God told me…

Have you ever known someone who is always saying: “God told me . . .? “

It’s a common practice among “spirit”-type believers. I am persuaded God is saying a lot less than what is being attributed to Him. Perhaps 99% less. I think the Spirit of the Lord says more with less (This is clear in our Lord’s life. He dealt very abruptly with people). When the Spirit legitimately does say something, it will have the fragrance of Calvary about it, normally with an invitation for you or I to enter into his death and resurrection life. I think it cheapens the privilege of hearing the voice of the Lord to think of it as a non-stop series of heavenly tweets.

Claiming much direct divine communication is not a sign of spiritual maturity. Slaves need constant instruction from the Master. Sons, because they share the Father’s heart, and because their relationship with their Father is one of love and trust, don’t need to be constantly instructed by a divine wire-service mediated by so called prophets. Sons can just get on with living. It is called the glorious liberty of the sons of God. If there is a need for direct instruction because of jeopardy or unrecognized risk, I am very confident the Holy Spirit can get our attention. He is an expert disciplinarian and door-slammer.

The excessive and indiscriminate use of comments like “God told me” are usually based from insecurity and a need to appear to be spiritual to others. God spoke to Mary about the most significant event in the history of the universe, and she kept it in her heart. If we have what we think is a divine encounter, we blab it as if we were just ordering a cheeseburger at a drive-through. We can stand to be a bit more “demure” in our charismatic universes.

“God told me” is also a common way of controlling others, while sounding all spiritual in the process. How can you or I have any normal relationship with anyone, once one of us plays the “God told me” card?   Who can compete with God? No matter what, you or I will be #2 in that scenario.   So it is not possible to have any meaningful relationship with someone who is going to use the “God told me” card to buffer you from any real input or comment about what they believe or do.

Now, I do believe His sheep hear His voice.

The matter can be simply solved by saying: “I believe, or I think, the Spirit of the Lord may be saying to me. . . , etc. That’s the language of relationship rather than hyper-spirituality and a false prophetic spirit.

If what we believe to be God speaking to us, is indeed God, it will be self-evident. It will need no authentication from us in our vocabulary, and no defensive posturing will be necessary to protect someone’s ego and spirituality. If it turns out to not be God, His character is then not slandered by our words.

Short version . . . there’s way too much of that kind of lingo thrown around, way too loosely. We could do without it, just stop it, and His kingdom would not suffer an ounce of loss.

Copyright 2011 Dr. Stephen R. Crosby www.drstevecrosby.wordpress.com. Permission to copy, forward, or distribute this article is granted as long as this copyright byline is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.


  1. If in the Bible , it is written that “God said,” or “the Lord spoke to him saying” especially if you read in Acts, then why say that believers can’t say that today plainly that God said to me?

    I mean, when anyone who says God told them this or that..we,- and people in general -don’t have to believe everyone who says that,especially if something in their life causes good reason to doubt.

    But to say that one must only uses “I believe, or I think, the Spirit of the Lord may be saying to me. . . , etc. ” when referring to having heard from God
    is not good.

    When someone says that it means to me that that person is not certain God said something to them..basically doubt and I don’t like to walk around doubting what God said ( though sadly I have to at times I do). So in a sense you seem to be saying one can’t be sure that they heard from God and that’s not right either. I mean God can even send confirmations later to confirm what He said. right?

    Like I said if in the Bible like after the four gospels,eg. the epistles especially Acts, and even in the Old Testament it plainly and simply says -God said to (insert name)- please don’t deny others the right to have that kind of certainty in their relationship with God.

    like I said saying “maybe I think God is saying to me….” sounds like doubt and doubt is not good. Faith is good.

    I am sure God will speak to us clearly word for word if we just simply believe. God doesn’t change and if He simply spoke to people back then (read in Acts of God speaking to people especially through His Spirit) then who’s to say He is not doing that now?

    Now Paul is an example I’ve heard about of a person who made sure to distinguish between having been sure God said something to him, or just thinking maybe..

    eg :
    1 Corinthians 7:25,38-39 NKJV ( you can read the whole chapter if you want to)

    25 Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.

    39 A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment—and I think I also have the Spirit of God.

    But there are place where he plainly says Jesus said to him

    2 Cor. 12:8-9
    8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    So I guess the best thing is if you aren’t sure you can say
    I think, maybe …

    but if you have to say that all the time when referring to hearing from God that is not good either to me..its important I think to be sure you hear from God.

    I think its important to be trained in this area.But I guess above all you should be born again, rest in God, have true security in your relationship with God,as your Father..I mean even if someone who doesn’t normally hear from God gets in an emergency I am sure God can make some other to save them out of the situation without them having to hear directly from God. But do you think hearing from God directly would makes things a little easier..?

    If you are not sure it was God you can can say “maybe, I think..”
    but if you have to say this all the time when you get a word from God..that is definitely not good either.at all.

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