What an incredible blessing of assurance – we HAVE the Holy Spirit at work within us, fighting for us, keeping us from temptation, helping us understand God’s word and helping us to discern truth from evil.
I have been reading I John 4:1-6 this week. At the beginning of the week I was concentrating more on how we can see false prophets by testing the spirits to see whether they were confessing that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is from God. But I had a problem with that because in James 2 it say, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” So if it is just stating the words it wasn’t enough. So I realized the implied part is that this is GENUINE, heart-convicting and changing confession, not just saying the words.
I had some time today so I listened to John Piper’s message on Test the Spirits to See Whether They are of God, and I received some great insights into this passage that I want to share. http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/test-the-spirits-to-see-whether-they-are-of-god
This isn’t just about discerning false prophets, but seeing who is a true believer/child of God. Verse 2 says we must hear them genuinely confess with their mouths and in their hearts, that Jesus Christ is LORD. Verse 6 encourages us to test people by seeing how receptive they are to allow sincere and truthful words to go into their heart.
Not one of us will hear the message of Christ’s salvation unless the Holy Spirit softens our heart and opens our ears to hear. Not one of us will confess – sincerely and genuinely – from the heart that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh unless the Holy Spirit prepares our hearts and humbles us to accept the free gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ, our LORD.
What a blessing to know that God loves us so much He calls us to Him. He gifts us with the Holy Spirit to work in us so that we can hear God’s call and receive His grace. I like how Piper concluded, “If this type of listening and confessing could be explained any other way, they would not be sure signs of the Spirit’s presence and power at work in us.”
Thinking of all this reminds me of the song – I’m Forever Grateful © 1985 Mark Altrogge.
You did not wait for me, to drawn near to You,
but You clothed Yourself with frail humanity.
You did not wait for me to cry out to You,
but You let me hear Your voice calling me.
And I’m forever grateful to You.
I’m forever grateful for the cross.
I’m forever grateful to You,
that You came to seek and save the lost.
What a wonderful blessing to know that God is at work in us so we can hear His invitation to come and worship Him, believe in Jesus Christ our Savior. What a great reminder of a way to pray for those who haven’t heard – that God will soften their hearts and open their ears to hear the words of TRUTH.
Enjoying the wonderful truth of the Holy Spirit’s continuing work in me and you 😉
God’s abundant blessings ~ Faye