Test the Spirits

Have you ever tested the spirits? Have you discerned whether they are from God or are evil? Do you make the effort to ensure you are being led by the correct Spirit? Do you know there are different kinds of spirits roaming this world?

In some ways, our culture has glamorized spirits and deflected the importance of discerning between them. There are television programs that hunt ghosts and are about dead people walking around. This time of year, we see movies about evil spirits, people being chased by them, and sometimes those spirits turning to good.

We are told by the Apostle John to test the spirits. He was not talking about ghosts, but the spirit of another person, as well as evil spirits. On the one hand, he was speaking of testing what other people profess. The belief being it was the inner spirit of a person where their beliefs were held. From their inner spirit, they spoke their beliefs, gave advice, and lived their lives.

On the other hand, he had witnessed evil spirits in the world. He had seen Jesus cast out demons. He knew firsthand that demons existed. I think we have forgotten there are evil spirits roaming the earth and making every attempt to steer us in the wrong direction so as to separate us from God.

John tells us how to discern between the spirits. It is really quite simple. Either the spirit confesses Jesus Christ came into this world or not. The spirit guides us closer to Him or it doesn’t. Much like John’s gospel, he writes in his first letter in black and white terms.

I pray we all ask God for discernment. I pray we test the spirits. I pray each one of us chooses to follow Jesus and the spirits that guide us in His direction. Test the spirits. Discern between spirits. Choose to follow Jesus. Choose to listen to the spirits that point to Him.

1 John 4:1-3 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. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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