Friday, April 17, 2015
"God Told Me..."
There's something that has never set well with me in the "Christian culture". It's the tendency for people to ever so casually, yet ever so dangerously use God's name in vain. I'm not talking about people and their use of "om_" or the typical form of taking God's name in vain by speaking it as an explicative. Both those are wrong, but right now I'm talking about the way people say,
"God said to me..."
"God told me..."
and then they add His name to the thoughts or feelings they have. I believe this is a very dangerous thing to do, but it's also a dangerous thing to believe, if you really believe you can think a thought and attach God's name to it as though He said it. Think about it! The voice that spoke the universe into existence would have significantly more impact and clarity than those who do this are considering! Or maybe they think He's just being gentle with them, I don't know. But I do know that God says our thoughts are NOT His thoughts. So when someone is praying and a thought comes to his/her mind, it would be wise to resist the urge to try and add value to it by telling others that God said it.
I do believe the Holy Spirit can lead people to learn something or make decisions, if their decisions are rooted in prayer and founded upon actual truth. I also believe God does still audibly speak. But if someone says to me, "God told me...(and then adds their convictions or impressions about any given thing)" they instantly lose credibility with me because I know that when God speaks it's big, it's powerful, it not only rocks worlds but creates them. To hear God's voice is a life altering experience. And it isn't something anyone should or would casually reference.
The danger in saying that God told you something when He didn't is that you are lying. You are bearing false witness against God Himself and taking His name in vain. And you break several commands of God in scripture that tell us that we are not to add to His words. For instance;
"Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar."
I wonder how many people have said, "God told me to do this..." but then later claim that He's leading them in a different direction. Does God change His mind like a man would change his mind? Does God mess up and need to make a recovery plan? Never! We can see from all of scripture that when God speaks it is powerful and true and it carries a weight unlike any man's words. We can see from scripture that when God speaks it brings HIM glory, not typically bringing glory to any man.
But when people claim that God told them something that they didn't hear Him say audibly or that they didn't read in a scripture that was directly spoken about them or to them, then usually what they are claiming is for the glory and exaltation their own will and plan. Usually it's because something he/she is saying needs the weight of the unseen God for people (or even themselves) to believe it. But God never needs men to add weight to His words. And not one of us should be trying to add God's weight to our own words or thoughts by claiming He said it to us and us alone. By doing so, we deceive ourselves and others. And we become participants of Satan's age old game of twisting what God has said.
If God ever literally speaks to you, I'd be so glad to listen to what He said. I'm sure it would rock my world. I'm sure my heart would burn within me and the Spirit of God within me would respond with confirmations and I would be cut to the heart. When God speaks, men are greatly humbled and even fearful. Yes, I said fearful. You may want to argue with me and quote scripture to me telling me that 'perfect love casts out fear'. But I would counter that with the fact that God says we are to fear Him and keep His commandments (Ecc. 12:13). Trust me, if God speaks to you, fearing Him would not be a challenge, it would come naturally. But I never hear anyone have even the remotest hint of the fear of the Lord when they claim He told them something. Instead, their words are usually followed by lengthy explanations or qualifications for what they'd like God to have said in answer to their prayers.
But consider, this is how seriously God takes this matter;
"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die."