September 20: “But God Told Me”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Isaiah 33:10–36:22
Galatians 5:13-26
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 23:23

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Isaiah 36:10 (NLT): “What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’” 

Reflections from Scripture:

I acknowledge that my choice of Isaiah 36:10 might seem a bit unusual. But, I hope that by the end of this article, you will understand its significance.

King Hezekiah was king of Judah and was in the fourteenth year of his reign. Judah was essentially a buffer between the two world powers at that time – Babylon and Egypt. So, it was in the best interest of these two powers to control Judah.

Isaiah 36:10 was quoted by the Rabshakeh (a high-ranking military official). He was standing outside the city walls of Jerusalem, yelling those words to the residents of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 36:10 (NLT): “What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’”

The Rabshakeh was a pagan military leader. He did not serve the God of Heaven. Yet, he claimed that Yahweh had told him to travel to Judah and destroy it.

So, the question becomes: Did God actually speak to the Rabshakeh? 

Well, given the details of Isaiah 37, we realize that the Lord could not have spoken with him because the prophecy did not come to pass. But, that didn’t stop him from claiming that the Lord had given him a message.

Friend, there is no shortage of people who will claim that the Lord has revealed something to them. 

On a few occasions, people have come to me and said, “The Lord told me to tell you…”, and then they proceed to give me the secret message. As they are speaking, I can’t help but wonder – “I’m on good terms with the Lord. It seems that He could have simply revealed the message to me. But He didn’t.”

On other occasions, I’ve heard two people, who were discussing what they believe to be God’s will in a matter, present conflicting messages as they each claim to have heard a different message from the Lord. Is it possible that God would give conflicting messages to two different people? Of course not.

The question is still the same as before: “Did God really speak to them?”

Friends, God still speaks. There is no question about that. But, it is my concern that some people are whimsically using that phrase. 

So, please be careful when saying that God has revealed something to you. If you believe that God has spoken to you about a matter, make sure that it aligns with Scripture. Then, consider talking with a mature believer about what you sense God has said, asking for their input. You may even want to take a few more precautions in your desire to be sure of what God has said (if, indeed, He has spoken to you). 

Then, remain cautious when saying that the Lord has spoken to you. You may have heard from Him, and then maybe you haven’t. Or you may have heard from Him, but you may not have properly interpreted what He has said.

So, be careful not to take God’s Name in vain by using it in connection with something that He never said.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I know that You delight to speak to and lead Your followers. Help me to never take Your name in vain by claiming that You have spoken when in fact, You have not. But give me the assurance of knowing when You are leading me. Help me always measure what I think You have said by what I know You have said in your Word. I pray this in Your Name, Amen. 


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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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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