Updated: Feb 9
Discernment is simply defined as the ability to judge between what's right and what is false. This week, Vickie explores falsehoods and why discernment is important in this season.
We now live in a world where there are so many 'voices of reason' under the umbrella of religion. 1 John 4:1 highlights this and says: "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."
Now, more than ever, we are asked to be vigilant and to verify if what we are reading or hearing is of God or false prophets.
It is imperative that when one teaches or prophesies, that it is correct doctrine. When the word of God is distorted, or added to, in order for one to fulfil their ambition, it negatively impacts the type of relationship we can have with the Father.
Jesus said: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matthew 7: 15 -16
What fruits do we need to look out for and how do we test these prophecies?
1. The word of God
False prophets can take us away from God. God's will, will never contradict God's word. He will not breach any principle in the Bible.
We need to ask ourselves whether a prophetic word lines up with the word of God or whether it contradicts it? Furthermore whether what you are being asked to do is of God or goes against him. I recently watched a video where chairs were being anointed with oil and people were being asked to pay to sit in those chairs in order to be blessed. This begs the question, when did we start paying for God's anointing?
Galatians 1:8 says: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!". Is something new being created and added to the word of God?
2. Would Jesus do this?
Philippines 2:7-8 says: "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
We see Jesus humbling himself and becoming a servant. We then see Jesus again washing the feet of his disciples, modelling himself as a servant as opposed to demanding to be served. This did not imply or suggest that Jesus was lower than his disciples but he represented what serving others should look like.
It is important to note, that in no way am I advocating for ministers to be poor or disrespected.However, Jesus did not come up with self-serving ideas. The idea that one has to sow a seed as an indication or reflection of their faith, or what it will mean for the blessing they are likely to receive is false, as there is no evidence of Jesus asking for people to do this.
Those that give, should give willingly. There is no amount of money that could pay for the love that God has for you and I. Look at it this way, imagine your father leaves you an inheritance and someone else comes and tells you to pay them in order to access your inheritance. The Father has given you healing, deliverance and prosperity, as a result, no one should ever make you pay for that.
Titus 1:16 says: "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient and disqualified for every good work".
Examine or observe their behaviour to see their fruits. Do their actions match what they are saying? Are they living consistently with what they teach? As children of God, we understand that it is not by our works but His grace however, this should not be an excuse for choosing to live a sinful life.
4. Is it conviction or shaming?
God exposes what's wrong, and in a loving way says this needs to change. The the enemy will leave you feeling worthless, shameful and unworthy.
5.God can point out the sin but he won't attack your identity.
His conviction is clear, points you to the cross and reminds you that you are forgiven and loved. Does the prophet or prophecy bring you back to repentance? Romans 8:1 says: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
We are to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. How then do we justify a prophetic word that leaves one humiliated in front of the church but that exalts the prophet bringing forth the word of God? How do we begin the process of healing and restoration for that individual?
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
There are definitely other ways of discerning if something is from God or false. The most important way to know what is from God or not, is through your personal relationship with with him. The more you know who God is and His will, the clearer it becomes when something false comes your way.
You will find it hard to tell the difference if you don't know what God is like.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
Get to know God before chasing prophecies.