Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to Prevent Twisting Scripture and Distorting God's Voice

I bet you think this blog is about you, don't you, don't you. You're so .....

OK - Now that I have your attention I would like to have a discussion.
I've had something on my heart that I've tried to express in our women's meeting the other night and did not verbally communicate my point very effectively.  So I thought I would give it another attempt by writing out what I was trying to convey. In our bible study called 'Secrets' by Beth Moore I brought up the fact that all too often people twist scripture and the 'voice' of God to fit their own offenses, motives and secret desires.  I even posted on Facebook last week about how people hear from God and twist scripture to justify their offenses.  I received some interesting responses. Sadly enough, a scripture used in a response was twisted and the 'twistee' did not even recognize it. This is most always the case. We probably have all made the 'twistee' mistake in some form or another. 
There are two points I want to discuss. 1. Twisting Scripture and 2. Distorting God's voice.  Both of which I have done and have seen many others do as well.
First I will start with point 1. Twisting scripture.  
How many times have we or someone that we know, "who has been offended", posted scriptures that justifies the offense or enables us/them to play the role of victim?  For instance, when we have perceived that someone has hurt us; we find scripture that justifies our feelings and we post scriptures about 'God judging those who oppress us', or how the 'enemy is out to get me' etc. etc.  We so easily take on the victim role.  It suits us well when we need petting or coddling from others.  We find others to help justify our own behavior and worse case scenario we try to get others to join us in our offense and create division. This, my friends is dangerous; very, very dangerous. We all know that God hates division.  But oh how we can so easily justify our actions by pointing out more scripture to back us up - hence becoming a 'twistee' of scripture. So in order to prevent these sometimes innocent, yet grave mistakes, I have come up with a few check list points to help with discerning whether or not we are operating from your own egotistic motives from our offense. Please note, these are not all knowing check lists by any means.  Add to or take away what does not sit well with you. Here they are: 

  1. If you are offended what part did you play in it? Did you behave in a 'human' way that caused others to react in a 'human' way back towards you.  Are you offended because they acted not like you thought a 'Christian' should and you took offense at their 'human' reaction towards you? So how can we take offense if our behavior was human and their response back was human? 
  2. Do you believe the enemy is after you? In what way is the enemy after you? For instance, if it's our finances, did you go out and rack up your credit card and now think the enemy is after you because you are in debt and can't pay your bills? Once again, do a check on what part you played in this. For those who glorify Satan and themselves by claiming his attention to them; there is only one devil, and he is not omnipresent.  So, for us to consider that the devil is after us is quite egotistical. 
  3. Are we taking on a victim role? If so, what attention is the 'victim' role getting us? A heart felt check of 'playing a victim' is very much needed here. This can be a very difficult thing to do.  I have been guilty of and have seen so many people who easily take on a victim identity not realizing that they were getting attention from this and therefore subconsciously feeding their own ego. What are we truly getting out of playing a victim?
  4. What are our true motives? Do we need to own our behavior and apologize? Are you secretly wanting to 'divide and conquer'? Search your heart and ask God for conviction on what your true heart motives are in the situation. You might be surprised at how you can deceive yourself.
  5. Is our response to the situation life giving or death? Uplifting or deflating?
  6. And most importantly here, are we convincing others of our perspective and creating division? No if's, ands or buts about this one. This is gossip, back biting and backstabbing. If so, once again pray that God exposes our heart; then either repent and/or apologize for our behavior or move on.
We have to take responsibility and be accountable for our own human behavior and reactions, our own ego and most importantly our own issues of the heart. For if it is not what God says about us, then it is simply not true.  God allows us to go through trials to build character. Character builds when we are forced to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves. This can be very, very humbling. But on the flip side, this humbling of the human heart is a precious gift. So receive it fully and gratefully.

Point #2 Hearing God's voice
How do we know if what we are hearing in our prayer time is truly God's voice or our own ego, motives, or desires? We have an amazing way of distorting God's voice not only for ourselves but for other's as well.  I can't tell you how many times someone has come up to me in a church situation and say "I really hear the Lord telling me (fill in the blank)" and they were way off base. 
So how do we discern that the voice we are hearing is truly God's voice.  By 'voice' I don't mean audible voices. Don't get me wrong, some may hear an audible voice, but God does not speak to me audibly. If you are hearing audible voices and those voices are telling you to harm yourself or others, as a nurse, I must advise you to seek professional help immediately!  All joking aside (kind of), for me - I hear God as a 'knowing' or 'intuitive' feeling. This knowing can be strong and at other times very tender. We must go to our 'closet' as Beth Moore states in 'Secret's and don't tell anyone until we have total conviction that it is from God. Be patient, for He will reveal in due time. 
So here is my check list to help with discernment of knowing God's voice :
  1. If the word of direction given to us comes from someone else ask this question; ''what will the word giver gain"?  Is there a platform for the 'word giver'? For instance is the word giver getting to be 'on stage performing' or getting glory from this in any way? Take caution if this is the case for they may be operating out of ego.
  2. This is the most important point if you are receiving a word of direction from someone else.  Does this word resonate true to your heart? Have you been seeking God for something and it has not been coming to you and now someone is speaking the answer to you? On the flip side of this, when someone thinks that they can hear God better than you can, then let this be a point of caution. We all have that same direct line to God, so don't let anyone lead you into thinking they have 'superior faith' than you. This is a sign of an inferiority complex on the part of the other person. Don't let them push their issues on you. I suggest you listen; decide if this feels true to you; cautiously pray. I firmly believe that God will speak to you through other people, but again, discernment is key. Use caution and just listen.
  3. If you are hearing from God yourself, do a constant heart check. Will this harm others? If so, it is not from God. Will this create division? If so this is not from God.  Check you heart motives strongly here for this is important. We can so easily distort God's voice to justify our actions. History can tell us all sorts of horror stories regarding abuse of people who thought they heard God's voice. If you have a total peace about the 'word' in your spirit, then this is probably God. If you still need confirmation then continuing praying and seek wise counsel.
 I have made a point here to not use scripture to back up my writing. I could pull out many scriptures to justify this writing, but just as easily, I could pull up scripture to justify the opposite. It is so easy to misinterpret what the bible is saying and twist it to meet our needs. That is why it is important to be in a good church that helps to rightly divide the word of God and help in understanding scripture in its context. 
Hopefully these check lists, along with deep prayer and heart discernment will help you prevent being a 'twistee' of scripture.  Most importantly, if you have made any of these mistakes then forgive yourself! I know I have to forgive myself many times over. We are, after all, just human.

So back to the very beginning...I bet you think this blog is about you, don't you, don't you, your so.....Nope!  I wanna talk about me, Wanna talk about I, Wanna talk about number one, oh my me my, What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see, I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally, I wanna talk about meeeeee! I wrote this to myself and decided to blog it publicly in hopes to help others who have asked these same questions. I certainly hope that I do not come across as 'all knowing'.  For if it's one thing I do know for sure is that I do not know a thing and that I will never just arrive. Life is a journey.  A journey that entails endless lessons.
Blessings my dear friends. I certainly hope that I did not offend anyone with this posting. I was just preaching to myself here and if this helps anyone else, then great!! Would love to hear what you think so please leave me a comment.

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