Speaking for God! What comes to your mind when you read these words? For me, the very thought of it brings me to an immediate realization that an extremely great weight of responsibility has been laid upon those who would do so. Might this be the reason why some of the Old Testament prophets began their prophetic proclamations with “The burden of the Word of the Lord?” Though speaking for God comes with great responsibility and often times comes with a great burden, it should be considered a great blessing to be used by God in such a manner. How many are there who are close enough to the Lord to know His heart and His voice? If you are, you are among the few. Don’t take this blessing lightly.
To keep from losing this sense of responsibility, and to make sure that this great blessing is not being misused or abused, there are a few things that should be kept in mind. Here is a list of things that the Lord has been teaching me to be mindful of - if I would speak for Him:
If your want to speak for God, then…
- Speak faithfully: don’t add to His Words or subtract from them. Both the Old and New Testaments give warnings to those who would do so.
- Speak cautiously: be careful not to interject your own opinions. If you do, tell your audience that they are your opinions. The congregation needs to know the difference between your own words and God’s.
- Speak reverently: words from the King should never be taken lightly or used loosely.
- Speak impartially: the Word of God is to be read, heard and lived by all. Preach the Word without fear and without seeking the favor of men.
- Speak mercifully: God is not screaming in rage at a sinful world or lukewarm church;neither should we.
- Speak discerningly: every message is not for everyone. Seek to know God's mind and will for the audience to whom you are speaking to.
- Speak vicariously: As an ambassador, God is making His appeal to the world and His church through His servants. So know Him, know His voice, know what He is saying, and let Him speak through you. In other words, preach under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
- Speak lovingly: God is love, and everyone who loves is born of God. All will know that you are His by your love. You cannot speak for God or represent Him if you do not love people.
- Speak naturally: No one, including God is impressed with a fake. Remember this: God does not anoint styles; He anoints people. Being more aggressive in tone does not always mean you are more anointed. If you want to mimic something, mimic the heart God. Ask yourself this question: “How does God feel about the message and the people He’s wanting to speak to?”
- Speak with humility: There is nothing more nauseating than listening to someone who believes they have it all figured out or who think they have it all together. An honest “I don’t know” can boost your credibility more than you might think. God is repulsed by pride, and so are most discerning people.
In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Paul found in 1Corinthians 10:31: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” God is never more glorified by His people than when they are made aware of His heart for them. From this awareness, praise and adoration is born. We love Him because He first loved us. Seek to reveal God’s heart and He will be glorified by His saints.