PASTORS_DIARY: When to say “God Says”.
If anyone claims that he has never misheard God then, he has never heard God. The reason some people stumble upon their speech and some do not is conditioned by their understanding of spiritual things and the presentation.
The aim of article is not explain how to hear God correctly but how to present whatever you thinks God says to you. It is pardonable to speak wrongly based on your own thought than to speak wrongly under the premise of God says.
Let’s start with WHEN NOT TO SAY GOD SAYS.
- When you require counsel from your spiritual father.
Imagine if Moses went to Jethro for advice and started by saying “God told me to judge the people this way though it’s stressful”. Jethro knew God used to speak to Moses mouth to mouth so he won’t want to say God “didn’t say” even though he would know that he was wrong. It is the same when a son or daughter goes to his spiritual father for counsel. A son who says, “I feel” or “I think” is open to counsel but the one that says “God says this and that” is not open to any counsel. However, in some critical cases, like calling into the ministry and choosing a life partner, it requires the prefix- “God told me”. But, don’t go ahead to state the details using “God says”. If you are to add details, let it seem like your thought so they can advice you freely. I wish I can say this louder. I took pity on some people, if not, they won’t take any counsel away from me other than “since God told you, go do it.” Imagine someone presenting to you his God-given ministry’s name filled with grammatical errors.
- When speaking to the elderly.
One of my good sons went to his in-law’s house for the first time and told them God said he must marry his wife that year. The family spoke of their unreadiness yet he insisted God said. When he told me of his experience, he said he was using CDA like I taught them. I reminded him that the scriptures say you should not cast your pearl before the pigs because it may turn against you (Mathew 7:6).
Generally, elders both carnal and spiritual sees “God says” from a youth as pride. If you need their approval, support or counsel, present most of your speech as your thought. Let them say whatever they wanted to say. Pick the wrong advice from the right ones and move on. Some youths will even argue fiercely with elders claiming “God said”. When God told me to resign into full time ministry, I spoke to about 10 elders. I did tell them I was led but I didn’t emphasize on it. I wanted them to talk freely. Some gave skewed views but it contained some wisdom and challenge. I wouldn’t have gotten that if am just about God says.
- When you are not sure-
Has this ever happened to you? God might tell you something or showed you a vision and yet, you aren’t 100% sure about what it means. That’s why you see mature men of God asking questions instead of speaking emphatically. Like, “who is John?” Instead of, “your husband’s name is John”. Many think it’s a style. No, it’s a wisdom. If you asked some men of God, they would confess to you that they don’t even feel that person standing before them could be married so, they had thought that John was her brother. I have goofed on this before.
- When it’s not necessary: the main reason for adding “God says” is to validate your word but many times, it is not actually required. You can be trusted without adding it and that opens you up to counsel as well. 8 out of 10 ten times I have told my wife about my thought on certain issues is actually what I felt God said to me but I always present it as my own thought. Many times, she has edited some and dismissed some. She was able to do that because I didn’t start with “God says”. And I have realized that most of the things she dismissed were actually my own thought.
- When details is required.
We all know that at times, God only give the topic and we are left to add the body but we often feel that all the body comes from the Spirit alas, we have mixed it up somewhere. So, when talking, present the topic as God says if necessary and present the details as your own thought even when you feel God had told you.
- When Lying:
Yes, I have witnessed this several times. Because people know God speaks to you doesn’t mean you should deceive them with “God says”. It’s not enough that you lied but you added God said? Don’t say it while joking or playing. Don’t say it when you don’t mean it.
- When presiding:
Presidents and leaders need to know this. You don’t stand before your executive members all the time saying God said this and that. What about, “I have an idea”, “I thought about something”, “Can we do this?”. Honestly, I have presented some things before our excos that I felt I heard God but they dismissed it before it landed. They could do that freely because I didn’t start with God said. And every of those times, they were right. At times, they only edit what I said and I go back to re-align. And of course, some times, I have said to them: “God says” emphatically and had never missed to His Glory.
- When it’s too much.
When I was younger, I always say “Holy Spirit says I should sit”, “Holy Spirit says I should stand”, “Holy Spirit tells me to sleep”, “God says this and that”. One day, Holy Spirit told me: “but you can do this and that without saying God says, isn’t it?” He told me to stop saying “God says” outrightly for some time till I learnt when to say it and when not. I am still learning.
- When spitting others:
Let’s even assume God told you that a man is a liar, you can tell him that he’s lying without saying God says. When you love others, you won’t want to put them to shame openly let alone coat your words with God says.
I will talk about when to say “God says” in another article.
Learn from Paul. Some times, he presented issues as his personal opinion even when he knew he was so inspired.
1 Cor. 7:12
Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her.
1 Cor. 14:5
I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.