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30 Years. 40 Questions.

You asked your toughest Bible questions, and our writers answered.
Each week we feature a new question from Do Angels Really Have Wings.
It's a Q&A book we compiled from YOUR best questions over the last 30 years! 


Your Question

I have a friend who often prefaces her remarks with the words, “The Lord told me.” The Lord tells her many things—to go here or there, to buy or not buy an item, even to give advice to a friend. I have at times been the recipient of that unsolicited advice. How do I think about this and process that kind of spiritual certainty?

Our Answer

You are right to be uneasy about your friend’s approach. It is not a good practice for anyone to say the Lord has spoken to him or her about another person’s life. Such an approach can be presumptuous and often lacks the foundation of a relationship context necessary for someone to receive such advice. Obviously, there are times when we should be corrected by good friends, especially if our lives are not in order. But even that should be done carefully and compassionately on the basis of scriptural truth, not on the claim to a personal message from God.

This kind of approach—to declare that the Lord has given specific advice for someone else—has the danger of spiritual abuse and manipulation. Furthermore, to liberally say the Lord is directing too many specific details of life is to treat Him like a GPS, when we already have and know the map that provides foundational biblical principles for conducting our lives. And these biblical principles also give us good common sense.

BY Rosalie de Rosset, Professor of English, Homiletics, and Literature

Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over four decades.  She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. She is a speaker and writer and lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.