Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (NLT)
We sometimes come across people who tell us that God told them to do this or not to do that. Or very likely, God told them to tell us what to do or not to do. It can cause some problems when such phrases are used.
It seems it is not just one person’s opinion but is actually the heart and mind of God. Some use the phrase to offer heavyweight backup to what might be a lightweight idea. It can even be a sort of spiritual blackmail: do what I think is right or otherwise you are disobeying God himself.
It is not as if God cannot or does not “speak” to us. He can give us special insights, shape and reshape our thinking and feeling. And it may be wise to share it with those who need to know. But we must be careful to express things in such a way that it does not amount to spiritual bullying. A bit of humility doesn’t go astray. We may, after all, be wrong.
And when it comes to churches or Christian groups, we need to recognise that if God truly does want a certain thing to happen he won’t just reveal it to one person. As our text reminds us, we need each other’s wisdom to discern the mind of God and to grow to maturity. Failing to see this is to risk giving a seemingly “spiritual” individual a dangerous sort of power. One individual must not dictate terms no matter how pious they sound.
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The infallible God does speak, but it is fallible people who hear or who fail to hear.