It’s very hard to argue with the “God told me” statement.
Reference: “In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 7:40 NIV
Explore: A friend of ours had started dating a girl. But as they got to know each other he didn’t really feel a strong connection with her and decided he needed to break it off.
As an easy way out for him, he told the girl he felt God told him they weren’t right together. So they should break up.
We were never confident that our friend had heard a direct word from God, or whether he just wanted God to be the excuse why he didn’t want to see her anymore. It’s very hard to argue with the “God told me” statement.
Application: Often we would like to get a direct word from God but I have found that He usually allows us to use the wisdom and knowledge we can gain from Him to make our own decisions. That way we are much more committed to the choices we make.
A pastor of the biggest church in Australia is always very careful when he announces big decisions the leadership make. He’s much more likely to say “We feel this is the way God would have us go” rather than “God told me”.
There is no doubt there’s a great deal of prayer and reflection that goes into these decisions. But often there are numerous Godly options, not just the one.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7, was aware of the multiple options that could be made under God’s will. There is not only one way to live if we want to follow God. He needs all people, with the diversity He’s created in them, to bring their skills and desires to follow Him.
Paul was happy to share his opinion on what he thought was best, but he was clear in saying this was his opinion and not a direct word from God.
We, too, need to be careful how we communicate the decisions we make, particularly when we’re sharing with new believers and non-believers.
We can puff up our importance by allowing people to think we have a direct line to God. Don’t get me wrong, God can and does communicate with us. But we can also make well-informed decisions based on the teaching of Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, may I never need to use You as an excuse to get out of something, but feel confident in the decisions I make under Your guidance. Amen.
What decisions have you had to make without hearing a direct word from God?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.