1 John 4:1-6

"Beloved, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you that he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:1-6

This chapter 4 in the book of 1 John focuses on Abiding in God and His Love. John starts out by speaking of discerning our spiritual enemies from the spirit of truth – GOD.

If we are to fully abide in God we must first be able to look at all that is around us in the world and discern what is of God and what is not of God. We must be able to test all things against God’s spiritual standards. In 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 Paul tells us, "do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

How do we hold fast to those things that are good? We surround ourselves with things of God, not the things of the world. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 "... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." By dwelling only on the things of God, our hearts and our minds hold fast to the things of God and we are able to speak of his greatness. As we are reminded in Matthew 12:34, "For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart."

As we walk closer to God, we will grow in our ability to discern what is good – what is of God. And, because we walk with God, we should never fear our spiritual enemies. Yes, we should be warned and aware they exist and we should be on the lookout for them. However, there should never be fear if we walk with God. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” – because of this we know that Jesus is greater than all the spiritual enemies we may encounter in life. If Jesus lives in us, then we know we can overcome any and all spiritual enemies.

As we walk with God we also will find fellowship with other believers to be another source of protection from the enemies. Fellowship with believers is something that “transcends language, culture, class, race, or any other barrier.” It is truly a gift from God. This type of fellowship provides us with support, comfort, and accountability in our discernment of our spiritual enemies. As this passage of scripture from 1 John states, "... he who knows God listens to us".

To fully abide in God and in His love, we must learn to discern the spiritual enemies from the spirit of truth. We must be able to know what is of God and what is not. By clinging to Jesus we find that we can do just that. How much better it is to abide in the spirit of truth!

2 Thoughts Shared:

Tricia said...

How so very important it is to know the Truth and to abide in that Truth! This is a very timely post due to some things going on in my family... if you get this tonight (Monday the 14th) and have time to lift my family up in prayer it would greatly be appreciated... this night could be really big in regards to my parents and sister and something we are all walking thru... thanks so much!

Nancie said...

Thanks for sharing this encouraging portion, Melanie. May God continue to guide us in His Truth and enable us to walk in His ways for His glory.