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Christian Counseling - Thinking about: "God Told Me!"

Clearly, in scripture we find many who said words similar to "God told me!" Without question, He did speak directly to people and no doubt He could continue to do so, if He so chooses. Today, almost all people who use a phrase like this qualify it by adding something like, "in my heart, not audibly." Indeed, the Holy spirit leads us in many ways--circumstances, the Word, other people and a voice deep within.  Some who don't have that inner sense believe they are missing out on something or that those who do are a little off main street. In truth, there are blessings and problems in the use of this phrase.

What is good is that a part of us concurs with the idea at hand. It provides us with a sense of confidence and increases our faith, both of which are necessary for decision-making. We are also blessed with a conscience that is in agreement, something the Bible tells us to keep clear and not violate. Yet, "God told me" is not without problem.

A woman once told me with firm conviction that God told her to divorce her husband. Yet, she had no biblical grounds for divorce, she was simply unhappy in the marriage and believed God did not want her to be unhappy. I have heard quite a few stories and prayers that claimed to be the voice of God, yet were contrary to biblical reasoning or never materialized, according to the promise. I also found some proclaimers recanted because they realized it was not of God in the first place. Why does this happen? Because feelings, thoughts and beliefs also come from oneself or as a camouflaged temptation from the devil. It is complicated.

Since I believe there are three forces in this universe (God for good, Satan for evil and people who can sway in either direction) every Christian should "test the spirits." Scripture obviously refers to those spirits in others, but it is also about those within ourselves. Within ourselves are conscious and unconscious desires, wishes and needs, whether good or bad. We all need a great amount of self-understanding in order to properly assess the origin of our convictions.

I prefer to say, "I believe God has said to me," which is not a statement of doubt or a sign of a lack of faith, but the result of knowing we are all more than capable of being self-deceived (Jeremiah 37:9; Obadiah 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:13; and Galatians 3:6,7). 

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