Thanks for contacting us. I pray these answers will prove spiritually profitable to you.
I would encourage you to be very careful in believing that God has spoken to you directly. In ancient days, many people believe that God had spoken to them, when in reality, their imagination, strong desire, or powerful medicines were actually inducing them to see dreams and hear God's voice (Jeremiah 6:16-21; 14:14; 23:16-36; 28:8-9; I John 4:1; I Thessalonians 5:21; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 18:23
). There is certainly no benefit in being deceived into believing a lie, no matter how desirable it's promise may be. And, although you are convinced of the truth of God's existence, I want you to be convinced for the right reasons. If your faith is built on the wrong foundation, it will not stand when temptations and trials come (Matthew 7:24-27; 13:1-9, 18-23
), as they come upon all of us. Plus, one of the keys to having a soft heart is honesty with yourself and God, because your love of truth will be tested (II Thessalonians 2:9-12
). Therefore, you need to explore the possibility of some other cause beside God for possibly receiving messages from God.
God does not ask that you "feel bad or low". He wants you to feel as is appropriate to the facts. When we sin, we need to feel guilty, because could have done better, but we failed (Romans 3:23
). Feeling guilt and sorrow is a stage in the repentance process. Now, we must not stay there; otherwise, we are showing a lack of faith in God's promise to forgive us of sins and remember them no more (Hebrews 10:14-25
). However, we cannot skip this stage in our coming to awareness and repentance; otherwise, we will be doomed to repeat our sins in our naive arrogance and self-deception (Romans 13:11-14
For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (II Corinthians 7:8-11 NKJV)
Feeling bad, or sorrow for sin, should only last for a while, and it should lead us to repentance - to true, spiritual change. And, every time we sin thereafter, we will still feel something like this, probably even worse, because we know that we know better, and yet we have been fooled like a child - again.
However, being sorrowful must have the proper purpose and motivation. If we are only
sorry because we got caught or fear punishment, then we are not truly sorry. However, if our sorrow produces determination, renewed conviction, scorn of our sins, desire to be better, renewed fear of judgment, zeal for God, and vindication of His cause, then we will change! When we understand the full price of our sins (Jesus' death on the cross, I Peter 1:21-25
) and the judgment looming over us, we should feel sorry for our sins, but that sorrow should move us to repentance. We should not stay there; otherwise, something is lacking in our understanding or desire or both.
God does not want us to heap praise upon Him, just because He enjoys it. He does not need
"I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me. I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats?" (Psalm 50:8-13 NKJV)
God's words delivered to the people long ago regarding their animal sacrifices is no less true of our spiritual worship today. God already knows what we think and need without us saying it (Matthew 6:7-8
)! We need God, not the other way around. We do not take credit rightly due us and give it to Him. When we praise God, we simply are recognizing the true reality. We cannot save ourselves (Psalm 44:3; Job 40:1-14
). When we are proud of ourselves or boast in ourselves, we are misplacing
our confidence! He does not want us to lean on ourselves, because we cannot support ourselves (Proverbs 3:5-8
). He wants us to glorify Him not for His benefit, but for our own (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:12-13; Jeremiah 32:39; I John 5:2-3
You soften a hard heart with continual exposure to the facts, the truth, the Word of God - and
being honest with God's Word. There is a reason the Devil was so eager to remove God's Word from the attention of hard-hearted souls in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:11-12; Matthew 13:3-4, 18-19
). He knew what would happen if even the most hard-hearted person continually dwelt on God's Word ("lest they should believe and be saved"
). However, the Pharisees and scribes knew God's Law better than anyone of their day, yet they still murdered Jesus! So, we must be on constant guard against hypocrisy, insincerity, and dishonesty in dealing with God's Word. It is a lack of love for truth - for whatever personal reason - that causes us to turn our eyes away from the truth, pervert it, and misuse it (II Thessalonians 2:9-12; Isaiah 66:4; Matthew 13:13-15
). This is a struggle that you never completely outgrow on this side of eternity. Everyone must continually battle this desire, as long as they are in this body (Matthew 26:41
When you become well acquainted with the true God, many of these concerns will no longer trouble you, at least not so severely, because you will have an answer to silence them quickly. I would encourage you to start by reading Job 38:1-42:6
Long ago, some people cried out, in despair, much like you have done. Listen to the answer that Jesus' apostles gave them:
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-38 NKJV)
Have you repented? Have you been baptized in the name of Jesus "for the remission of sins"
? If you have not, then that is still outstanding, and no knowledge of truth can offset the knowledge of our ongoing disobedience. You don't need anyone ordained to do this, but it helps to have a good teacher and church to help you grow (Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Corinthians 12:12-27
). If you are looking for a good church in your area, let me know. I may
know of one. (No promises. I either know someone or know someone who knows of good Christians in many parts of the world, but some parts have more faithful Christians than others. And, some parts seem to have none!)
I pray you find these thoughts helpful. After you look over these verses, I hope to hear from you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
May God help us both to have a sincere love of truth,