In this age of the internet, with FACEBOOK and TWITTER frenzy, are you careful to test everything that you read and hear, discerning if it is the truth and of God?
One of the 4 Sunday readings yesterday was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, when Paul gives thanks to the church at Thessalonica which has remained faithful amid persecutions.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
I’ve read this passage dozens of times, but this time one phrase jumped off the page, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything.”
My relationships with God and others throughout my life have been like a pendulum; sometimes I would blindly trust everyone, and other times I would trust no one, even God. I’ve finally learned to distinguish and discern differences between what people say and what people do. I often meet people who are disappointed with “church” or “religion” because they have encountered “Christians” who profess to know the Lord, but then act like they have never met Him.
Paul reminds us not to despise those who share the Word with us, but rather to test to see if they are false or true prophets. It is important in our relationships with others that we discern and then trust only those who are of God.
The good news is that above all else, we can trust God. Paul writes to us: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
God instructs us to avoid every evil, and test everything.
I pray that during this “waiting” season of Advent, you will take time to distinguish the false from the true prophets in your life.