"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Only God Knows, eh?

I don't normally get all theological in these posts, but I've had this headache for almost two days, so I've had some laying-around time to think. Usually, I avoid thought. But I just couldn't today.

I also try my best to avoid getting projects done around the house, but I went and did one today. I'll get some pictures of our home office/school room that I "re-did" for about $70 and post them tomorrow...or not.

Anyway, back to thoughts.

So, how many of you hear from God? Do you ever sense the Holy Spirit's prodding?

I can generally tell when something is from God rather than from Scott's Ingenius Well of Bad Ideas.

Now here's the interesting dilemma which has plagued countless people through the ages I bet:
have you had any experiences where God has made something clear to you...and then someone else claims that God (or the Holy Spirit) has told them just the opposite?

Whose "God" or "Holy Spirit" is right?

Right now, I'm really only in the mood for raising the question. I'll work up the energy to think through it more later, but I figured those of you who've already spent some time going down this road might be able to give me a headstart.

Man, how I wish I had my very own burning bush to go to for answers.


Sniz said...

I haven't thought of this question for a while, but I remember that it plagued me before I was married because I had a friend who insisted that God told her to marry this guy she wasn't even dating(friend of ours), but the guy said God had told him to marry someone else. They were both such Godly, sincere people. It wasn't mean, it was just so confusing.

javamamma said...

Too deep for my brain at this point in the day. My first thought though? Somebody was wrong.

Gayle said...

If you've had experience hearing God's voice for yourself and are able to recognize it (which I'm sure you have) than I would trust your instincts. I would tread gently when someone is telling you something that contradicts your originaly thought. It usually is off, or has a motive behind it. But in all things, take it to God and wait for the peace.

Cindy said...

I bet I know what inspired this deep thought, and I think SOMEBODY was wrong. ;)

Test against scripture, other Godly people, etc. I like what Gayle said... sometimes there is a motive behind it. I think that is true, and sometimes our own desires and hopes get in and twist things around!

mighty morphing mom said...

I think you go to the Source. Prayer and Bible reading/testing seem to be the best route in my thinking. I have learned to not just trust what someone else tells me is God's direction. I have also learned that even if we make a mistake, God is bigger than any choice we make or path we follow and he can make it right. He just wants us to do our best to obey and he fills in the gaps.

Tim said...

God speaks to me through a conviction (uneasiness in my heart) when I'm doing something wrong, through joy and clever ideas of righteousness (kind and generous things I wouldn't tend to think up on my own) when I'm not doing something I should be, and through a sense of peace when I'm right where He wants me to be. I've learned to interpret those feelings through the prism of the Bible and spend a fair bit of time searching my heart and praying about my motivations.

I think mostly that God speaks to me when He has something that I need to hear. I'm rather suspicious about other people's claims that they 'have a message from God for you' -- I'm inclined to ask them, "Yeah, but what did God say to you about you?" Some people like to be self-appointed busybodies, and you can quickly identify a fraud if God's "words" are always for other people, never for them.

If I've seared my conscience and made a practice of ignoring the Holy Spirit's promptings, then sometimes it takes a clue-by-four from God to get my attention. One time God spoke to me through sickness, which I interpreted as a direct punishment for my sin.

All that said, there are people who have been given the spiritual gift of discernment, and some who have the spiritual gift of prophecy. But since Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, we don't need a priest or mediator to approach Him -- in my experience, people with the genuine gift of prophecy tend to rely heavily on 'forth-telling' from existing scripture rather than claiming to have some cool new revelation about the future.

I think you can tell a lot about the quality of the message from the messenger. Genuine prophets tend to be reluctant people who have paid a high personal price for the privilege of carrying God's word -- I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a message from a smug, comfortable prophet.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

I don't know you or the person who may have said this two you (hypothetically), but I will say that we (i.e. U.S. American) tend to personalize God so much that we fail to recognize that he does, indeed, speak to us through others as well. If you respect this person you should at least consider the fact that God could be speaking through him to you. Even if you don't respect or know this person, it's something that you should consider.

However, sensing God's leading in your own life and sensing God's leading in someone else's life are very different. I'm not sure that I'd have the confidence to walk up to you and say, "Scott, God told me to tell you that you should quit your job and raise chinchillas."

Did you get my email? I wasn't trying to freak you out. Drop me a line if you got it.

Scott said...

from Robotface:
"Did you get my email? I wasn't trying to freak you out. Drop me a line if you got it."

Of course it freaked me out! I don't even know you and you emailed me asking to loan you $13,000 for your great-great-grandmother's operation and to meet you in a dark alley down by the river for the exchange. I may not be super-smart, but I do believe a tubal ligation wouldn't be that expensive.

Scott said...

In case anyone thought I was serious and was about to call the authorities on Mr. Shumway, I was joking.
He really is a nice guy.
At least that's what he tells me.

ConservaChick said...

This is easy! My Holy Spirit is always right!

No really, I think what Cindy said about testing against scripture is key. I know God always brings me confirmation when he says something. Through scripture, or another person, or often both.

You have no way of knowing the motives of the other person, only your own. I went through something like this a few years back. God clearly told me something, confirmed it, and when I brought it to my spiritual authority at the time, (his opinion differed) he said I wasn't hearing God. WHAT! So I labored in prayer a few days longer and confidently went back to say... "YES, I KNOW I'm hearing God!" In the end, I WAS hearing the sprit, but let me tell ya... it wasn't a pretty situation.

Anyway, one of the things that cued me in to this man not hearing the holy spirit was this. He showed NO fruits of the spirit when we discussed it. He wasn't calm about it... he freaked out! He threw out attacks. He was cruel.

Second, he jumped to an opinion before he prayed about it (unless it was a nano second prayer.... how can I judge?). When I looked back at these things in retrospect, it was easy to see that his response was not based in the Holy Spirit, but is the flesh.

Now before I cast too many stones, I should state that I've been on the other side, where I claim I'm hearing from the Holy Spirit, but it's really my fear, or my ego. When God reveals that to me, I've got some serious repenting to do.

Sorry about the mini novel. I'm a theology dork... what can I say. ~Karlie

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

Let's settle this. Who has a Ouija board? :)

chickadee said...

that's a good question and something i often wonder about when people say that god led them in this direction or that. i'm not sure in this day that god ever speaks so clearly that we are positive about what he's saying (no burning bush, no calling out my name in the dark). or maybe i'm not sure that in this day we (and by that i mean me) are not close enough to god to hear him clearly.

Mr. E said...

There have been times I wondered if my wife was the one for me or if my career choice was the right one. Oh, I too have longed for a burning bush to sit and talk to God. I do have this one ugly bush that grows in my back yard. I wonder could I set it on fire and watch it burn? Would God talk to me then? Until then I just stick to His Words in the Bible and hope I understand them correctly.

Angela said...

I believe 99% of the time, God will tell you if it is related to you. Especially in those "I'm supposed to marry you" but "I'm not supposed to marry you" situations. You are entitled to personal revelation of sorts.