“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Rom 8:14)”
Over the years I have had a prophetic mantle over my ministry. No I’m not a prophet, but I have learned how to hear God’s voice over my life and ministry. Not very often will you hear me say, “God told me or I feel God is saying this or that!” Don’t get me wrong, I have told people or let them in on some of the things God has said to me, but it was only when it was time to reveal it or I needed them to help in some way (or they needed to know).
The Lord normally guides me by his word when he wants to speak to me. However, there have been some occasions where he wanted to abruptly change my course or something has come up that needs my immediate attention and he imprints something into my thoughts. I’m not someone who gets a dream, vision or some word from God every day; in fact, I tend to cringe when those kinds of people come to me or I hear what God is saying to them, no not because it sounds wrong, but because I know what is going to happen in a few days or months afterwards.
You have probably had it happen too, where people tell you God has told them something and they start to apply it. Then they turn around later only to say God is telling them something different and they forget or deny the 1st word they told you. Such as, “God told me or led me to go to this or that Church” or “God told me to quit my job or to retire” or “The Lord wants me to start this ministry or some other thing.” Then a few days or months goes by and now they have to recant, because now God is leading them in a totally different direction.
I do understand that learning to hear God’s voice can take some time or practice (maturity), but many people act as if they have just walked into a shoes store when it come to the voice of God; where they try this thing on or that thing hoping it’s God and when it fails or it doesn’t fit their future plans anymore, they then try on another pair shoes so to speak. Maybe they even think is sounds Spiritual to say God said or God showed me this. But in all reality it causes confusion, not just in the Church, but also to those not in the Church; causing many to mock the leading of the Holy Spirit or even the accuracy of the written word, since the writers were claiming they heard the Lord too.
Even within Church leadership you can see this, so it’s not just the newbies. TV preachers prophesying things that don’t come to pass or dropping one project for something else, all claiming God told them or he wanted them to start this or that. I know, some things are for only a season, once it’s over or the timing is missed, then you probably need to move on to something else. But, didn’t The Lord know that before he told them to start?
Many times I hear people say, “God said ……….”, only for them to say later they never really felt it was the right thing to do, but now they hear God saying something else. Or, there is the other person who says nothing until something good has already happened to them or something turned out really well for them; then they say how God told them to do this or that, but at no time had they hinted that God was speaking to them at all in this area, until now! (No way of knowing if he did say in advance anything to led them to this good outcome.)
In the Old Testament times telling people who you hear God saying or God showed me this or that, was no lite matter. It could bring heavy consequences in some instances, if you were wrong or always changing what is said, but today it is often just shrugged off as immaturity or something less major in the Church.
No, I don’t think these people should be stoned as false prophet’s; but we do need to bring a sober or more mature attitude to the table when it comes to the leadings of the Spirit. After all Romans 8:14 is speaking about mature sons being led by the Spirit, not babes, (and yes, babes do have to learn or practice somewhere). If the world is going to judge us, then let them judge our maturity, not our immaturity. After all, Romans chapter 8 does deal with moving from the operation in the flesh, to operating by the Spirit, going from immaturity (the birthed ones) to maturity and the whole of creation is groaning for the manifestation of the “sons of God” (the mature ones).
Isn’t it about time that the sons of God show that they are truly led by the Spirit, rather than just guessing what God is saying to his people by his Spirit. Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day, so being correct occasionally proves nothing; not to the lost world or the Church.
I have said many times, “My greatest breakthrough as a Christian was when I knew I heard his voice and I wasn’t just guessing what he was saying to me. I was actually being led by the Spirit of God.”