How Has the Lord Commanded You? September 9, 2014
It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit will bring things to your remembrance concerning the Word of God. Today I’ve been reading in 1 Kings. When I came to chapter 13, I was reminded of something my pastor told me: “If the things a man or woman of God says to you is not confirmation of what the Holy Spirit has already spoken to your spirit, don’t receive their prophecy.” It was a hard word to receive in the beginning because I’ve had some men and women of God tell me some really great things – things that line up with the Word though not with what had been spoken directly to my spirit. But because I know my pastor is a true man of God and only leads as the Lord directs, I took this hard word to heart.
Still, speaking strictly for me, it was always easier to receive a word from a servant of God than it was to receive it directly from God. I suffered from a complex (for lack of a better word) that caused me to second guess and even doubt what the Spirit of God was saying to me in my heart – especially if what was being said went against the advice of man but fulfilled my heart’s desire. I’d question whether it was really God saying these things to me or my own selfish desires making me hear what I wanted. Therefore, when Pastor gave me this instruction, I received it, but again, that doubt/fear complex rose up in me.
Then today as I read 1 Kings 13 (a passage I’ve read before) something checked in my spirit and reminded me of my pastor’s instruction. You see, in this passage of scripture a man of God goes to King Jeroboam and gives a word from God. When things happened as the prophet had spoken, the king invited the prophet to return home with him to eat and drink and to receive a gift. The prophet declined the invitation saying, “I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’” (verse 9 NIV) The prophet had received a word directly from God commanding him in what he should or should not do. This is important so hold on to it as we go further into 1 Kings 13.
The prophet did as he was instructed by God. He was obedient. However, on his journey back home a second prophet came to him and gave him a different word, a word that changed the command God had given. The original prophet then put aside the command of God and did as the old prophet (the second prophet) directed because the old prophet said to him that an angel of the Lord had told him to change what God had said. The second prophet was in fact a man of God, but in this matter he was lying. Not knowing that prophet number two was being untruthful, prophet number one forsook the command God had given directly to him and took the word of the man of God.
This has happened in churches all over the world I’m sure. I pray that most men and women of God don’t give false prophecies purposefully but… Either way, it brought home with great clarity all that my pastor had spoken. I always felt that if I obey the man or woman of God and they lie to me, they would be the one punished and not me. But here, the prophet who set aside the Word of God to obey the word of man paid for it with his life. (I have to add here a disclaimer – I would only disregard a word from a trusted man or woman of God IF God has already spoken something directly to me that was different about the said matter.) The sad part is, the old prophet (number two) really did get a word from God and told the first prophet that he would die and not be buried with his ancestors. This prophecy was not a lie but neither did it contradict the word the first prophet had received directly from God.
In the end I must admit, it’s easier to have someone come from God and tell me what to do and which way to go. But why depend on man who has faults when a perfect God loves me and had opened a way for me to come boldly before His throne and learn from Him the way I’m to go and what I’m to do. All I have to do is trust Him and seek Him. He’s told us that if we seek Him, we will surely find Him. Sound advice from man is okay, but better than okay is a word from God. So ask yourself, “How has the Lord commanded me?” Obey the word of the Lord.