The church has fallen into a dangerous pattern when it comes to divine direction. Too many believers today are trying to hear directly from God—whether through an audible voice or a stirring of their souls. Worse still are the people who legitimize everything from heresy to fundraising schemes to simple personal decisions by asserting the leading of the Lord.
I’ve seen numerous young men—particularly those in churches that allow and encourage modern prophecy and revelation—deploy divine decree as a last ditch attempt to win over girls who have declined their romantic advances. Tragically, many women have caved to the claim that “God told me to marry you” and been snared in loveless marriages. One of my friends, cornered by such a proposal, had the presence of mind to respond by saying, “God wouldn’t be so cruel.”
The assertion, “The Lord told me” is regularly employed as a sanctified shield for all sorts of claims. Spend a few minutes watching TBN or another charismatic network for all the proof you need. And to undiscerning eyes and ears, it’s generally an effective way to insulate a spurious message from the scrutiny of critics and dissenters. After all, who wants to take sides against the Lord and His messengers?
But believers cannot allow that unsubstantiated claim to disconnect our discernment, or give a free pass to everyone with the temerity to claim they speak for God. Instead, we need to measure every message against the truth of God’s Word.
Joyce Meyer’s books are littered with stories of the casual conversations she has with God. Moreover, she has sought to validate her entire ministry based on the direct channel of communication she supposedly enjoys with the Creator of the universe. One academic researcher, with strong feminist leanings, made the following observation:
In “Grace, Grace, and More Grace,” another one of Meyer’s later recorded sermons, she states nineteen times that her message is divinely inspired. More importantly, in this sermon she justifies her ministry and preaching in general by claiming God called her. For example, here Meyer stresses that even though she struggled when she began her ministry, divine authority was on her side: “Do you know how many years I frustrated myself tryin’ to make this ministry come to pass, and it was certainly God’s will. He said it. It was God’s call; God had anointed me.” Therefore, the message that she gives her audience is that she cannot refuse the “call” and remain silent. By reminding her audiences that each sermon and message is “anointed,” she reaffirms her authority and establishes that she is subject to a higher authority than the doctrinal leaders who might insist she remain silent. 
John MacArthur has observed the “God told me” phenomenon from the vantage point of five decades expounding what God has already said in Scripture:
“God told me . . .” has become the anthem of the Charismatic Movement. Strange private prophecies are proclaimed by all kinds of people who evidently believe God speaks to them. Surely the most infamous is Oral Roberts’ preposterous death-threat prophecy. In 1987 Roberts told his nationwide audience that God had threatened to “call him home” if he couldn’t raise eight million dollars by his creditors’ deadline. Whether and how that threat might have been carried out, the world will never know; Roberts received a last-minute reprieve in the form of a large check from a Florida dog-track owner. 
Even Charismatic author and pastor, R. T. Kendall concedes the prevalence of the problem in his theological circles:
What must be avoided in any case is people saying “Thus saith the Lord” or “The Lord told me.” Speaking like this is not only highly presumptuous but is taking the name of the Lord in vain. . . . It is using God’s name—the worst possible kind of name dropping—to elevate your own credibility. You are not thinking of the Lord’s credibility but your own when you bring in His name. 
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Source: The Lord Told Me