Litmus Test
by Patricia Charlton

In the end times, the exhortation from the Holy Spirit challenges you and me, God's children, to test the spirits to see if they are from God. Every good intention or idea originates from either heaven or hell. Jesus warns that the sign of the end times is this: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24: 31 NKJV) Remember that even what appears as a good thing just might cloak a lie. Take heed to this warning: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thessalonians 2: 9 12 NKJV) Satan appears as an ambassador of light. The liar acts and appears as God. So, beware!

How do you and I avoid the deceptive nature of every good intention? "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." (I John 4: 1 NKJV) If we test every spirit that whispers a tantalizing suggestion in our ears, what is the test to compare a suggestion to a lie? You and I need wisdom to discern between divine or demonic influence. In search of this wisdom, I read this: "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1: 5 NKJV) Don't be spiritually dense! Ask for divine wisdom about your next adventure! Catch the lie before it devours your family and friends. Before the Lord's reputation is tarnished.

What is the litmus test for testing the spirits? Look at your heart's intention! Therein lays a clue to the origin of the whispered message. Before you act upon the suggestion, consider this: "But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there." (James 3: 14 16 NKJV) The first thing to review about that new adventure is this: do you have peace in your heart about it? "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." (I Corinthians 14: 33 NKJV)

Secondly, who gets the glory from this new adventure? Just like Jesus, the Holy Spirit does nothing of himself. He acts and instructs according to divine instruction. So, the next time a whispering spirit tantalizes your fertile mind with a new adventure, remember the litmus test. Who gets the glory? Who gets the peace?

Copyright 2008 Patricia Charlton

Devotional writer for EzraWeb and a contributing columnist for Crossmap, Patricia shares her experiences with the power of God to make anyone more than a conqueror. Her passion is Jesus and her venue is writing. Contact Patricia: [email protected]

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