Test the Spirits

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. — 1 John 4:1

 1 John 4:1

This month we have reflected on submitting to God so that we can discern how to live by his will. And here John helps us remember that we need to test all the words and voices and messages we hear “to see whether they are from God.”

False spirits and their false teachings can cause us to stray from fully depending on God. But we do not stand alone—nor should we—as we face the challenges of persevering in the faith. Alongside the Bible and the Holy Spirit, we have pastors, parents, teachers, and friends who can help us “test the spirits.” Believers in Jesus have been given communities of faith to help and encourage us—and to be ready, in turn, to receive our help as well.

Pray for your church leaders, asking that they will be faithful servants of the Lord’s people. Give them time to wait for directions of wisdom from the Lord for Jesus’ sake. Pray with your family when decisions need to be made. Pray for school administrators and teachers, asking that they may follow the way of Jesus in their teaching and in guiding children. Pray also for government leaders, appointed by God to lead in their particular areas and regions.

Never forget that our God is Lord over all, and that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Be humble before him and bear the fruit of the Spirit, to his honor and glory.

Lord of all, guide us to live by your wisdom, for Jesus’ sake. Fill us with your Spirit to serve for your glory. Amen.

Bible References

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Psalm 95

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

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