We are living at a time when people give gifts to manipulate the behavior of others. This is where people treat you in a special way when seeking favor but change the behavior if they presume you are of no benefit to them. We manipulate others by dangling a carrot that conditions them to behave in a given manner. Because we are so used to such behaviors, we tend to think that we can also manipulate God in a certain way or even trade with him by giving him gifts in return for favors. We are tempted to think that we must behave in a certain way for God to bless us. We forget that despite their continuous rebellion, God never removed manna from his people the Israelites nor did he take his loving kindness from them. God does not love us because of the good things we do. When we associate our blessings or troubles with a given behavior we fall into the error of thinking that we can manipulate God the way we want. Where are you tempted to think your blessings are related to the way you behave? Where are you tempted to think that you are in trouble because of something you did against God? God loves us irrespective and we cannot manipulate him. He loves us the way we are and hopes his unconditional love for us will draw us towards him.
“You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.”Nehemiah 9:20 NIV
Last modified: September 26, 2020