But then there's the times when I get 'words' or I feel like God shows me things about the time of life for the person I'm praying for. And I feel like I should pass the message on to the person. But then I second guess myself. Is it really God showing me these things? Or am I just praying really random, completely unrelevant things for that person? Is it me who is coming up with these things for the person? Or is it God? And (here's the big one!) how do I know?
This is something I've been struggling with. Do I tell the person the message I feel like God has shown me? Because it might seem really weird. The person might not find it relevant at all. They might wonder why I'm going around passing out 'messages from God' without actually hearing from God at all. They might... I can think of all sorts of things that might happen!
But, on the flip side, if it really is God speaking to the person through me, I want to be obedient to Him. I usually end up passing on the message I get, but on the odd occasions when I haven't passed the message on, I don't 'get' things for others for a while. It's almost like God's saying, "Well, if you're not going to pass on what I give you then I won't give you anything."
And I want God to use me. I want to be an instrument in His hands.
So there's the struggle I have. I guess it all boils down to whether it's actually God speaking to me or not. And how do I know?
Well, here goes.
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
All throughout the Bible there are instances of God speaking to people. And God does speak to people now. I know he does. (If you want to read more about God speaking / the Holy Spirit, I highly recommend Catherine Marshall's book The Helper. It's great.)
So since we know that God speaks to us humans, how do I know whether it's God or my own mind?
Well, to some extent I want to be wary of overthinking it. God spoke to Elijah with a still, small voice. And that's the way he speaks to us often. Sometimes he uses other people or Scripture, but often it's just the quiet voice in our minds directing us. And this is where it gets confusing. Which voice is God and which is my own mind?
General rule of thumb - if the voice in your mind goes against Scripture, chances are it's not the Holy Spirit. God will never contradict himself.
I think there is a whole lot of importance in obedience. I was reading in Ezekiel this morning and found a whole section on how much more God values obedience than sacrifice. That's what Samuel told Saul, too. To obey is better than sacrifice.
So if we've heard God's voice and we know what he wants us to do, what is there left to do?
(I'm mostly preaching to myself here, 'kay?)
I'm not to care about what others think of me. Of course, I must be gentle and loving in the way I deliver God's message and I must respect others. I wouldn't go blabbing to the world what I should tell to one person in confidence.
Speaking of confidence, but in a different sense this time(!), I must have confidence that what I have to say is from God. Such confidence is boosted when the person (this is what happened the other day actually) tells me how what I told them was really helpful and relevant for them in their stage of life and they were really thrilled I'd taken the scary step and passed on the message. So you never know.
I'm curious about you - how does God speak to you? Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and passed on what you feel God wants you to pass on?
Have a blessed day!