You're a bit of a dictator. And I am, too.
The Holy Spirit gave me the revelation one day as I lamented why the blessing the Lord said He'd give me wasn't coming the way I thought it would, or should.
Imagine that: I was trying to tell the Gift Giver how to give the gift.
It happens much more easily than you might think. The Holy Spirit confirms to you that indeed the Lord heard your prayers for a new house, a new car, a way out of debt, peace about that child, or whatever.
Excited, you begin looking at your circumstances trying to figure out how He's going to do it. And that's when the enemy slides into the conversation.
Well, Lord, I know you said I'm the lender and not the borrower, but I don't make enough to pay off all of these credit cards.
My God, you know I need a new car, but with a credit score like this, it's never going to happen.
I've been praying for a new job for weeks, Jesus, but they gave that job to someone else even though I interviewed. What gives?
Just that quickly, your focus has shifted.
Instead of keeping your eyes on the One who is your Source and Provider, you're looking at what He wants to give. Instead of fixing your gaze on and pursuing the face of God, you're inexplicably fixated on His hand.
Unavoidably, when what you see in your human life doesn't look like what God has promised you in the Spirit, you then get downright depressed and indignant.
You question God, you wonder if it was really His voice, and you quickly lose the sense of peaceful and patient expectation you once had.
How did we get here?
God's word is clear: we are to trust God.
In fact, the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
When we presume to know how God will bless us or deliver our breakthrough, we go from asking of God to demanding of Him. We move to telling Him how to be God, instead of through faith trusting Him to be God.
And there are many risks associated with taking our eyes off of God.
First, we run the risk of making a little-g god of the very thing God intended to be a blessing.
Second, for the God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we think and imagine, we also run the risk of limiting His move in our lives when we confine Him to blessing us in the way that makes sense to our human logic.
And, third, trying to force God to work within the boundaries of our plan can ultimately cause a delay in us receiving the very thing we so badly want.
It's a no-win situation. I mean, why would we even allow ourselves to go down this path of trying to play God's hand for Him?
We know from Isaiah 55:8 that His ways are not our ways, yet we somehow still try to plan exactly how and when He will move in our lives.
Well, as a recovering faith dictator, I share this word of hope: there is a way back.
Simply readjust your focus.
When you find that you're obsessing about this thing, always trying to guess how and when God will deliver it, actively choose right then and there to offer praise to God for simply being God.
As your praises go up, your focus will be returned to the Gift Giver and away from the gift; and most likely your peace about that thing will also be restored.
That space - inexplicable peace in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds - is where God wants us to stay, to live. He sent His Son to die for us so that we might have eternal life and unlimited access to the peace and joy that comes with not having to worry about anything.
Do you need to check your focus? Are you now consumed with the how of God's blessing, instead of with God Himself?
If this is you, cut yourself some slack and decide to put your eyes back on God.
And if you aren't sure if this is you, here's a quick test: does the idea of how God is going to do that thing for you cause you anxiety? Do you feel like you're obsessed with getting that thing, and you find it frustrating that the way you thought it would happen didn't come to pass?
If you've answered yes to any of these questions, welcome to FDA (Faith Dictators Anonymous). We've saved a chair for you.