In Jeremiah 23, we hear how angry God is about false prophets. There were prophets in Jerusalem who were saying things ‘from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.’ They were saying things which they wanted to be true, rather than spreading God’s truth. In fact, they were telling the people that God wouldn’t mind if they did wrong things. ‘They keep saying to those who despise my word, “Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!” And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say, “No harm will come your way!”’ (v.17 NLT). When people are speaking God’s Word into our lives, whether that’s through prophecy and words of wisdom, or through teaching at church, in books, blogs, and devotionals, we need to test what we’re hearing to see if it lines up with God’s Word. The Bible says: ‘Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God’ (1 John 4:1 NIV). It doesn’t mean we need to become sceptical about everything we hear and read, but it does mean that we need to know the Bible well enough so that we can determine when people are speaking God’s truth, and when they’re simply speaking what they would like to be true. When people give us words of wisdom, we need to be asking ‘Is this from God?’ rather than just accepting whatever they say and acting on it. The Bible says: ‘Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good’ (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 NIV). We also shouldn’t just be listening and reading things which make us feel better. We should be challenged by God’s Word, and let those who are sharing His truth speak into our lives.
Next time someone says something to you saying that it’s from God, take some time to pray about it and see if it lines up with what’s in the Bible.
The UCB Word For You