What’s the easiest way to show that you’re qualified to say what you’re fixing to say?
Repeat these words before you say it: “God showed me that…”
For example, “God showed me that he’s angry with you.” “God showed me that your beliefs are wrong.” “God showed me that this is going to happen in the future.”
Believe it or not, these words carry lots of power, and have swayed the minds of people for the longest. And we’re still using them today, with great success.
When someone tells us that they heard from God, how do we know that it’s legit? Because of the Internet, people are sharing the “word of God” more than ever. So, it’s important for you to be careful with what you heed to and accept as God’s word.
I want to give you 5 easy ways to know that someone might NOT be speaking God’s word, even if they say they are. Here we go!
1. It should not contradict the Bible
There seems to be some diminishing of the reverence for the Bible these days. Many people cling more to “private revelations” and dreams than the written word.
I was once sitting in the break room at my old job talking about God with a coworker. He was saying something that I knew wasn’t biblically correct. I asked him how he knows that what he’s saying is true.
He said, “I know that it’s right, because I’ve had dreams about it.”
You can call me old school, but I still believe that there’s a reason for the Bible being on Earth. It’s good because it’s our filter to run everything we hear through. It’s our quality assurance.
When someone speaks about God, does it go against what the Bible says? In simple terms, if the Bible says that things are this way, but someone else says that things are not that way, then it’s not God speaking through them.
Because the Holy Spirit will never contradict himself.
If you believe that the Bible is really the inspired, written words of God, then filter what they say through it.
Listen closely to this part: I am all for God showing us things that might not be in the Bible, but it should never go against what it already says. God might reveal something special and new to you, but he won’t contradict himself.
2. Their words won’t pronounce death, condemnation, or cursing
Some believers will try to make you feel condemnation for something you did. They’ll make you believe that God has left you and you have to jump hoops to “get right” again.
But it’s time we know the truth and start living like we’re really under a New Covenant. The New Covenant says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus.
If someone is speaking in a way that is very obviously condemning and practically cursing, we know it’s not of God. Death, condemnation, cursing, shame, and works-based salvation were nailed to the cross with Jesus.
These things happened in the Old Covenant, but now we’re under a new one. It’s Biblically incorrect when we try to use Old Covenant scriptures to speak judgment and condemnation over someone.
Now here’s another twist: Don’t confuse words of condemnation with words of correction. If we’re doing wrong, correction can help us. So often, our brothers and sisters try to correct us, but we get offended, and say they’re judging us.
But this isn’t true. We all need correction, but we never need condemnation. God will convict you about things, but it’s not in a condemning way. He convicts believers of righteousness when they fail.
He says, “You’re better than that. You’re righteous. Now, act like it.” If someone is saying that the sky is going to fall in your life, wish them God speed and ignore it.
God is not in the business of destroying people and cursing.
3. They’re speech is like everyone else’s
If their words are constantly about other things other than the Gospel, they might not be hearing from God when they finally share a word with you.
When we truly know Jesus, it’s going to show in our words. Let’s be honest; many people claim to have a relationship with God, but they’re no different than regular people out there, living their lives.
You don’t ever hear them mention how God has been good to them. They don’t seem to pray. They don’t really know anything about God. And this all shows in their speech.
They talk about everything under the sun other than Jesus. But as true Christians, our minds shouldn’t always be on ourselves, our projects, our lives, etc.
If a person like this does bring you a word, it might be a good idea to listen to them, but I probably wouldn’t give it much weight.
It doesn’t make sense that they seem to not have a relationship with God and never speak of Him, but now, they’re bringing me a “God-inspired” word. Let’s truly get Him in our minds, hearts, and mouths, and then let’s talk about being messengers of His word.
4. The Holy Spirit might be giving you red flags
We often forget that we have God’s spirit living on the inside of us. He said that the Holy Ghost would lead us and guide us into all truth.
So, don’t be surprised if you’re listening to someone say something that sounds fishy and something just doesn’t feel right about the whole thing.
We shouldn’t forget to listen to that still, small voice within us at times. You might be afraid that what you’re hearing is not God, but just you. And sometimes it might be. But you have to learn to trust that God speaks to you, and that you can understand Him.
Not too long ago, somebody wanted prayer at my church. As I started praying for him, I saw in my head a thick, Amazon-like jungle. In this vision, I saw him tearing through the jungle, trying to get at the center. In the center, a big light was waiting for him.
When I shared the vision with him right there at the front of the church, he started shaking his head. I thought I said something wrong. But he was actually shaking his head because he couldn’t believe what I had said.
He said, “Man, I had that same dream when I was a kid a long time ago. I never forgot that dream. Jesus is telling me to find him.”
So just by following the Spirit, I was able to tell him about a dream he had decades ago. I believe the same thing can happen while we’re listening to someone speak what they think is God’s word. He’ll tell us if it’s legit or not.
Now, you don’t have to be rude about it. You don’t necessarily have to call them out on it. But just receive what God tells you and protect yourself from harmful words.
5. Their life is not yielding any fruit
This isn’t always 100% proof that what they’re saying is not of God. But it very well could be. One way you can tell that what someone is sharing might not be the true word of God is this:
Is their life, character, and deeds pleasing to God? Jesus said that we’ll know them by their fruits.
Have you ever met some crazy Christians? They’re talking to you about some revelation they got. But at the same time, they’re going through a divorce because they cheated on their spouse.
When people are genuine, not only will they be able to speak the true word of God, but they’ll also be living a life that doesn’t grieve Him.
Don’t get me wrong. We all make mistakes. That’s why you shouldn’t just ride everyone off that might be doing something you don’t think is right. God can still use people who are struggling with something.
But it’s just something we should be aware of.
That’s why I always get a funny feeling about people who always share what God showed them about something or someone else, but never say, “This is what God showed me about MYSELF.”
The Bible just tells us to be alert. And these could be indicators.
Listening to these signs will help you with what you hear about God.
As Ephesians 4:14 says:
Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.
It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone has bad intent. Not everyone is purposely trying to lead you astray. But hey, sometimes we just miss God. I know I have.
Just believe the best in people, but at the same time, be alert.