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A word from the prophet of God

October 23, 2012 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Six years ago, I had been asked to speak at a Sunday evening youth rally in Windsor Locks. At the time, I was not serving at a church in pastoral ministry, and so, grateful for the opportunity, I spent a good amount of time preparing a message that I thought would be relevant and meaningful to a teenage audience. That Sunday morning, Michele and I were worshiping at a church in Windsor, and they had brought in a man with a prophetic gift to give the message and speak words of prophecy over the lives of people in attendance. During that time, he did everything from share simple Scripture verses to predict when people would be married.

At the end of the service, I went up to the front of the church. I explained to the prophet that I was speaking that evening to a group of teenagers, and asked him for prayer. Instead of praying, the man looked at me and proceeded to tell me what passage I needed to preach on that evening. Needless to say, it was not the same thing at all as what I had been planning to preach. I walked away feeling all kinds of emotions – confusion, anger, and a lot of doubt. Had I been mistaken in preparing the message I felt like was best for this audience? Was this man truly hearing from God, and therefore I needed to scrap my message and plan an entirely new message before that evening? If I went forward with what I had already planned, was I walking in disobedience to God? Or, if I changed my message, was I foolishly responding to the opinion of a man who called himself a “prophet” but was maybe just a really spiritual guy with no direct line from God?

What would you have done?

In the end, I wound up going back home, spending some time in prayer and reflection on the passage the prophet had shared with me. And then I went with my original message. And someday when I get to heaven, I’ll ask God whether it truly was His voice speaking through the prophet and by disobeying Him, dozens of teens missed hearing the word from God that they were supposed to hear that evening.

This Sunday, I’ll be preaching about decision-making and the will of God, and I will attempt to explain what I believe the Bible says about whether or not God has a specific will for our lives, a “will of direction” that He expects us to figure out beforehand. Will God give you a clear answer as to whether or not you should marry this woman, or move to another state, or take that promotion? Does God want you to come to Him to hear whether or not you should eat Apple Jacks or Cheerios in the morning, or listen to soft rock or jazz on the way to work? Has God picked out your outfit for today, and is He waiting on you to seek Him about that? And if the answer to any of these questions is yes, then how do we hear His voice? How do we know which voice of the many voices we hear in a day is His?

This is a critical, yet very challenging, question to answer. Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter at www.newlife-glastonbury.org/blog or come this Sunday to hear and consider my answer.

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