Does God manipulate? - Manipulation - TouchPoints

Does God manipulate?

Job 34:12There is no truer statement than this: God will not do wrong. The Almighty cannot twist justice.

1 Peter 2:22He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone.

Matthew 6:9-10Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.

Romans 6:13Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.

God does not manipulate his people because God’s nature would not permit this. He is holy, just, perfect, and all-powerful. He gives people the choice to obey and do his will, or disobey and suffer the consequences. The choice is ultimately ours, but he may sometimes motivate us to clearly see the benefits of the right choice. God also guides and disciplines, but he never manipulates.

Romans 7:4, 6So then, dear friends, the point is this: The law no longer holds you in its power, because you died to its power when you died with Christ on the cross. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God . . . But now we have been released from the law, for we died with Christ, and we are no longer captive to its power. Now we can really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way, by the Spirit.

Romans 8:2, 13And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. . . . For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death . . . For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.

Romans 6:22But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

We must obey either God or Satan, good or evil. God guides; Satan manipulates. When we are freed from the manipulation of sin and evil, our refuge from that sin and evil is found in God, the only power greater than the Evil One.

Philippians 2:13For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

Hebrews 13:20-21Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

We obey God when we have a desire to obey him. We do his will when he equips us to do his will. We are not puppets on strings, manipulated by a divine puppeteer, but rather motivated to put our lives in line with God because that is what is best for us.

Jonah 1:4, 16-17But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the Lord flung a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to send them to the bottom . . . The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:10Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.

Jonah 3:1-3Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.

God provides circumstances to show us how best to obey and serve him. Jonah did not have to go to Nineveh. But when he “went to God’s school in the belly of the great fish” for three days, he learned that going to Nineveh was the right and best thing to do.

Exodus 7:5When I show the Egyptians my power and force them to let the Israelites go, they will realize that I am the Lord.

Exodus 10:1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and again make your demands. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can continue to display my power by performing miraculous signs among them.

Exodus 14:31When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord and put their faith in him and his servant Moses.

Romans 9:17For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you, and so that my fame might spread throughout the earth.”

God does not force people to obey him. But sometimes he provides some very strong motivation, as he did to Pharaoh, to help us see what is best for us.

Revelation 4:11You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.

Romans 13:1Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.

Colossians 2:10and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.

Job 12:16Yes, strength and wisdom are with him; deceivers and deceived are both in his power.

Manipulation means controlling another person in an unworthy manner. God, as all-loving and perfect, is worthy in all aspects of life and relationships. God guides and disciplines us, but he never manipulates.