Hearing · Spirit · Test

would He say that…?

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1Samuel 16:7 ESV

I heard it yesterday… over the phone… in the background of a conversation with a friend…

A popular TV preacher telling a story about going to the store…

This is my paraphrase at the point the program caught my attention…

…I was hoping I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. Walking across the parking lot God spoke to me, not in an audible voice, but in my heart.

“You are my witness. You cannot be seen like this. You represent me. Go home, shower, and change clothes.”

So I went home. Showered, put on clean clothes, combed my hair, and returned to the store to get the TV dinners [my wife] wanted. …

Now… what he said has run through my mind… I’ve turned it over and over… thinking… This is not what God would say… not the God I know from Scripture…

And as I’ve thought… He’s given me confirmation… my thinking is right…

The children’s message today… focused on what a king looks like…

A king… according to the children… rides a horse… wears a gold shiny crown… and a robe…

Then the storyteller showed a picture… on the top half a king like they described… on the bottom half… a scruffy… bearded man riding a donkey…

She goes on to say… pointing to the man on the donkey… He was probably dirty… but this picture represents the King of kings… Jesus…

And Yes… the illustration of a worldly king… vs… the King of kings… corresponds to my initial thoughts…

Jesus… after all… is the perfect representation of God the Father…

I don’t think Jesus… or His Father… are much about what we look like on the outside…

He called the Pharisees… whitewashed tombs… full of dead bones…

He said… First clean the inside of the cup… then the outside will be clean…

Then I heard another preacher talk about Jesus’s scandalous reputation… it centered first on His claims to be God… then… secondly… on the company He kept… sinners and tax collectors…

The preacher went on to say how the Pharisees were all about how they looked… and their strict rules about keeping the right company…

Both the children’s message… and the radio preacher… confirmed my initial reaction to the TV preacher…

It’s a reminder… there are many different spirits which speak to our hearts… and they are not all the Holy Spirit…

His Word tells us…

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.

1John 4:1 NIV

So my prayer for the popular TV preacher is he would begin to test the spirits he hears speaking to his heart… and not lead people astray… like the false prophets we are warned about…

We certainly need to do the same… test every spirit we hear… whether it’s spoken in our hearts or by another person…

Ask first… before acting… Would He say that…?

Because when it comes to cleaning up the outside first…?

He wouldn’t say that…

In [Noah’s ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also — not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.

1Peter 3:20-21 NIV

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