The Devil told me to?

Q: I have been a Christian for a long time. Several years ago, I felt that God spoke to me and gave me a vision about starting a ministry with another person. As of yet, nothing has seemed to transpire. Can the devil ever use a vision to “deceive” a Christian?

A: Thanks so much for the email. I am not sure that the Devil can give visions. There is nothing that confirms or refutes this concept in scripture. The enemy can influence us and speak to us and scripture says that he sometimes appear to people in a deceptive way.

2 Corinthians 11:14 – And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

I do not think that the enemy would ever speak to you to attempt something that will glorify God or to start a ministry to serve God. But sometimes the enemy will try to distract us with something we see as a good thing to keep us from doing what God has told us to do. I think that more than anything you need to ask the Lord whether or not the vision you had was from Him. God will confirm that to you. He is not a God of confusion. Scripture tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask Him and He will tell us. The main way that God confirms things to us is to speak to us through scripture. Ask God to speak to you, and spend time in His word. I believe that He will confirm to you what He is leading you to do in this way.

The important thing to remember is that sometimes our time frame is different from God’s or our interpretation of a vision can be incorrect. In scripture God gave visions/dreams about the future to many people and often times these things did not come to pass for many years. God told Joseph that he would rule over his brothers, but this did not come until 20+ years later. The same is true for God’s promise to Abraham about having a son. Abraham waited, but then started to doubt what God wanted to do, so he misinterpreted what God told him and believed that he needed to pursue having a son through another woman.

What we see in scripture is that after He lets someone in on what He is going to do, He prepares that person and refines them until the time that the word comes to fulfillment. It may be that God has you in a preparation time, and that He wants to teach you some things before the beginning of this ministry.

I would ask the Lord if that vision was from Him or not and if your understanding of what it meant is correct. It may be possible that the vision was from Him, but your translation of its meaning is not correct. If God confirms to you that you heard correctly, then wait patiently on what the Lord will bring about in the future, and ask Him what He wants you to learn now so that you will be prepared when this new opportunity comes to fruition.

Please let me know if I can help answer any more questions for you.

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