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January 22, 2010

Chapter-a-Day 1 Kings 13

Guide me in Truth. But he said, "I am also a prophet, just like you. And an angel came to me with a message from God: 'Bring him home with you, and give him a good meal!'" But the man was lying. 1 Kings 13:18 (MSG)

The promptings of God are a sticky wicket. I will hear the words "God told me" slip from the lips of others. In some cases, quite often. These are powerful words, as they presume that the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present God of Creation is the ultimate author of a person's comments or actions. There is a not so subtle claim of authority and pride in the subtext of such statement.

The phrase used to pass my own lips more readily, but along the journey I grew more reticent to claim such a thing publicly and more discerning when I hear it uttered by others. I know there have been times when my own deep (or shallow, even) longings got mingled and confused with my perceptions of what God was prompting. I confess there have been specific instances in which my statement "God told me" was no more true than the prophet from Bethel in today's chapter.

God still speaks to my spirit through his message, in the midst of prayer, and in the course of a given day. His still, small voice whispers deep with me. I have just chosen to relinquish my human desire to broadcast it in most cases. I know God still speaks to others, so I don't immediately dismiss those who claim a message from God. Still, I wonder if they are a true prophet like the man from Judah, or a well intentioned fraud like the man from Bethel. It's not for me to judge the person either way. I simply pray that God give me the discernment to know Truth and the grace act on it accordingly. God can handle the rest.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Fickr and loswl

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