“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Mathew 7:15-20)
Recognizing evil protects us from harm as there are persons who call themselves Christians, who are clothed in sheep skins, but underneath are wolves in disguise. They have no intentions towards good will for us, nor do they have our best interests in mind.
Pastors, leaders, teachers, workers, volunteers, are all in this category of those who are walking among us inside the ‘church’ who are not being real or truthful. Many use the right language, go through the motions, profess to Know God, but are only outwardly expressing God, yet inwardly their hearts are far from Godly.
Being wary, wise as serpents, gentle as doves, causes us to steer clear from those who speak a different gospel, according to self, and those whose agenda is not God Given, nor God Ordained.
We must take care we do not walk in those environments, or participate in those activities where we will take on cultural attributes that will draw us away from God, or where we are weak and not able to withstand the types of pressures they bring upon our lives. We must make every effort to make our Faith Life an intentional focus, centering ourselves on those things of a spiritual nature which bring us into a deeper, closer, more intimate relationship with God.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” (Romans 1:2)
We as Christians are called to be in the world, but not taking on the characteristics, morals, or values those without Christ ascribe to. It is within our inner person, inside our hearts where the real transformation takes place. Then what overflows from our hearts will align with Godly principles, traits, and characteristics. The more we become intimate with Christ, the stronger our discernment will be.
We Know those who are of Christ, by the type of fruit they bear. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galations 5:22)
Jesus told us to be discerning. “Don’t give what is Holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6). When He warned against casting pearls before swine, He was talking about unsafe people, not livestock.
God has placed an internal sensing within us in order to protect us, so using Holy Spirit discernment is vital; walking in and by the spirit’s power, relying on His wisdom. “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise……..Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.” (Ephesians 5:15-18)
Sometimes we talk ourselves out of the uneasy sense we get around some persons, or in certain situations, because sometimes discernment feels judgmental and mean. Yet these warnings, (we may feel a check in our spirit or a red flag rises within us) protect us, so listen, tuning into what is going on internally when in certain environments, or around certain persons, and respond accordingly. Stay in tune with the Holy Spirit’s nudging and do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do, according to God’s Truth.
I’ve tried to talk myself out of uneasy feelings. I wanted to like the people I met. Trusting feels nice. Believing the best sounds kind. Yet, over the years, my instincts have usually proven right. It is not a wise attribute in giving our trusting to just anyone, or becoming vulnerable in certain environments. We need to use Godly judgement in all the alignments we make in life, especially those of a spiritual nature.
God’s Word helps us by causing us to be alert when our hearts become checked, guiding, directing us, warning and protecting us to stay clear of a person or environment. His Word will always lead us into His Truth. God’s Holy Spirit activates that red flag as we walk with Him. Our radar may not spell out what’s wrong, it just tells us to be careful. We don’t have to know everything, but we do need to heed this still small voice of His Spirit.
We do not have to walk around paranoid, or looking for evil, but if we are walking in and by the Spirit’s Power, practicing our spiritual disciplines, staying intimately connected and in relationship with Christ, we will Know those who are His, and those who are not, by the confirming of the Holy Spirit in using discernment. We will then not be so gullible in making unholy alliances.
So, dear brothers and sisters, we need to walk in the discernment and wisdom of The Holy Spirit, wherever we go, with whoever we align ourselves with, paying close attention to that small voice nudging us when feeling like something is amiss, making sure we correct our course accordingly.
Lorraine Taylor – Servant of the Most High God!
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