Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

If We Heard Wrong – What Then?


Q.Katie, your words “prayer is the safest thing you can do with your emotions” leapt out at me. What if intimate prayer, seeking & hearing from God led to the most painful experience in your life because you misheard? How do you regain intimacy with Him when that intimacy almost cost your faith?” –T

A. T, Thank you for voicing a question many of us won’t even let ourselves think. And you aren’t just thinking it – you are living and facing it. I commend you for your courage.

You see, this question hits close to home for me. The Lord recently asked me to face my biggest fear – what if I’d heard Him wrong? I didn’t think I could go on – the thought of everything I put my trust in being wrong would completely destroy me. The thought alone would crush me – leaving me gasping. Then the fear became a very real reality I had to face.

So T, I’m not at all sure I have the answers for you, because I’m here too. But as a sister in Christ I can share with you part of my wrestling’s and journey towards peace.

It’s not wasted. One of the biggest lies Satan can speak to us through this is that all of our effort, our trust, our choices, everything we’ve built on and hoped for is wasted. But it’s not! Listen to what Paul says:

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:12-16)

When I read this passage two things struck me. 1). That God is faithful to make it clear to us when we are wrong. This doesn’t sound like a blessing at first – but it is a comfort that He loves us enough to make it clear when we are wrong. And He doesn’t let us remain in our mistakes. 2). Immediately following the promise that the Lord will not leave us when we make a mistake – is that we are commanded to live up to what we have attained (meaning – to gain). The things we learned along the journey are not mistakes even if the perceived destination is. What are the concepts – the truth we can glean from the journey? They are not wasted! Dear sister, do not loose the things you attained – but live up to them as you press forward towards the goal of Jesus Christ.

Promise or Promiser? What is our goal? According to this passage our ‘goal’ is Jesus Christ. SO much deeper than the promise is the Promiser.  In our pursuit, what we hear often takes the place and the focus of the one who speaks. When we don’t know what we’ve heard, go back to what we know – the things in His very character that aside from a lie from the devil we cannot misinterpret – His Faithfulness, and His love towards us. When we are at the place of knowing nothing – go back to the basics sureing up our foundation.

Time heals and reveals the purposes of God. I think our biggest mistake isn’t hearing the Lord wrong, but misinterpreting the purpose of what we’ve heard. <— Tweet this! (At least in my experience!) Even when we’ve heard right and others free will and sin (or our own!) gets in the way – the purposes of God still remain. Psalm 33:11 says “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Ask the Lord to reveal the purpose of it all to you.

Only time will reveal what was from the Lord and what was our mistake (or not). Several years ago I thought I followed the Lord’s leading into a relationship that caused me so much pain. My interpretation of it was marriage. God was after my heart (read more here ) and the birth of a ministry.

God will show us His heart and purposes. Don’t under estimate the Holy Spirit and a humble heart.

When our intimacy is lost with the Lord – remember it is two sided. Intimacy  (in –to-me-see) takes two people, and even when we are wrong the Lord is working on His side of it. He sees into our hearts and invites us to see back into His – to gaze on the Love that won’t let us go.

Just last week it hit me that “faith” is a gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:9). I can’t have faith on my own – but He can restore, redeem, build and strengthen my faith because He gives it to me (and you!).

So dear sister – don’t trust yourself or your emotions – but entrust them to Him. Even when the mistakes are on our end (He never makes mistakes – how comforting and how annoying!), it can still feel like in a way that the Lord wounded us.  Tozer says “ I highly doubt the Lord can use anyone He does not wound”. He is going to use this not only in your life, but in the life of others! Keep on keeping on!

Rebuild your relationship with the Lord like you would with anyone else – start with honesty. Share with Him the fear, the anger, the pain. (Journaling helps me a lot!) Look at David – the Psalms are filled with David pouring his grief out before the Lord. But the Lord never left David in that spot of despair and broken honesty – He won’t leave you there either! He is the same yesterday today and forever – He’ll do it for you too!

Author: notunredeemed

Jesus follower, people lover, truth scribbler. Addicted to pain (growth). Passionate about relationships, identity and the transforming power of Christ.

13 thoughts on “If We Heard Wrong – What Then?

  1. This was really good for me to read this morning…thought provoking. What you wrote about the Promise or Promiser really stood out to me. In this life, especially when it gets hard, so many times I get caught up on what I’m working through that I forget to remember that the Lord is “good’ and He is “faithful and loving” and won’t give us more than we can handle. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 You’re quite the writer Katie. 🙂 The way you break things down so they’re simple to understand reminds me of your dad.

    • thanks Alex! Miss you 🙂 It was so fun to have you comment on my blog. Meant alot. And being like my dad is one of the highest compliments that you can give me! 🙂 Love you girl! ❤

  2. Your paragraph that begins with time heals and reveals the purposes of God was especially touching to me. I had a word from the Lord for a person that I had been ministering to and now it seems the opposite of what I told her is happening. I wondered if I heard God right. Because of this paragraph I now know I heard God right. Peoples free will and sin do get in the way, but God will still fulfill his purpose in this person’s life. Thanks so much for your insight which I know comes from above! I especially needed this TODAY! Isn’t God good?

