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God often sounds just like me thinking

Our little team of eight people was starting a new ministry and were becoming overwhelmed by the level of work to be done. We were going live with our web site promising to help people with their dreams, but we still needed to develop the manuals, recruit the coaches, and start the training to be…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Our little team of eight people was starting a new ministry and were becoming overwhelmed by the level of work to be done. We were going live with our web site promising to help people with their dreams, but we still needed to develop the manuals, recruit the coaches, and start the training to be able to do so.
I was in church during worship thinking/praying about all these things and a thought came to my mind. “Create a war room and you’ll double your productivity.”
Was it God or was it me? I don’t know. If I say “that was just my brain working overtime,” then am I honoring God by being conservative about what I attribute to him?
Not if he actually gave me the idea – not if he was speaking to me. Then I’m actually dishonoring him. In my zealousness to protect his reputation, I fail to recognize that he’s serious about having a personal relationship with me where dialogue – give and take – is normal.
Take that thought that popped into my head, for example. I had never done a war room before. The term wasn’t really part of my every day vernacular. Where does a thought like that come from?
Whether it came from God or my head, it was followed by the thought, “The productivity will come through better focus, prioritization, coordination and ideas.” So maybe we could assess the fruit after the fact to see if it was God or not. Jesus says in John 15 to look at a person’s fruit to see where God is working.
So on Monday we started. We pulled our computers into the training center, put white boards and butcher paper all around, prayed about it, and started off at a gallop.
The week was incredible. The Kingdom Dreams web site went live. We produced the manuals, started training our coaches, had teleconferences to cast the vision and shot ahead way beyond what we thought was possible. When Friday afternoon rolled around, people said, “yup, we easily doubled our productivity,” and we celebrated all that God had done.
I think that’s how God wants it. We pray, then a thought comes. We may think it’s our own thought when actually it’s a gift from him. The Holy Spirit, our helper, is actually communicating with us, giving us what we need as we run his errands here on earth. We’re not being reverent when we discount the possibility that he’s working actively like this; in fact what we’re doing is aligning ourselves with the disciples whom Jesus rebuked when he said, “Oh ye of little faith.”
That’s no way to live! It takes faith to believe that God is actually so personal that he wants to interact with us in our thought life. It’s how he interacted with his followers in the Bible – why wouldn’t he do that with you and me?
I love that God allows me to launch out and attempt crazy things for him. I love that he backs me up. And I depend on him to speak to me along the way and speak to me about the things that I can’t see but need.
How about you? I’m betting that some of those thoughts you figured were just your own mad ponderings are actually God speaking to you about a world that could be if you and he were to partner together better. All you have to do is pay attention and give him the benefit of the doubt.

Comments (11)

  • So many times I’m scared it’s NOT God so I don’t do it. Then later I feel the regret of just not stepping out in faith and doing it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just having a conversation with myself. But I’ve realized that if it glorifies God then I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna hurt.

  • Awesome! I have found that when my reaction to a thought that floats through my mind is, “Who said that?”…then I can pretty well guess it is God talking to me. Often times, my response is, “Really?”…then, I REALLY know that God is talking to me because normally it requires me to face a fear and/or step out of my comfort zone.

    And sometimes he speaks through someone or something else where it is more out of left field so it catches my attention. Those are the moments when I know to pay even closer attention to what he is saying.

    The mixture of faith and self-doubt that I am facing right now requires that I put everything through another filter, which is checking it against the Word of God and asking myself whether this would bring him glory. That helps me to have the faith to make steps forward.

  • Hi there, i tell you what….the holy spirit is constantly speaking to us and we many times think that was just a thought but then the spirit of God lives in us and He is always talking to us , giving us direction in wisdom at all times so we can accelerate His purpose in the Kingdom…Whaoh… that was a great thought in the end Seth because people like me could connect and see the KINGDOM EXPAND….. Woohoooo

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Seth. At the point in my life when I really started paying attention to the Holy Spirit speaking to me, these thoughts were really beginning to become a regular occurrence, with confirmation of the fruit of it. As I moved into the seminary community and began learning “proper theology”, (God love ’em) there were many around me trying to convince me that God doesn’t speak to us in that way- that He only speaks in Scripture and anything else was heresy. I didn’t believe them for a minute because of my experiences, but it wasn’t an environment that encouraged that kind of sensitivity to the Spirit. I like your perspective on it, I’d rather give too much credit to God than not enough, but really, if he deserves all the glory, is giving too much credit to God even possible?

    Great site by the way. I know God will use it greatly as he has everything else you’ve started. I might be interested in it more.

  • Appreciate the feedback here. I’m walking out my faith with fear and trembling, just like y’all.

    Wish more seminaries helped their students ground their faith in a real live trust and relationship with God rather than something they read out of books that feels insincere.

  • My “usual” way of knowing if I’ve heard God speaking in my mind is that the thought or idea has clarity. But that’s no formula either, just saying…

  • Amen, Seth! If we are becoming one mind with Christ, I think it’s common for His thoughts and ours to become intertwined.

  • Thanks Seth…God put a “builder/developer” spiritual gland in you that is unusual. I predict grand things from this venture and a lightening bolt for the Kingdom.

  • He gives us wisdom if we ask in faith. So we should trust the wisdom He gives.
    On the other hand, “My sheep know my voice.” If I can’t tell the difference betwen my thoughts and His speaking, do I know His voice? This really puzles me.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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