“for many spirits have gone out into the world, and not all of them are from God”.
I’m writing this one today mainly to sort out something for myself. Hope it applies to you and of course please reply if it does…
So I’ve been told up and down that when I feel a spiritual message, to test it. This advice is clearly in the Bible, but how to test it is the rub of my writing. The wisdom I’ve been given is to test the spiritual message with Scripture, because the Holy Spirit always agrees with God’s text. Makes sense right? Bc we believe the God who inspired the Bible is the same as the Spirit who is our guide today.
But of course, I’m sure you can attest…we can get a lot of messages and many can be something like…”you should stop and eat something now”…or “you should leave your job before finishing, bc your faith is more important”. You know, stuff that we just don’t know how to align with the Bible’s teachings.
One thing I know always helps is verbalizing the messages we’re getting to a trusted friend. One such friend I have confesses that he shares because “his dashboard is busted”…inherently, so he needs others to help with guidance, or interpretation. So yes!, when I do talk it out with someone sensitive to spiritual things, and Scripture, I often see these messages I’m getting as, more often than not, plain silly, or sometimes even blasphemous. (I know right, like why couldn’t I have seen the blasphemous ones coming?!)
So my question is, where does Scripture say that it is the scale, or mirror to hold up to spiritual messages? One I can think of is “all scripture is God-breathed and useful for every good work”. 2 Timothy. Learned it in College Bible class. But it still leaves me hanging a bit. I would say, ultimately, trusting Scripture, and other things, like God in general boil down to a question of faith.
In the moment I ask myself, “Do I believe God is speaking right now?” Most times, I would say yes, but it still sounds outlandish. Like today, when I felt compelled to leave my sweeping duty for my parents, who actually paid me something for it, because my faith, or prioritizing to be more specific, was more important than finishing what I said I would do, and doing a good job. Naturally, I bucked, responding to the spirit, “no I’m gonna do what I said I was going to do, and I’m gonna do a good job”. Sounds like a solid defense right?…until the spirit keeps on, and on, until I surrender my notion that it couldn’t be God asking such an unusual request. So I yield, or ignore…
We MUST remember 2 things:
1- That Satan, our adversary masquerades as an angel of light. He likes to sound like God, and most likely he likes it when we keep things to ourselves.
2- That our help comes from God. So even when we verbalize our struggle to someone else, that doesn’t solve everything. After all, it often just paints you out to sound like a loon. I often elicit others to pray for me, bc in one or more there is power, and also bc I don’t expect others to be the voice of God, illuminating a perfect wisdom about what my radio is receiving.
A third, I would say of honorable mention, is “know that you know that you know”. In other words, when you’re unsure, stick to what you already know, like…you know you gotta test the unction, you know you have certain bible knowledge for measuring (that the Holy Spirit WILL remind you of in perfect timing), that if right, it must be something God foreordained you to do, and that He is a God of infinite understanding. So, if you don’t do the right thing then, He will make sure you get the tools to do it next time. And in time, you may get a hunger for doing the right thing.
This is when it IS such a relief to know we do have God’s words in a book, even if the related passages require faith to be understood as a road map. And the important thing is that our faith develop, get stronger. And if we do stray off the path, God is still on the throne, and He will use the bad for your good in the end, if you are His child. (You know who you are!) And I suggest that His spirit will remind us that God is always at work, whether behind the scenes or in them! He always gets the last word, and even our temptations, even the ones we fall to or struggle with overcoming, are tools in his kit of molding us into something great!
Like right now, I could sit here thinking about time I’ve wasted not being out of the house, doing something good for God. Or, I could remember that my good works are pre-ordained, AND that there is value in sorting things out.
“If you bear the cross cheerfully, the cross will bear thee.” – Thomas A. Kempis, The Imitation of Christ