Too often I hear Christians use the phrase, "God told me," followed by something they desire.
"God told me that house is supposed to be mine."
"God told me I'm going to have twins."
"God told me I should join this multi-level marketing work-from-home job."
And so on.
What they don't say is that it's their desire to have that house (that they can't afford). They want twins. They want a job that promises easy income.
Yet the house is sold to someone else. A single baby is born. The work-at-home job turns into much more work than thought (and they quit and jump into the next one).
In planning for my daughter's tenth birthday party we invited a handful of her friends, just the girls she was closest to, for a day of shopping with limo transportation. One mother was upset because her daughter's best friend wasn't on the invite list. She asked me to invite Mallory, saying that Jesus told her I should and when I would not she told me that her daughter couldn't come to the party because, "Jesus doesn't want her to."
She then told her daughter what I was planning. Her daughter called mine and told her of the surprise. As we were getting ready to leave for the shopping trip mom appeared, dropping her daughter off at the last minute.
Apparently Jesus changed His mind.
It's time to stop putting our thoughts, desires, and words into God's mouth. He doesn't need us to help Him.
It's easy to get God's voice confused with our own or even with the voice of the enemy. Our knowledge (of situations) can influence our actions and our voice. We need to be sure we are hearing from the Lord before we step out and do something or say something. Sometimes it's obvious. Sometimes a behavior needs corrected (in alignment with scripture) and we need to obey even when it's uncomfortable to do so. Other times? Well...
I like to pray when I'm walking outside. Being in nature helps clear my thoughts and allows uninterrupted prayer time. I was praying for a young woman who was going through a difficult time and the thought came to me, I should buy her some diamond earrings so she knows her worth. I kept walking and the next thought in my head was, Give her your diamond earrings.
Um. God, was that you?
I usually don't question but this time I did. Because I'm a giver. I have no problem giving things away. I mail things to friends, give things if there's a need. It's just what I do. I was all set to give my diamond earrings away if that's what God wanted me to do.
I prayed about it and didn't get a clear answer.
Then I prayed, "If this is what you want me to do then please let _____ call me and tell me to do this."
I mentioned a specific person who I know is close to the Lord. And I didn't tell anyone about this situation. I kept it quiet and waited.
Months later my phone rang. I saw the name of the person I'd named in my prayer and thought, this is it. But it wasn't. They were calling to ask me my opinion on something unrelated.
Sometimes we are too quick to act on what we think is God telling us to do something. Or what we think is His voice. And sometimes we just need to be silent and wait.
Luke 2:19 tells us that, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
This is after she's visited by an angel and told she would be carrying the Son of God. She didn't run around and announce what God had told her. She held onto it and thought about it often. Everyone does not need to know what God has whispered to you. Some things are not meant to be shared. This is when journaling is a good idea. Think you've heard from God about your future? Write it down so you can later go back and revisit it, or testify about what He's done.
Our desire for something is not the same as what God wants for us. Sometimes they align, but that's generally when we are seeking His will and not our own. We are selfish people and we see things quite differently than God does. Before stepping out make sure it's His voice you're hearing and not your own.