Monday, April 22, 2024

God of Direct Communication

In 1 Kings, there's the story of two men of God. At least, that's who we're told they are.

The first goes to Judah to talk with the leadership, but he says very plainly what God has asked him to do. God has told him to go, speak the message, not dilly-dally, and leave a different way than he came. The instructions are clear. The direction is precise. Go, speak, leave. And the man of God says plainly what God has told him, not only the message, but the method. When invited to stay, he says he cannot; God told him not to stay, but to leave.

On his way out of town, he encounters the servant of another man of God who has been sent to track him down. This servant says that the other man of God has been told that the first man of God should come to his place - back in the city he just left - and have a meal. 

So we have one guy who knows what God has said to him and seems perfectly clear on that, but then we have a second guy come in and say that he knows what God has said to him, and it's an entirely different message. 

If you know this story, you know how it ends - the first man of God goes back because the second man of God claimed a divine revelation telling him to do so, he is cursed and killed for disobeying God, and the second man of God (who confesses that he lied) buries him in his own tomb. 

Man, that's a lot of third-person pronouns. Did you follow that?

This story always gets me because the first man seemed so sure. How was he so easily persuaded by the second man? Where did all of his surety go? How was he so certain when speaking boldly to those with human authority and then so easily fooled by another man?

Yet, we do this all the time. We're sure that we know where God is leading us, what He wants from us, that He loves us, that He's redeeming and restoring us...whatever it is that we know about God, but then someone else comes along and says something about us that they believe, tacks God's name onto it, and all of a sudden, we question what we knew. "Well, gosh, if God is telling this other person this other thing, then do I really know God at all? Would I recognize His voice if He spoke to me?" 

Then, we get ripped apart. 

Friends, I want to tell you this, and I want to be perfectly clear: God will reveal Himself directly to you. When you get that feeling in the depth of your spirit that feels strangely warm and tingles and dances and you know that you've heard from God, He will never go tell someone else something different. He will never have someone else bring you a different message from Him that contradicts the one He's already given you. He is never gossiping, speaking more about your life to someone who isn't you than He is to you directly. 

And let's be honest - why would He? He wants a relationship with you. And anyone who has time to manage anyone else's relationship with a liar. I know because I know how much energy it takes to manage my own relationship with God; sorry, I don't have anything left to be responsible for yours, too. 

So do what God calls you to do. Be firm in what He's spoken to you. And don't listen to anyone who invites you to turn back and do something you already know God spoke against.

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