As a teenager I once had a very sincere “message from God” delivered by someone at a Church I was visiting that “God wanted to deliver me from my drug addiction”. I’m forty two now, and unless I fall into some sort of meth-amphetamine ring at the nursing home in my eighties, I don’t think drug addiction will be part of the long list of mistakes and sins in my life. (Diet Mountain Dew addiction…now that’s a completely different story.)
I’m pretty sure that “God’s message” about my drug addiction that never happened was more based on its “messengers” ideas about the way I looked and dressed than ANYTHING God ever said. (To his credit, I wish that I could blame drugs for some of the giant, Paul Stanley-esq, hair helmets I sported in the 80’s)
People say dumb things and blame them on God.
I cringe whenever someone says “God told me” anything. I am SO hesitant to say that “I heard God say” anything. The great conflict that followers of Christ face is that hearing from God has become pretty much synonymous with “I’m borderline psychotic”…but hearing from God is the most important thing that we can do in life. A life of Following Jesus without being able to hear his direction is like taking an unfamiliar road trip without a map or GPS. “Following” is impossible without direction.
I don’t often recommend a book…and I’m pretty sure Bill Hybels doesn’t need any endorsement from me. However, I finally had a chance to read his latest “The power of a Whisper” yesterday and it was the most practical and thoughtful books I’ve ever read on the subject of Hearing God. If you struggle as I do with the whole concept of “God told me” this book is worth a read.
I was hooked from the moment I read the tag-line on the cover. “Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond”. That’s about as “actionchurch” as it gets…