How many times have you heard a leader say, “God is telling us to . . .”? If you are in any kind of church leadership I’m sure that you have heard it many times. A situation arises. Leadership debates options. One leader says “I believe God is telling us . . ” How do you argue against that? I mean, if God has given exact instructions then it is hard to argue against it. If you stand opposed to this leader, you are standing in opposition to God. Scary isn’t it? I call this “pulling the God Card.”
The question is, “did God really say that?” What happens if those directions don’t work? Was God wrong? Did that leader hear wrong? Are we giving up before God has a chance to bring it to completion? Example: “God is telling us to plant a church. We start a church plant. No one comes. We end the church plant. Did we hear wrong or didn’t we give it enough time or effort?”
Couple of pointers:
IF God tells you to do something you can’t quit no matter how hard it gets (you shouldn’t need examples of this – there are plenty in the Bible).
IF God didn’t tell you to do something it doesn’t matter how easy it is – YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT!
IF you are a leader and you pull the God Card to trump the rest of the team, you own it. You better be right. If the direction fails, you better be confessing that you are a false (prophet or leader). You decide on terminology. Think I’m harsh? Remember you’re the one who pulled the God Card. I’m not saying God doesn’t speak to us but if you are a leader you better be clear on what God is saying and what you (personally) want to do. We all make mistakes and we need to own up to them. If we make a mistake on the God card then we need to repent. False prophets in the old testament could be killed for this. They definitely had their God cards taken away after making a mistake.
How’s your record on accuracy on pulling the God Card? Don’t judge your neighbor. Judge yourself. How many times have you REALLY heard God and how many times have you had to change direction because you THOUGHT you heard from Him? Be honest. If you have a poor record, I suggest you put that card away for now until you figure out what you are hearing.
Oh, and if you bend the Card a little like this “I feel that God is saying” or “I believe that God is saying” then you have another issue. I hope you’re not building an ark or leading the children out of Egypt. That “feeling” won’t get you very far when the going gets rough. And the going will get rough.
35 Going a little farther, (Jesus) fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord. . .