Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. – 1 John 4:1-6 (NLT)
I have been blessed to meet many wonderful people who are out in this world serving God and His children. I have only met one man that I felt a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that he was a prophet sent by God. I tell you this because this Scripture, to me, is about teaching me to be wise and discerning about listening and believing who speaks for God, not just prophets but teachers, preachers and even well-meaning friends.
One evening my young adult daughter was stopped on her way out of church by a young man who said, “God spoke to me and told me that you and I will be married.” Without missing a beat, she said, “Well, God hasn’t told me that!”
God speaks to all His children and not always in the same way. There was a time in my life when I thought I was too insignificant and, frankly, too scared to have God speaking to me. But as I have spent more time reading and praying, I see my LORD as a wonderful father who loves me and wants to spend time with me.
God speaks through His Word. We are so blessed to have the Bible. God inspired writers to record His words and some of His interactions with His children. We are given testimonies from people through the centuries and, especially, the four gospels which gives us Emmanuel, God Himself with us. Here is a way for me to take more subjective communication from God and check myself.
God speaks through prayer. I believe this is the most intimate and fruitful way God speaks to me. I often wonder how much more I would know about God if I spent more time with Him and realized how precious time with Him is to my life and the lives of others.
God speaks through others. Too often, we get most of our communication from God in this manner. We rely on pastors, teachers, theologians, and other “more learned” people to tell us what God says in His Word. We may even pray only with the written prayers in worship books. God can and will speak to all of His children who desire to hear Him. It is wonderful to come together and hear God and share what He has done and is doing.
Is my life dedicated to having a relationship with my LORD, my Savior, my Creator, and my Best Friend? Am I patient and persistent to spend time in quiet conversation, prayer, with Him?
A Quiet Place written by Ralph Carmichael & sung by Take 6