    • He is WONDERFUL! I’m so thankful the Lord used the post exactly when you needed it. He was faithful to me to do the same with the different Scriptures and concepts in the blog. He is so good! 🙂

  3. As someone older and who has heard God wrong for 8 years regarding relationships – and finally has learned truth on the other side also, I have to point these:

    – God never calls to a ministry due to a wrong hearing regarding something else; if you hear wrong and learn a valuable lesson and want to help others and prevent them to make the same mistakes, that is fine. God calls us to share the lessons we learn. But He does not use your mistakes to call you to His purpose, He simply uses your brokenness to minister to people.

    – like in every interpersonal communication, you have to understand correctly the message and receive it rightfully, meaning pay attention to emotions that are irrational and hinder the truth of the message, preconceptions, pre – expectations, subjectivity, biased focus, idols in the heart etc. God does speak, both generally and in specifics, and if you pay attention to the message with a clear heart and mind and right attitude you cannot possible misunderstand Him – for He speaks in our terms of understanding, by His immense love and grace.

    – the perceived destination of God’s message: again, if you pay attention to your part in the communication to Him, you will not mess the destination of His message. I am familiar with God talking about my marriage generally and me applying the content of the message to the guy I had a crush on at the time. But if you pay attention to His words, you can make the difference between His general statements and the specifics (usually related to specific details, questions you may ponder, heart attitudes etc). The missed destination is because we take His words and apply them to what we need or want, not to what He refers to. So, again our mistake.

    Maturity plays a crucial role in communication: learn to listen carefully, no preconceptions in view, listen attentively and with calm trying to understand – that is human part. God assures the rest of the clear communication, with grace, and truth, comfort no matter how hard the situation or the message, love, peace.


  4. I read this on my commute and it has been rolling around in my head since then. This is further support to what you’ve already said, Katie, but let me add just a little emphasis: sometimes, we hear wrong, and we reap the consequences; yet God is merciful and uses even those mistaken (even sinful) actions for His good purpose. But also, sometimes we hear correctly, and He still leads us down a path of pain. I’m not that elderly 😉 but I’ve lost a lot in this life, and have been given a lot, too… but the benefit of hindsight is that sometimes we get to see what God had in mind in the midst of our choices. Some of the choices I’ve made have ended in profound hurt for me, or relationships that have never been mended. Yet He’s brought about His desired change in my course and character through those choices, and I still believe that some of those bitter pills were taken at His request.

    If we’re discerning at all we can usually tell, if not in the heat of the moment, when we’ve made a wrong choice or inserted our own will for God’s in a given situation – but we shouldn’t rely on emotion or consequences alone to convince us of this. Sometimes the things we believed He was telling us to do that end in utter shambles were still the things He wanted us to do.

  5. I’ve been pondering Kevin\s thoughts.

    Yes, I can definitely say that even when we hear correctly, there is pain. God’s will to follow costs a lot, and does bring breaking (of the heart, the ego, the selfishness etc). So yes, even when we hear God right, we are not excused from suffering and pain inherent to His purpose and will.

    However, His message to us is not mixed YES and NO – He is consistent in His communication. And His outcome is consistent with His guiding. If He ever truly says “This is the man to marry” then that is the final outcome – that marriage.

    God does use our choices and our faults to get us to His purposes about growth and character transformation. He does that with everything that concerns us. But at the same time, He does so by guiding us in consistent ways and messages, His YES being YES and His NO remaining NO.

    And He speaks plain and simple about YES-es or NO-s.

    Thank you.


  6. “So dear sister – don’t trust yourself or your emotions – but entrust them to Him.”
    This sentence said it all for me.
    I know my emotions can often deceive me from what truly is reality. It’s happened to me many a time.

  7. Pingback: If We Heard Wrong – What Then? « Sonshine & Shade

  8. What about when others confirm (independently) what you thought you heard,….and it was still heard wrong? What then? I can believe that I heard wrong, but when two others came to me and told me (without me telling them anything) what am I supposed to believe? This isn’t an idle question. It cuts to the core of my relationship with God. Honestly, I am completely and utterly decimated.

    • Cynthia, when I read your comment my heart ached with you. You are not alone in wrestling through these questions. There is so much I want to share and say, and pray. I’m still healing from my own journey through this and it was hard to explain to friends that the devastation wasn’t really just in what was lost or unfulfilled, but in my relationship and trust with my Father. Would you want to talk more over the privacy of email? I would love to hear from you and I am praying for you. Thank you for your honesty and search for truth. My email is

      • I wish I could say that the last few months have brought some clarity to hearing God, but if I am honest, I am into far deeper water than I could have imagined. A friend asked me for ONE thing that I know about God. I paused and I thought it through and finally responded that there IS a God. She didn’t know how to respond to me, the one who had always had the strong deep relationship…or so I thought, and so she thought. And here I am, asking what our relationship with God is supposed to look like? Obviously not what I thought I had. I then find myself asking if it is even possible to have that kind of relationship? I thought I knew, but all I thought I knew, is not. In fact, I have discovered I know nothing….except that there IS a God.


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