December 17, 2017

What spirit is influencing you?

What spirit is influencing you?

Jesus continued to give His disciples words of encouragement – “’If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.’” (John 14: 15-17) Jesus later told His disciples what the Spirit of truth would do – “’And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.’” (John 16: 8-11)

Many today make fun of the term “born again,” but this is what Jesus told Nicodemus – “’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” Jesus went on to explain, “’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” (John 3: 3-6)

The Church, the spiritual body of Christ made up of believers, began on the Day of Pentecost. Since this day, God’s Spirit has indwelt millions of believers one by one as they put their trust in Him, in what He has done for them in His death, burial, and resurrection. If you have been born of God’s Spirit, you are not your own – “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6: 19-20)

We live in a very “spiritual” time. Many people claim to be “spiritual,” however an important question to consider is what spirit or spirits are influencing them? The apostle John warned believers – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is already in the world.” (1 Jn. 4: 1-3) Paul warned the Corinthians – “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11: 4) There were false apostles, prophets, and teachers in Paul’s day; and there are many more today. Paul said about them – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11: 13-14)

The false prophets, teachers and apostles of today have messages that sound good. However, when held up to the word of God, they are revealed as what they are – lies! In our world today it is critical to be a discerning believer. Our discernment comes from studying God’s word. God has given us His Spirit and His word. Are we heeding the warning of the true apostles of God? Have we fallen into some type of deception? Are you tolerating influence from people who may be popular, but are actually enemies of God? Do you know for sure what you are accepting as light is truly light; or is it only darkness masquerading as light? What spirit is influencing you makes a difference, in your life and in the life of those you love. Spend time today clothing yourself in the protection God has given us – His beloved word!

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