It happened to me the other day. It’s happened before, and it will probably happen again. A client said to me, “God told me . . .” and then went on to give me the Lord’s legal opinion on his case. It’s always surprised me what terrible legal advice God gives people.
I once represented a Christian in a religious discrimination case. He fell asleep while I was picking the jury. He slept off and on throughout the trial, at times snoring loudly. My legal assistant started kicking him under the counsel table to keep him awake. He kicked her back and went back to sleep.
I told him no plaintiff who repeatedly falls asleep (and snores) through his own jury trial will win a close case. He told me I didn’t have faith, and God told him we would win. We, of course, lost. I never could figure out why God didn’t just tell him to stay awake.
There are three good reasons you should never say “God told me…”:
1. Non-Christians will think you are nuts. I believe God speaks to people, but not everyone believes it, and I can promise you non-Christians don’t believe it. Those who don’t believe, and many who do, will think you are nuts for saying the Lord has spoken to you.
2. Christians won’t entrust you with authority. Even Christians who believe God speaks to people won’t know whether God spoke to you and they won’t want you making important decisions about their life based on your ability to discern between a feeling and the voice of God. If I go to the doctor I want him giving me sound medical advice based on his knowledge and experience, not based on a guess about whether he heard the voice of God.
3. Even if you are right, people won’t believe you. You could turn out to be right, and people still won’t believe you heard from God. You could predict the next stock market crash and people will say it was just a coincidence. On top of that they will still think you are nuts.
So what do you do? Tomorrow I’ll tell you how to respond in non-ministry (secular work) and ministry circumstances where you think you’ve heard from the Lord. GS