Thoughts On People Saying "God Spoke To Me And Said To..."

Lately, for some reason, I've come across scores of people--who refer to themselves as Christians--that have all had one thing in common: They keep using the phrase "God spoke to me and said to __________ ." (we could fill in the blank here with any number of things). What is it about people that make them say these kinds of things? I kind of promised myself a long time ago, after hearing this so much and even doing it myself--when I was unsure as to whether or not God had actually said something--that I would never ever presume on God again. In other words, I made a purposeful decision to say "I will never just assume that God was bidding me to do something or that He was saying something." Yes, I know, this seems like I have "little faith" or that I am a "doubting Thomas". Still, I feel safer this way. Sure, I may never know with one hundred percent certainty that God said or did something, I may always question it and wonder but at least I haven't wrongly presumed on God (good or bad). I've realized that there is a distinct difference in saying that God did or said something and going through an experience and reflecting on it in light of what you know about God! The latter is what I tend to do. As for the former, what do you think about it?


  1. Three times quite a few years ago "God actually did speak to me and say..."

    I was glad that I listened to Him (within my heart/mind - never tried to determine where).

    Each time I was driving home along a highway where the speed limit was 100 kph (60 mph) and at the same point on the highway (where most of the road travelled was only one lane each way) I was continuing on down the road but another car ahead of me was preparing to turn off at a T intersection to a much travelled road to the nearby bay. The vision for me at the intersection was very good and each I could see a car approaching the highway along the side road. My car was a low older model and in each instance the other car preparing to turn by moving over into a turning lane prevented it from being seen by the car wishing to enter the highway (and move into the opposite lane and across my path). On each of these three occasions God said to me "That car can't see you!" (Yes with exclamation mark). I was certainly glad I listened and dropped my speed back, especially as the car which could not see me shot across ahead of me with each driver having a shocked look on their face as they saw me coming towards them. If I had not listened I would have had a collision or otherwise had to break and swerve over onto a gravel shoulder with the attendant dangers. I travelled this road at least once a week for over 9 years and many cars both turned into the side road and came out of it whilst I was approaching the intersection. But only on those occasions when there was real danger because of the position of my car and the car ahead which was ready to turn did God warn me.

    I was also glad that I listened to God when I was bringing up my children. Things He showed me helped me to understand their different beings and also helped me to cope with one child's migraines without the need for the rather strong medication that was available at the time. I also asked Him to help me sift through the information about bringing up children so that I could hopefully do the least injury to their young bodies and spirits.

    You know when it is God speaking to you because it comes true with a blessing attached - even if it the Spirit's conviction about your behaviour.


  2. Naomisu,
    Great to hear from you again (it's been a while). Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and some of your experiences. Picking up on your last comment that "you know it's God speaking when there is a blessing attached", I wonder if this criteria is good enough for solely determining if it is God speaking.

    Think about all of the disasters that the ancient Hebrews attributed to God--not blessings. The converse of your statement would lead me to believe, much like the prosperity teachers suggest, that if you don't see "blessings" in your life, either God isn't speaking or active (or both).

    So again, I very much appreciate you sharing from your heart but I wonder if the criteria you have offered withstand theological scrutiny? Is God not speaking to the Sudanese people, particularly the refugees because they lack blessings? Just one example of many I could give.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  3. I was not thinking of material blessings nor good or bad happenings. I should have been more specific. Some years ago, I was doing something that I knew was wrong. God spoke by His silence as I did not feel I had a right to talk Him if I was 'sinning' = missing the mark. This was the "Spirit's conviction about my behaviour". When I decided that I wanted to restore that peace that comes with being in an obedient relationship, I quit what I was doing and the peace and joy returned. Thankfully I have not either wandered or deliberately turned away since. The blessing is the peace etc. I lost something out of it but I could not have continued on the way I was and the something (a relationship) did not survive my being obedient to God and God matters most to me.

  4. Another comment:
    about the Sudanese and blessings from God. I am involved in teaching some Sudanese women how to sew using sewing machines at a local church. I have always had a affinity with dark-skinned people as my father was "mainly African" (African, Portuguese, Eskimo Indian, Scottish!) even though he too was born in Australia. His mother's family came here after slavery was abolished in the West Indies and former British slaves were allowed to move to any country in the then British Empire.

    I have always thought on Christianity and its relationship to slavery and to Africans - especially during the long years of African civil wars, drought and famine which involved my early formative years (1960's and 1970's). Many Christians on the web appear to be so embarrassed by slavery that they cannot seem to read Philemon for what it was. My grandfather's family became Catholic Chrisians through the Portuguese being involved in slavery and my grandfather was truly a 'Christian' - my grandmother was a Methodist and they had a loving marriage until my grandfather died early in a time when there were no pensions in Australian and he knew he was dying and had to leave his wife and seven children in the care of God. My grandmother nearly died after my father's birth when they knew that my grandfather was dying. I often think that she must have asked God to restore as what would have happened to seven dark-skinned children in those days when families were taken away and separated often never to see each other again. She lived until I was born and I was the youngest grandchild.

    In the time of Christ and Paul, slavery existed and when a slave became a Christian, he/she had no political freedom, but surely there was the same fulness of Christian life available to slaves as to every political group. Thinking on this left me believing that Christian liberty has nothing to do with any world political system. The freedom transcends politics but Paul told slaves to go for political freedom (though without any political power) if it was available even though this may have made everyday life more difficult - there would have to more trust on Christ to provide their 'daily bread' etc.

    During the long years of drought in Africa, I thought on the little that many African Christians would have had and realised that when Christ offers salvation and freedom, he offers it no matter what your material circumstances. Do many Christians in the Western world fear that Christ would not be able to look after us without the safety nets that exist through our political systems and the abundance and cheapness of many material things necessary for life (often only available to us because of the low wages that the workers are offered in other countries)? I believe that peace and joy and all the things that are promised to any person who gives his/her life to Jesus Christ, including the provision of their needs, come about regardless of where that person lives or what political system they live under.

    The Sudanese people whom I now know here have come as refugees and love living in Australia but they are already planning to go back to the Sudan to help out and now that peace has been established, they often relatives who still there and their prayers are still towards the nation. They also have such a freedom in sharing that sometimes shames me but I love receiving the blessing of even just watching them share with anyone who comes across their path. And I have received the opportunity to share freely with them also.

    PS I have never become involved theology but rather I ask God that through the power of the Holy Spirit my life will be my 'theology' = my account of God.