The short answer is, “Of course not!”
But there are times when it certainly feels like he does.
Like that time when…
Her daughter decided to marry that guy in spite of their warnings, and then severed her relationship with her family completely (even though she and her mother had been the best of friends for years!).
Or, the time when…
She died anyway—even after the entire church prayed believing she would be healed.
Or what about that time when…
She just knew God had told her that her baby would live and he defied the doctor’s prediction and was born alive…on Christmas day…but died less than an hour after he took his first breath.
The list could go on and on and on. I would imagine that if your son has married a girl who won’t let you see your grandchildren or your husband left with his secretary or your doctor told you that you have something terrible that is going to kill you; you know what I mean.
God doesn’t mess with you, but the devil does.
He messes with you good. And he’ll use whatever he can to convince you that it’s God and not him doing it.
Remember Satan’s conversation with Eve? He didn’t say, “Hey, look at that fruit that’s forbidden for you to eat!” Instead he said, “Did God say that you couldn’t eat the amazing fruit from these incredible trees?”
In other words, “What kind of God would forbid you to eat perfectly good fruit?! “
And once Satan turned Eve’s attention to the one tree in the garden that did, indeed, bear “forbidden fruit” Satan had already planted the seed for his next thought, “What does God know, really about what is and is not good for you?!”
Satan always wants us to doubt God’s goodness and His love. If we truly understood how much He loves us we wouldn’t let our circumstances cast shadows on His motives toward us.
My daughter is teaching me many things. She’s going through a time in her life that is tough. I’m not going to share the details because the details don’t matter. I am going to share what she said Saturday about her faith journey.
“God is going to work it out. Soon. I’ve been flooded with peace today. Can’t quite explain it. Any anxiety, stress, worry or fear we feel is the result of a lack of knowledge of two things.
1. How much God loves us.
2. Just how sovereign He is.
If we truly know those two things, trusting Him and experiencing His peace is inevitable.”
God doesn’t mess with you. The devil does.
God doesn’t mess with you. But He sure does poke and prod on you.
When my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer she told her doctor that she wasn’t afraid to die, but that she didn’t want to deal with all the poking and prodding he would most likely do on her to try to keep her alive. The Dr. replied, “I’m going to poke and prod on you a lot! So, you just might as well resign yourself to that fact.”
Sharon resigned herself and patiently endured the doctors poking and prodding. (She died March 21, 2015)
When I think about the painful process of being “formed in the image of God” I think about how Sharon dreaded being poked and prodded on.
We enter in to this relationship with God that is personal “just as I am without one plea.” But God doesn’t leave us that way. He intends to take you “just as you are” and shape you into the spittin’ image of His Son.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we are being “transformed into the image of Christ.”
Michelangelo transformed a great big piece of marble into the image of David. And if that marble had feelings I’m sure Michelangelo hurt them.
If you’ve invited Jesus to come into your life and you’ve joined God in the adventure of living the rest of your days on earth fulfilling the plans God had for you from the get go (see Ephesians 2:8-10), then you already know that God is way more about changing you than He is about changing to please you.
Many times we think God is messing with us because He’s knocking some stuff off of us.
The story goes that someone asked Michelangelo how he created such works of art, and Michelangelo told them that he simply released the figure from the stone by removing everything that held him back.
Perhaps, God is doing the same with us. The Old Testament Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah likened God to a Master Potter who molds and shapes us like clay. (see Jeremiah 18 and Isaiah 64).
God doesn’t mess with you, but He does poke and prod on you. And God’s poking and prodding is with the intent of releasing the image of Christ in you.
God doesn’t mess with you but He does allow your faith to be stretched.
I’ve discovered that God will allow Satan to mess with me even to the very edge of my faith. When what is happening around me doesn’t match up with what God promises to me, I have to dig deep in God’s Word and dive headlong into things I do not know in order to discover that all of the God I knew was not all of God to know.
My friend Anita wrote this in the comments of the video I posted on Facebook where I entertained this question:
“There is an Italian term my Mom used all the time "mescolare" which means to "mix up" things. I'd say that's how I feel when God is working on me, getting my attention..."mixed up"...I am totally confounded by what is going on around me...just like the people of Babel (Genesis 11) So, I have to focus my attention on Him with a kind of tunnel vision. In my heart I KNOW He brings about His plan and justice, out of what looks chaos to me. "For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose." Philippians 2:13
I love that Italian term!
“mescolare” –to mix things up
God is sovereign and He is always aware of what is going on with you. Sometimes God allows unimaginable things to happen to you. What happens with the unimaginable happens?
Suddenly you are imagining things you never imagined before.
Does that mean that God is messing with you?
That means that life on earth is rearing its ugly sin-stained head and you are suffering the repercussions. When the unimaginable happens, the God who loves you (enough to send His Son to die for you) is trusting you to get “mixed up” and to come out on the other side of that “mixed up” place to a brand new awareness of both His power and His love so that it takes more than that to mix you up again!!
I said this in my book, Spiritual Warfare for Women,
“Every attack from the enemy brings with it a divine invitation from the hand of God to know by experience what Love does.”
God knows what He’s doing even when you don’t have a clue. And like Kaleigh said,
“God is going to work it out. Soon…Any anxiety, stress, worry or fear we feel is the result of a lack of knowledge of two things.
3. How much God loves us.
4. Just how sovereign He is.
If we truly know those two things, trusting Him and experiencing His peace is inevitable.”
The Hard Stuff:
I want to wrap this up by sharing this interaction I had with 2 readers on the Facebook video post.
Buddy Tremblay wrote, "Does God mess with you?" I think you’re forgetting who created the devil. Yes, it was God. And if God is an omnipotent, omnipresent creator of the universe and all that is in it. He also knows the future he must have known when he created the devil what the devil was going to do to humanity. So my point is the buck has to stop somewhere and that can only be with God because there is no one greater than God. The real question should be, “If God can create such an evil being like the devil doesn’t God himself have an evil side too him ???”
To which Chris Aiello responded:
Long answer, "No". God created everything. He created nothing inherently evil. One angel wanted to be equal to God. He tried, and was driven out of the Kingdom. He went to the garden, and in the form of a snake, he attempted to pervert God's greatest creation, man. He was successful in his attempt, and as he had been driven from the Kingdom so to were the humans driven from the Garden. Nothing God created was ever evil.
To which I responded:
Wow, quite the thoughts you guys are stirring up.
Buddy Tremblay, I agree with you, God did create the devil and since He is omnipresent, and omnipotent, He knew what would happen, just as He knew that when He created Adam and Eve, Jesus would have to die to deal with our sin.
But, I can't go with you that there is an evil side to God.
I also agree with Chip, God being purely holy didn't create evil. That would negate His perfection. However, in His pure holiness He did create free choice. What the created being does with that gift of free choice is what results in evil.
This issue of free choice is another conversation we can have at another time.
So, to wrap this up, here are my key points:
1. God doesn’t mess with you, but the devil does.
2. God doesn’t mess with you, but He sure does poke and prod on you (to release the image of Christ in you).
3. God doesn’t mess with you, but He does allow your faith to be stretched.
4. The hard stuff is this: God is sovereign and He did create the devil. But God did not create evil, God created free will and the exercise of that freedom created (and creates) evil.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Are you going through something right now that is stretching your faith? Has God seemed to mess with you but you’ve lived long enough on the other side of that season to realize He had it all under control? Share your comments here and let us know how you’ve experienced God in your life.