Playing Fast & Loose with the “God Told Me” Card

Playing Cards
(Photo credit: Eleaf)

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit.” 1 John 4:1a (NLT)

When I was young, I confess to playing fast and loose with the “God told me…” card. It wasn’t a conscious deception but a sincere delusion in which I confused very strong thoughts, feelings, and selfish desires with God’s voice. I felt such strong infatuation for this girl that it must be God telling me we’re meant to be together. I really, really want to go on this trip so it must be God planting within me this intense desire. Thus, “God told me….”

I grew up and moved along in my journey. Some of those things I said “God told me” never came to pass, and I had to own up to the fact that if it really had been God telling me then it would have happened. So, maybe it was my will all along. I had other situations in which I had manipulated the “God told me” card to get my own desires only to find out that it wasn’t a good thing. Things didn’t work out so well. Was God leading me astray, or had I used God to put a spiritual rubber stamp on my own selfish desires? It didn’t take the wisdom of Solomon to know it was the latter. Ouch. Mea culpa.

I have learned over time to be careful, thoughtful and discerning with what God may be prompting within me. I test it against what I know God’s Message says on both macro and mirco levels. I test it with mature and wise companions who are walking the journey beside me and who know me well. I am quick to listen and slow to speak. I give things time.

I am also very wary of those who play fast and loose with the “God told me…” and the “I’m discerning…” cards the same way I used to do. Believe me, I can recognize it pretty quickly: “Wait a minute. I know this one….” When I encounter it in others I typically find it to be a sign of spiritual immaturity and self-delusion the same as I experienced in my youth. I do my best not to judge the individual but also to my best to proceed with caution in my relationship with such individuals. They can be crazymakers. If I don’t know them well I simply give them and their spiritual manipulation a wide berth. If I know them well, I may try to have a loving conversation to confront what I’ve observed.

Jesus’ encouragement to we who follow is an apt reminder when confronting those who actively gamble with a “God told me” deck of cards: “Be shrewd as serpents and gentle as doves.”

5 thoughts on “Playing Fast & Loose with the “God Told Me” Card”

  1. Hello, I found your post to be very transparent and helpful to me. In my relationship with God, I tend to ask God for help in all areas of my life, and I usually focus on God’s provision in a way that combines the all knowing powers of God.
    Usually, the Holy Spirit, or Guardian Angels, or the Spirit Realm, is working in my life and when I see that they have power over a situation, or an instant in time, or their purpose driven power,; I take a deep breath and try to hold onto my composure, but sometimes, I need to stop all things because my human energy system is drained, shocked, or whatever it is that happens when you know something else is going on in your situation. For me, God seems to have a plan and we need to slow down enough to see the signs, but also be very careful because in the spirit realm, evil is also working and evil is trying very hard to get in. I usually blast evil away by using scripture verses and recently God has helped me to see that I am a person who runs into the fire to help people.
    I’ll be reading more of your blog posts….I like the transparency….

  2. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

    I’m reading this Good Friday morning. I’m overwhelmed with what God has done for us. Looking forward to worship tonight to think more about it.

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