Theres this guy I know who's always going 'God told me this' and God told me that' ...down to the real little things and 'we're gonna bury the devil' and this guys gonna get healed etc etc...I mean it just doesn't gel with me...the other day he was making a decision on where to go and he close his eyes and says 'what shall I do God' and then he opens his eyes and goes 'OK God says this"...when I ask him how he knows its God he say that he says "Is that you God?"....and God replies.....seems a bit weird to me?? Also he has all these words from God for me....'God says this about you etc etc...whatya think - Can Christians get deceived into thinking they hear things? anonymous
There's a whole control issue at stake here, and religion provides an authoritative slant to it. Whereas I formerly would have produced Bible verses and other Scriptural proofs to denounce it I can't help but recognize the same old control issues I learned growing up in this world. We think just because somebody announces that they're speaking for GOD it's got to be vastly different, but I think not.
I'm not sure if you grew up with brothers or sisters and if so what your placement was in the family, but (as the 2nd of 4) I can vividly remember both the bullying authority of my older brother as well as the tattletaling of my younger siblings. And in the case of those younger - or weaker - than yourself there is some incredible leverage found in applying the "Daddy (or Mommy) said so!". As having been a younger and weaker brother myself I can attest to that desperate struggle for power and control over my older brother. Control by means of a higher authority. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Yeah, sometimes it backfires and you get your butt beat as a result (Of course, when this happens in the religious realm it's easy to assume that we're suffering for Jesus). :) Are you following me here?
Now, there's more than just the control issue involved in all this for I think there's also an intense desire for validation that fuels much of this stuff. Once again, it's the same sort of dynamics we learned growing up. We all want to believe that we're important, actually we want to believe we're somehow more important than those we despise, and we'll do or say just about anything to create the illusion. If I can get you to believe that I have been given authority to confer upon you - which makes me your superior in at least some way - then maybe I can believe it myself. The truth is that most of us believe ourselves to be inferior and we're desperately struggling to overcome it by attempting to make ourselves superior (and it can be so obnoxious to behold, can't it?). Do you think it's any different when we grow up ... except that we learn how to do it more discreetly ... as with the guy you mentioned?
Our words produce an illusion of power, which I think comes from man's having been made in the image of God. We sense it when we command others to do something .. even when we command the inanimate to do our bidding (you know, like in telling the mountain to move or the sea to calm?). If I tell YOU that GOD told me such-and-such it may come across as if that's the main reason to say it, but more to the point I am also attempting to validate the same thing to myself. I'm guessing that this guy may be desperately trying to overcompensate for an intense inferiority complex. In the process he is creating the illusion that he has something you don't so that you might help reinforce his hoped for superiority. Yes indeed, anyone can get deceived into thinking they hear things.
Now consider the simplicity of Christ and his good news in view of this. He has justified us ... which is the very reality of authoritative validation we have craved our entire existence. He has made us right in the midst of a world that demands something other. Somehow we end up turning this incredible reality into a dry doctrine that only seems to apply to the religious realm, but it touches on the heart and soul of our very beings!
The crazy thing is that we will keep trying to reinforce the only true validation of God through Christ and him crucified by a consensus of agreement by those who agree with us. This is the very conformance to the world that Paul wrote about in Romans 12 for it throws us right back into the mentality of performance. For me to know that there is truly nothing against me regardless of what anybody or anything else suggests is where I will find real confidence.