“God Told Me”?

In II Kings 18, the Assyrian King Sennacherib had sent his army to capture Jerusalem. In verse 25 he had his messengers tell Hezekiah, King of Judah: “Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.'”

Sennacherib claimed that Yahweh, the one true God of the Bible, had spoken to him and promised him victory in Jerusalem. But He didn’t! It would become manifestly clear that He never told him any such thing when He destroyed Sennacherib’s army with one angel in 19:35!

But the claim, “God said to me”, is not one which is limited to Sennacherib. Many people say things like, “God told me …” or “God said to me …” or “God wants me to do …” but subsequent events make it clear that He never “told” them any such thing.

The scripture makes it clear that God will indeed lead and guide His people. He has given us His word which gives us wisdom (II Tim. 3:15). He has given us His Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

But going about saying, “God told me …” is questionable at best. Is that “message” to be considered as authoritative as scripture? Was it an audible voice, or just an impression? If it was an impression, perhaps God’s Spirit was nudging you — but we are prone to misinterpretation, as such things are very subjective. Perhaps it would better be rendered, “I think God might be leading me to …” — and see if others of God’s people, who also have the Spirit, agree with your impression. One should also maker certain that their “leadings” do not contradict God’s word (which God’s Spirit, Who breathed the word through His messengers, will never do!)

But blithely tossing around “God said to me …” or “God told me …” can be a dangerous and manipulative game. One might use it to give the impression that they are “spiritual” — when in fact it may only reveal them to be a Sennacherib!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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One Response to “God Told Me”?

  1. nancy says:

    I found your comments very interesting and enlightening. I have heard many people say God spoke to them but I have never heard an audible voice myself. I have however felt he has given me wisdom regarding specific issues (especially when I have prayed for that wisdom) and maybe even tugged at my heart to go a particular direction. I appreciate your explanation on that issue.

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