Evening Thought: August 15, 2023
I know this one is risky but here goes.
If someone told me that God told them a certain team would win the Superbowl and I placed a bet on that team, yet they lost, I would have no confidence in that person’s future word. They were either lying or deceived. I certainly would not go running to them the next year for the superbowl winner.
Yet we have so many who said “God told me” that Trump would win the election or later after the loss, that Trump would be back in office on January 20th. Some said God told them there would be a red sweep during the 2018 mid term election Of course none of this happened. Yet many run right back to these same voices who are now prophesying about what God told them is going to happen in this nation in the upcoming months. Where is our brain?
First, I believe there are very real prophets in our land today. However I believe that we also have Holy Spirit indwelling us, and Jesus said in John’s gospel that Holy Spirit would be our teacher and guide and lead us into all truth. He will not only be with us but in us. So each of us can hear from Holy Spirit if we will take the time to cultivate the relationship and quit running from conference to conference waiting for the latest word. Unfortunately, Christians tend to be lazy and have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to keep returning to the dish with the fresh bone, even if it is unhealthy for them.
We watched as people, week after week, declared “God said…” yet it never came to pass. Since God is not a man that He can lie, God must not have spoken. We watched as excuses were made; Trump himself was blamed for their failed words; the church was accused of not praying enough; and books were written explaining why their word failed. And people continue following these voices while buying the books and attending their conferences.
And, we heard the rebuttal, “well Paul says we prophesy in part”. Yes, but Paul does not say we prophesy in error. And, we are told in Acts 2:18 “Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God’s kingdom].”
My point is that when we say “God told me”, this is a very serious statement. I thought the election would turn out differently than it did for many reasons, but one reason was NEVER because God told me. Have those who missed it become unusable? No, but they certainly are unreliable for a season.
There is a very clear difference when we say we believe something will happen Vs saying “ God said…”. We must each hear what the spirit is saying to the church, God’s people. We must get into our prayer closet and develop ears to hear and quit following pied piper prophets who keep playing out of tune with what God is declaring to His people. His Word must be our standard and the context for judging prophecy.
We teach in our life skill group something called thinking errors and one is over generalization. For example, a thinking error would be if a woman is abused by a man and so she then believes all men are abusers based on her bad experience. Of course this is not true and we would teach the woman to recognize the traits of an abuser and then educate her on how to find a man who is not an abuser.
So, a bad prophecy does not mean all who prophesy are in error. We must teach believers how to recognize those who do prophesy incorrectly or with wrong motives and also instruct them on how to recognize the true prophetic word from the Lord. The Bible tells us to try the spirit to see if it is from the Lord. (1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.)
Just as many abused women continue to be drawn to abusers, many believers continue to follow those who lead in error. Again, we must each hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, His called out believers. There is certainly a need for the prophetic, but we must be careful that we are not drawn away from truth. We must take responsibility for our own Spiritual health and learn to hear His voice. God is speaking. Do we have ears to hear?