When God speaks to you—part 1

The congregation was singing the opening hymn when a stranger walked down the aisle and right onto the platform. He handed a sheet of paper to the surprised preacher and told him, “The Lord has told me to share this with your church.”

If you were that preacher, what would you do? Would you say, “Well, sure, if the Lord wants you to speak to us, who am I to object? The floor is yours”? The problem here is, you only have the word of a complete stranger that the Lord told him to speak. Maybe he really heard the Lord’s voice; maybe he’s just saying this to manipulate. Perhaps he really heard a voice, but its source was not divine. No one knows for sure.

The paper happened to repeat the old hoax about Proctor & Gamble’s connection with Satanism. Who knows? Maybe this hoax was begun by door-to-door salespersons offering competitive cleaning products. The courts have established that this claim is totally false. Would God want a lie to be perpetuated?

The Old Testament warns against false prophets (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22). Some back then listened to lying prophets with disastrous results (1 Kings 13:1-25; 22:1-38). Likewise the New Testament warns against receiving a message supposedly from heaven that is contrary to God’s Word (Gal. 1:8-9; see also Rev. 2:20-23).

A warm feeling or a sense of unease, an audible voice or a thought so strong it could just as well be audible—-where do they come from? God is not the only possibility. Feelings come from the interplay of mind and body. With our media-rich culture and our active imaginations, voices abound. We have no guarantee it is God communicating with us—-except by His Word. It’s truth is rock-solid.

What happened? The preacher said to the man, “Take a seat, sir. When the Lord tells me the time is right for you to speak, I’ll introduce you.” He sat down and waited, and waited, and waited. The Lord never told the preacher it was time. Finally, the man got up and walked out. (More in part 2)

—Steve Singleton