January 10: “The Lord told me to …”

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Genesis 23:1–24:51
Matthew 8:1-17
Psalm 9:13-20
Proverbs 3:1-6

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Genesis 24:50 (CSB) “Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

I apologize in advance but I’m going to step up on one of my soap boxes …

Let’s be clear that when the Lord reveals His will, we have no choice in the matter. After all, He is God and we are not.

However, my problem is with people claiming that God has spoken … only because they want to reinforce their argument and want to shut down any debate.

“God told me to …”

“God asked me to …” (I have a particular problem with this one. God doesn’t ask. He tells.)

“God revealed to me that …”

On and on I could go with phrases that people use to reinforce their claims and to shut down debate. But, I am convinced that many of the times that these phrases are used is a violation of the Third Commandment.

Exodus 20:7 (CSB) “Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name.”

Further, it has been my observation that when many people use the above phrases, they do so with an individualistic mentality. They believe they have heard from the Lord and their conviction is not open for debate. However, God has not called us to live out our lives as individuals but in community with other believers. We are part of a church and we should allow our fellow believers to either correct or validate us to keep us in line.

Can God reveal things to us? Certainly!

But it has been my observation that when many of the above phrases are used, the things are either in direct violation of a principle found in God’s Word or the thing doesn’t happen. However, the individuals who use those phrases don’t learn from their errors. They continue to throw those phrases around even though it is clear to the careful observer that they are not hearing from the Lord.

So what is to be done?

In my estimation, you can use the above phrases but do so carefully. If you believe that God has revealed something to you, then say: “I believe that God revealed this to me.” But be open to the input of other believers who God may use to clarify or correct your hunch.

No one individual has a monopoly on Christianity. We need each other. So don’t be so quick to make emphatic comments about what God supposedly said to you. Humbly reveal what you think God is saying and then be open to input from others.

(Stepping down from soap box)

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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