Interpreting impressions like “God told me…”

In Mr. Elliff’s helpful little book, Led by the Spirit: How the Holy Spirit guides the believer (page 36) we find many passages that clarify how to use (and not mis-use) God’s Word appropriately.

“Christians should be very humble about this matter of hearing God’s voice. If, in some unusual manners, the Spirit gives a direct impression, we should say, ‘I believe that God is speaking to me in a special inner way about all of this, but I must test this out carefully by other means to know for sure.’

“Unfortunately, there are some Christian groups which do not allow for humility or tentativeness in this area. They say that true faith is known by the bold declaration of the impression you have been given. Thus the one speaking runs the danger of declaring what God has not said, which is strictly prohibited in Deuteronomy 18:20. I find this a sad bondage. I am certain that some express themselves so forthrightly about their revelations so as to help convince themselves that what they think they heard is actually so. Nonetheless, it is not safe, especially when it concerns directions for others’ lives.”

-Jim Elliff

(GSiV: Is “Being Slain in the Spirit” biblical? ; Prosperity Gospel? ; A Mindset All Reformed Folks Need)