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Seeds of the Kingdom

How discerning are you?

by John Berry

13 February 2010

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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.
1 John 4:1, NIV

In these days of difficulties when we are all waiting to hear God’s solutions for our crises, it is tempting to take every word that others say as if it is God’s word, especially if it sounds plausible. We need to be discerning so that we hear the true word from the Lord, otherwise we might put the wrong actions into motion.

I recently had a practical illustration of this. We needed a new thermostat for our heating system at home, and I duly went to the suppliers to buy one. When fitted by the electrician it looked good, but didn’t work properly. We assumed it was faulty and exchanged it for one which looked better - it even had a blue light in it! This didn’t work either, and we considered putting in a bigger heating system. However we then discovered we had the wrong type of thermostat for our heating system. When the right type was installed, all worked wonderfully. Testing the system would have helped in the first place.

The enemy loves to deceive. When people are hungry for God’s direction they are tempted to be hearers and doers without being testers. It’s so important that we not only test the spirits, but also weigh what’s being said in the light of who’s saying it. Does the person bringing this word have integrity and credibility? Are those in leadership happy with the prophet as well as the words he or she speaks?

I believe that God has important things to say to us in the light of the current financial situation, but He also wants us to be discerning. ‘It’s best to test before we invest’.

Prayer: Father, thank You that you are always ready to speak to us in our time of need. Thank You that Your Word is always Truth. Help us to be discerning as we listen for that Word, so we aren’t led astray by deceptive ideas, and we can follow Your perfect plan for our lives. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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