First Kings 13 tells an interesting story about a man of God. The Lord sent him from Judah to Bethel, where the king, Jeroboam, was preparing to make an offering, in front of all of the false priests. The man of God mostly walked into a den of devils and, even though he knew the consequences, opened his mouth.
The Bible says he cried out at the altar, a prophecy so upsetting to the king that he called for the man of God to be arrested. As the king reached out his hand, through, his hand shriveled up, and the king couldn’t pull his hand back.
The sign God gave that the prophecy was right — the altar would be split apart — happened at the same time.
The king begged the man of God to intercede on his behalf for the restoration of his hand, and God healed the king’s hand.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you obeyed God? Have you ever had to stand up for something you believe in, even when the rest of your group doesn’t feel the same way?
When we obey the Lord, He is faithful to protect us. People are often afraid of what others will say, but when the Lord causes someone’s arm to dry up, I dare to say that if you stand and believe God will protect you, you won’t have much of a problem. When God shows up, circumstances change.
The king who wanted to arrest the man of God was so grateful that he invited the man of God to stay for a meal, even going to so far as to offer a gift. God, though, told the man of God to go out a different way, on a different road.
Obviously, the man of God had a relationship with God. He was close enough that he heard from God to go to Bethel, trusted God enough to stand in front of the king and his false prophets, trusted Him enough to reject the king’s rewards, and trusted Him that he would need to leave Bethel on a different road. He resisted wealth, delicacies, and fear.
Down the road, though, he encountered an “old prophet” who said an angel had told him to invite the man of God to his house for bread and water. The man of God, who’d rejected the king’s offers, took the prophet up on his offer and did the exact opposite of what God told him to do.
The old prophet was lying, and the man of God lost his life because of his disobedience to God.
He trusted the spectacular of seeing an angel over responding to the Word God gave him, even though the spectacular violated God’s Word.
We tend to get so caught up in the feelings and goosebumps and carnality of the spectacular that we miss God’s often subtle voice. He turned his hearing from God over to someone else, even thought he knew what God told him.
While the old prophet was lying, God held the man of God responsible, because he wasn’t obedient to the Word given to him.
Don’t let someone else tell you what God is saying. Find out for yourself. God’s Word says we should even judge prophecies against what His Word says. What you hear should come to your heart and bear witness with the Spirit inside of you. No matter who is telling you something that God has supposedly said, you need to ask God — and be prepared and open to the answer He gives you.
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