If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—’and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
This is a timely reminder that we should test the Spirits, because The Holy Spirit is not the only spirit in the heavenlies.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. [1 John 4:1-3]
We have to test the spirits, because our God is testing us. This sounds condemnatory, but in fact is no such thing. Our reading says clearly that The Lord does this so see where we are with Him. ‘Testing’ here means to try, to prove us. Do we love Him, heart, mind and soul? Our Lord already knows exactly where we are, so the test is for our benefit, not His. Only you and I will learn anything from this test.
And this is very much a learning process — bringing us to maturity in Him. We need to distinguish between truth and lies and it can be astonishingly difficult, until The Holy Spirit works that discernment into us. God puts us to the test because of His great love for His people. He wants us to be the best — as we read in the Book of James,,,
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. [James 1:16-18]
Our Lord desires that we be in the vanguard, those who have proven worthy to be the best of the best. It sounds like a tall order, but we must understand that we are incapable of such a thing as an exercise of human will and strength. Amazingly it requires only one thing — abandonment. We must each one abandon ourselves to God, and He will work all into us. Thus there is no condemnation.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
PURIFY MY HEART — Brian Doerksen
PRAYER requires PURPOSE
GOD HAS SO constituted things that prayer on the basis of redemption alters the way a man looks at things.
[from ‘Our Brilliant Heritage’ by Oswald Chambers]
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COMING NEXT: #515 DO NOT THINK IT STRANGE
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART