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What was that, God?

Photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

I once heard a story about a little boy who misheard part of the Lord’s Prayer. Where it says, “forgive us our trespasses,” he thought the people at church were saying, “forgive us our trash baskets.”

There’s actually a term for this. According to Dictionary.com, a word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of another word or phrase is called a mondegreen. In many cases, the misinterpretation gives the original phrase a new meaning. Like in the song, Purple Haze, when Jimmy Hendrix sings, “Scuse me while I kiss the sky,” but the listener hears, “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”

I wonder, do mondegreens sometimes happen when God speaks to us? After all, He doesn’t think or work the same way we do (Isaiah 55:9), so it stands to reason that His instructions could easily be lost in translation.

God: “You have enough stuff.”
Me: “I need a new truck!”

Or maybe we clearly hear what God says, but creatively interpret the meaning. This mistake cost Saul his kingdom, in 1 Samuel chapter 13, when he offered up burnt offerings to God as a stand-in for the prophet Samuel.

Something like this happened to me the year I turned forty, but not with such dire results. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say, “It’s time to get the music started.” I interpreted this to mean that I needed to begin a Christian concert ministry, record albums, and pitch my songs to Nashville publishers. To me, it was all or nothing–throwing the entirety of God’s resources up in the air at once.

But the Lord had something else in mind. He opened a door for my wife and me to share music in nursing homes and assisted living centers, making seniors feel better by singing their favorite hymns. My own gospel songs never made it to Nashville, but they still touched people–a few at a time. I know, because they told me so. Clearly, God’s plan to, “get the music started,” meant something more like passing out a bag of nickels one at time, rather than my grandiose ideas.

So that’s my, “What was that, God?” story.

Have you ever misheard God or misinterpreted what He said to you? If so, please share. I’d love to hear about it.

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/09/05/what-was-that-god/

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

30 replies on “What was that, God?”

What a story! I’ve experienced moments like this a few times in my life. It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit can do when He is free to work. Those seniors hearts were hungry to hear the songs of faith. I’m glad you were there to be used by God, Gary.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Blessings.

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I was called to preach and provide music at a week of “Revival Meetings” several years back. No revival happened. Midweek I played and sang at a nursing home complex on an old out of tune piano with my face to the wall and my back to the residents. I almost stopped when the loud weeping started..and din’t stop anytime soon,.including a large group of caretakers who ran to see what was happening. Everyone started weeping. God did something way beyond me in that place. I am still convinced God called me there, for that moment, that day, disguised as a call to preach revival in a war torn church.

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Thanks for reading and commenting. There are long stretches of time when I don’t hear God saying anything to me. It’s really more of a feeling when He does speak, though. No audible voice or thunder and lightning 🌩

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I test everything that is said to me many times because in reality, we don’t know who is saying it. As soon as the thought comes to me , I see how it coincides with God’s word.

There have been many times I have heard it wrong, but the one time I can be 100% sure I heard it right is when I was told to move out of New York and leave the city for several months. A few months after I did, COVID appeared and wrecked NY. I was saved from that experience by God’s grace.

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It’s hard to wait on the Lord to show us HIS plan when He speaks to our heart about a matter. Those of us who like to “get it done” have a tendency to “get to work” and ask questions later. God bless your music as you touch lives in the nursing home.

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I appreciate this posting so much, David. It’s a little dose of reality when we respond in obedience to what we hear God say only to have it turn out completely different than we imagined. A friend once told me that’s because we filter everything through our sin-stained lenses. I’ve certainly been guilty of hearing God say something and failing to interpret it correctly.

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Thank you for your kind and helpful words, Alan. Like me, you seem to be a helper and an encourager. The world needs Barnabas’ AND Paul.
I’ll gladly email you one or two of my greatest hits! To God be the glory. Blessings, my brother.

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This is a touchy subject for those who follow God, not many will be keen to admit such cases of creative hearing. Yet if we do own up to such things God can work with us, using it to His glory. I admire your honesty David and great writing. My example of this is related to my devotional blog; I had great plans of what I interpreted God meant. I had visions of writing christian novels and for magazines etc. But I had to pull my neck in and repent as He made Himself very clear. These things are part of our humanity, praise God Almighty that He can remodel them into His purpose.
Thank you for a challenging post, may our Father God continue to bless you.
P.s.. when can we hear some of these gospel songs? 😉

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Thanks, Pete. Yes, I quickly learned that making music and the music business are two separate things. That sounds paradoxical, but it’s true. Even Christian publishers have to make a living, and there are plenty of people out their pitching their songs. I hope you have a blessed weekend as well. Blessings.

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As someone who has spent a lot of time in homes for the elderly (my grandma, my dad and now my mom & others), I appreciate those who bring their gift of music for the residents and their guests to enjoy. Sometimes, I think, when we are kind to others, we don’t know the full impact of our actions. Sometimes we get a glimpse of the true impact, but most times, I don’t think we know. Perhaps this is God keeping us humble and our focus not on ourselves. However, every once in a while, when I get that glimpse, I do want to say, “What was that God?” – so that I can see it again. 🙂 Thanks for another uplifting post, and enjoy your day!

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I’m sure I have misinterpreted God’s messages to me – just can’t think of one right now. I CAN identify with that need to swing for the fences! I always want the home run, to shake the earth. But all I keep getting are bunts! Still, that’s one way to get around the bases and make home! 🙂

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David, This is so true! And you also minister in a very special and powerful way to us at New Post- and then all over the earth through the deployments of those soldiers and our own LiveStream! Much love to you and Nancy- Hayden stays in my prayers!

Doris Lambert Sent from my iPhone

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