mistake that I had already been packing my things up because I thought I was going to start school at a university there in Georgia. So there I had been packing, for several weeks already, getting ready to move, thinking it was going to be about 1 hour away—- when it ended up being here…… 8 hours away and two states away from where I was. 

My mind was in a struggle. I just could not believe this was happening. In some ways, I was having to 'weigh out' what I FELT with my convictions (my responsibilities to my job and THIS MADE NO SENSE). I thought it was wrong to not go into work– I felt very guilty because of this– yet I knew good and well that God was showing me to stay here. 

What I am saying is– other people may criticize and you may even evaluate things and say 'this cannot be God'……… but it very well may be. There may be some things that do not fit into what we count rational or even ethical! 

Anyway, God worked every single detail out. He worked every — single—- detail —- out. He worked out the money, the apartment, another job, a Bible college (of which I had NO intentions of at all), EVERYTHING. That is one thing about it— When God calls you to act on FAITH— He WILL provide everything. You will know that it is Him.

How do we distinguish between acts of God in experience and our own emotions and feelings. From what I have… well, experienced, there is always a time of deep awareness of God, fasting (not necessarily all the time– although it has always been with me) — and a CLEAR –looking to Him. God had been working MONTHS in my life, destroying my idols, emptying me of self and giving a burning desire for Him before this. 

These are not times of high emotion and mountaintop experiences in the physical sense. NO! They are the opposite. God draining the desire for the world and showing our shortcomings. He shows Himself clearly and ALL else fades fast in His light!

I lost my electricity at one point and all I did was read my Bible by the light of an oil lamp—- and was FULLY satisfied– praise be to God! Who cares about lights and electricity when you are feasting on God's Word!!!! What looked like poverty to the world— was RICHES in reality!

There is a time where God prepares and teaches us and gets us ready for these things. Clearly, this IS God. Me makes Himself clearly present in our lives so that when the time for action appears– we are without excuse to not act– AND we will see how God has lined everything up. God makes a way for His will.

God will 'strip us down' to nothing — so to speak– so that we are level headed in these things. These acts are important because they become pillars of our faith and will be needed later in our lives. So we can look back and see the faithfulness of God in our lives and because of that— we can step out again and again on this faith. 

While I realize that there are people who have committed murders that claim all of these same things… even that it is God— this does not diminish in any way, shape, form, or fashion God's works in His children. A counterfeit should be expected– this does not mean we should not acknowledge these things in our lives– by no means. 

These acts are there to build our faith and the faith of others. AMEN

For more GodSpots – 37stories Enjoy!

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37stories

It is the desire of my heart that God be Lord of my life. Life’s experiences have killed the old man and God is building a new creation in me. I look forward to experiencing the new man God creates in the old vessel known as Archie via "God Spots".

2 thoughts on “God is not manipulative in this…”

  1. Mitzi wrote “…this is an experience– I know that it can be dangerous to put too much emphasis on experiences–…”
    But I offer this also: All we read in the scriptures is based on experiences. All the stories of both Old and New Testament are full of Experiences. We gain hope and insight into the nature of God through experiences- both those of others told in story form, and in our own. What is so cool here is that it does line up with what has happened over the years, even over the thousands of years…where plans were made, and God changed the plans of man.
    It makes me think too, of all those sermons over the years of not basing things on our emotions…when God gave us emotions for a reason. And the ‘gut feeling’ that helps us to know something beyond what our understanding can begin to tell us.

    I appreciate the story of your experience here, Mitzi. It is one of true faith, or listening in the dark, of trusting what you know you hear from God.

    Your statement “There is a time where God prepares and teaches us and gets us ready for these things. Clearly, this IS God.” is an expression of this as well…

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