This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! (Ezekiel 13:3)
Have you ever told someone that you “have a word from the Lord” or that “God told me to tell you this”? I’m not saying that you should never say those things, but you must be careful in doing so. The prophets in Ezekiel are condemned for leading people astray, and the same condemnation applies to those of us today who lead people in the wrong direction by attributing something to God that didn’t actually come from Him.
Personally speaking, every time I get up to teach in front of a group of people, I am faced with the responsibility of sharing God’s Word truthfully and accurately. If I teach His Word in a way that is dishonorable, then I am opening myself up to some serious consequences.
Regardless of if you’re teaching God’s Word regularly or simply sharing with a friend, here are a few suggestions you can use to make certain that you speak with integrity:
- Pray – Make sure that you had prayed long and hard over the things you are going to share, asking God to help you communicate His message and not your own.
- Study – Examine commentaries, search cross-references, and look at the context to make sure you are fairly representing what God’s Word actually says in the context in which it is written.
- Get Over Yourself – Remember that you’re sharing God’s message and not your own. This means that you have to remove your bias and refrain from manipulating God’s Word into saying what it is that you want it to say.
If you keep these things in mind, then you should be able to clearly communicate what God’s Word teaches.
Lord, I want to represent You well in every context where I’m proclaiming to be speaking for You. Keep me from coming to the table with any kind of alternative agenda or selfish pride. Let me, in humility, seek to accurately and appropriately convey Your character and principles to others. Be honored and glorified as I do this.