Mat 16:22-23 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (23) But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
It happened again recently. A survivor of domestic abuse told me that two people had approached her (one a pastor, one a “friend”) and essentially (in one case literally) said, “the Lord told me to speak to you.” They each went on with some of the usual blathering about how she needed to forgive her abuser, love her abuser, and generally have warm thoughts and feelings about her abuser.
Now, I know this lady. What she is is a justice seeker. A seeker of justice. She isn’t trying to take personal vengeance, but she wants justice. Not only for what the abuser did, but also for the additional abuse her church laid upon her.
And yet, here come these self-identifying prophets insisting that they come with a message from the Lord for her.
Consider what Peter was doing in the Scripture cited above. What was he doing? He was claiming to instruct the Lord! He was telling Jesus that He must not go up to Jerusalem. But of course, the Son of God has a pretty good idea what His Father was telling him to do! So he rebuked Peter in strong terms. Peter was being used by the enemy in an attempt to short circuit the cross.
And THIS is the same thing that these kind of people do. A few months back a local pastor showed up in our morning service. Afterward he told me he was on a one year sabbatical and so he had been “led by the Lord” to “wash the feet of the saints.” Specifically, those of other local pastors. [Don’t ask me what this foot washing even meant]. How pious and godly it all sounds.
But I have learned that when people come to me and claim the Lord has sent them, and then they start telling me some “message” that the Lord supposedly gave them to give to me, they are phonies. Arrogant phonies. And I treated this man as such. I sent him packing.
Christian, YOU are indwelt by the Spirit of God. You are led by the Spirit (see Romans 8 and Galatians 5). If the Lord wants to send a message to you, He is going to tell you! Not in audible words, but in His Word. Something will click in your brain. Lights will come on. You will think, “hey, this is exactly what John 10 says!” You will NOT think that or feel that or sense that when one of these self-appointed prophet types come along.
“This is what you need to do.” This is what you should do.” “You need to stop doing that.” “No, no, no. You cannot leave your marriage. You need to….”. But the clarity of the Word of God and the leading of His Spirit in you, showing you God’s will, showing you what is right and what is evil – there is the direction you want to go no matter who is telling you otherwise. Get behind me, Satan.
Isa 30:20-21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. (21) And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.