Guidance from God – Please Be Careful!
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 Jn. 4:1
“Okay, everyone,” the instructor for an addiction recovery weekend seminar so much as told the class. “Take out your pens and paper and listen for guidance from god. Write down what he tells you. We’ll have a discussion afterward.” The seminar had nothing to do with God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible; it had everything to do with “god.”
The attendees grew silent. I was excited. I had high expectations for a wonderful “spiritual” getaway in which I would learn lots about God and recovery. After a little while, the instructor told us to put down our pens so we could start talking about the guidance god had given us. How surprised and delighted I was to learn several people heard god give them the exact same Bible verse! Who but god could have done something so awesome?
If you’re thinking I forgot to edit this and accidentally referred to God with a lower case “g”, and referred to Him with a lower case “h” rather than an upper case “H,” hear me out. Whether or not the one true God almighty in heaven spoke that Bible verse to the hearts of those people, and whether He genuinely spoke other things to the hearts of anyone else there, I don’t know. This occurred many years ago, and though I professed to believe in Jesus Christ, I was utterly lost and totally deceived. For I knew virtually nothing about God almighty, even less about the Lord Jesus Christ, and I spent the weekend with a big group of seekers of “spiritual” help who believed in all sorts of gods. Yes, gods with a lower case “g.” Some perhaps may have believed in the Lord, but I know for myself I could not have been at any higher risk than I was of being dangerously deceived because of what I didn’t know about guidance from God.
God only and always speaks to His children’s hearts in line with His Word, the Bible. Not one solitary verse, but in line with His entire Word. When we believe we’ve heard from God about His will for us, we need to measure what we’ve heard with the Bible. If it doesn’t line up, it’s NOT from Him. The people that heard the same verse that day may have heard from God – or not. The devil knows the Bible, and twisted around the words of God to Adam and Eve – and to Jesus Himself! Adam and Eve fell for his deception. Jesus didn’t! How many of us seek God’s guidance without being committed believers in and followers of Christ and without being in continual daily study and application of God’s Word? Whether we pray for His guidance, seek counsel from others, believe we hear from Him in our hearts, read Bible study notes and devotionals, etc., we need to test everything against His Word. If you don’t know God and His Word intimately, how do you know you’re hearing from Him?
Please be careful!