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God Speaks In Different Ways

A few months ago a man called the church in need of $100. He’d just gotten out of prison and needed gas money to drive from Kentucky up to Mundelein, IL where his grandmother had left him a house.  He was calling me from the phone at a friend’s place. He needed the money right away. He couldn’t stay there after the next day.

prison - God told me

One always has to be cautious about calls like this as there are many scammers out there. I talked with him for a while, prayed about it and decided to help him. I went to the bank, withdrew the money and headed over to Walmart to wire it to him.  I got out of the car and was walking toward the store when I stopped. At that moment a few things he said, that I hadn’t put together previously, came to mind that made me realize I was getting conned. I turned around and went back to church.

I called him and told him I wasn’t sending the money. He blasted me and said he’d never set foot in any church again.  Did I do the right thing? I wasn’t sure. I thought so. I hoped so!  Two weeks later I decided to call the number he said was his friend’s to see who answered. I got voice mail. But it was his voice. I made the right decision.

How was it that all of the inconsistencies with his story came to mind just before I sent him the money?  Could I say God told me not to send the money? It all depends upon what you mean by “God told me.” That phrase doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.

6 Different Things People Mean By “God Told Me”

  1. They actually heard God’s voice, audibly or in their mind 1 Samuel 3:1-10.
  2. They discerned something God wanted them to understand Hebrews 5:14.
  3. They were prompted or led by God to do something Romans 8:14.
  4. They felt convicted by God to stop doing something John 16:7-9.
  5. They learned something from God about how to live as a Christian 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
  6. They received a call, a mission from God, to do something specific for Him Romans 11:29.

Here’s where many Christians get confused. When a Christian teacher or leader says, “God told me” something, it sounds like the person heard an audible voice. Whoever hears that thinks it’s normal and wants the same experience.

Although there are some Christians who mean that, the majority would not say that’s what they mean by “God told me.” More often it’s one of the other ways listed above. How God communicates isn’t the priority.

[Tweet “What God says is far more important than how He says it”]

When was the last time you “heard” from God via any of those six methods?  How has it changed your life?

By the way, I wouldn’t say God told me not to send the money. I’d say God gave me discernment.

Please share below. I’d love to hear from you!

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Ward Cushman

My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!