Know God and the Bible for Yourself (Testing Revelation)

Morning Devotion: Knowing God’s voice.

Every voice is not God. Our soul and spirit speak too. The evil one can give impressions, contaminate dreams, visions, and implant thoughts. Believers are called to test every spirit and all prophetic words/dreams/visions. Today’s post covers testing words, impressions, dreams, visions, and “God told me.”

I have met numerous people in my life who have derailed their life with “God told me.” The voice they heard or the dream/vision did not come from God at all yet it was never tested. The person had followed either their own voice or a false Holy Spirit. Yes, there are demonic spirits who pretend to be God. This is why the Bible says, “Test every spirit and see if it’s of God.”

Everything that looks good or sounds good is not God. The Bible should be the standard or compass. God is not going to tell someone to sin. God is also not double-minded, tossing someone back in forth in confusion. When God speaks, He means what He says and will fulfill what He said.

Trouble can come in several different ways:

1. The person does not cultivate intimacy with God. They are highly dependent on other people telling them what God said instead of reading the Bible for themselves, listening and testing with God.

Jesus said, “My sheep will know My voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.” Intimacy with God helps us to know His voice from our voice and our voice from the enemy.

2. They do not ask others to test what they are hearing. They have their own isolated bubble with zero feedback and they end up in a ditch.

A prophetic and Spirit-filled community also helps with learning the voice of God. This is where we invite others into what we think we are hearing from God and accept feedback. Those who refuse any feedback or loving correction do not grow.

3. Pride. “I know I hear from God, and therefore I am not in need to test this word, vision, dream, impression. I am accurate or seasoned.” Pride is the devil’s playground. Those who think they are standing sometimes fall because they refuse to acknowledge the fact that they may not have seen or heard correctly. They do not accept accountability or feedback. Or they surround themselves with people who are yes men and women, they have no one to challenge their thoughts or expressions. Pride is one way to miss fully or clearly seeing and hearing what God is doing.

4. A critical spirit or grossly wounded soul can contaminate what God is saying or doing. Our deep wounds can fracture our lenses and cause what we see or hear to not match what God has said or shown us. Our interpretation can be flawed because our wounds are guiding our seeing/hearing. Our vantage point can become our place of woundedness instead of the heart of God. Jesus spoke from the heart of God.

5. Deception. The person has partnered with a spirit of deception by believing lies. God’s word is a great place to soak to bypass gross deception and knowing God for ourselves. A prophet who does not read and study the Bible can be in big trouble as well as every believer. Know the word of God for yourself.

So how do we test?

A. Hold up whatever it is against the word and character of God. God will not tell a person to sin. He will not tell a person to run around in confusion or double-mindedness. One day God says go left, another day turn around…I have seen people run around in utter confusion because they refused to test what they sensed was God. God is not hateful, nor critical. God is not crazy. Cultivating intimacy with God and learning His character is vital to hearing clearly. You can not repeat something from someone you don’t know.

B. Pray and ask others to pray. There are several things in my life that looked good or sounded good yet I paused and prayed. I asked God to show me what was really going on and to confirm if it was Him. I did nothing until I had more insight from God. Thankful because after praying, “God show me your truth about this person, this situation, this dream or vision or prophetic word,” there was an increased clarity and wisdom given by God. Asking others to pray with me and for me or test what I think God is saying has been helpful as well.

C. Write it down and come back later. I have found that God when He gives something, knows the perfect timing for its release. God is not pushy, not in a mega hurry. He is okay with sitting something aside to pray, weigh, test, examine, etc…Sometimes in the process of writing it out and coming back later, a person can see where their soul was speaking and it does not sound like God at all.

D. Ask God for deeper revelation, insight, and to confirm what is Him. I have had several people tell me that God brought them into my life and it was a lie, lie, lie. The devil brought them across my path. As I prayed over their words, character, etc…God revealed their heart was not good. I have had numerous marriage words that were false. I tell people don’t just run with something someone tells you or even your own dreams/visions/words. Ask God, “Show me who this person really is. Show me God the heart of this person. Confirm if this is from you. Show me the source of this dream, information.” You pray and PAY ATTENTION. Some bypass red flags because, “God told them,” and they end up in devastation. Watch how that person treats you. Watch their character. Watch how they treat other people. I have seen God unravel things over time that looked like Gold in the beginning and it was gold plated.

I had a lady tell me she was my Jonathan and she later brought hell, confusion, pain, and craziness into my life. If I had taken what she said and asked God for confirmation, then I could have bypassed some crazy. I did not. I trusted her because she said she knew God and seemed to be on fire for Jesus. She also had another set of voices that needed cast out and deep brokenness that caused “Prophalying.” I learned a valuable lesson. Love everyone, test everything.

Some will be attracted to the anointing on your life, not you. If that anointing does not benefit them or ceases to fill their need bucket, they will go find the next person who will. There is a great difference between who loves you and who loves what they think you can do.

I have also had people drawn to who they think I am and when they find out I am not the tell you just what you want to hear, they abandon the relationship. They said, in the beginning, they prayed for someone like me and God answered, yet the reality was, I think and could be wrong, they saw something they wanted and put it on God. When it did not meet their expectations, God obviously changed His mind and they left the connection. If God leads us to someone, like He did with David and Jonathan, it is not an “I’m in as long as you do and say what suits me.” It is a committed love. It is mutual and not one sided.

E. Examine the heart and nature of God. God is not pushy nor manipulative. God allows choice. Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane had a choice. God did not force Him, pressure Him, nor try to bully Him into the cross. Adam and Eve had a choice. We get to choose.

Caution: Be careful with the God told me to hire this person, marry this person, connect with this person, etc…I have seen people get a word, have a dream, yada yada and they never tested it. They hired that person, connected with that person, married that person or were rejected by that person and blamed God (He was not the source of that intel), and end up in a ditch. God does not force connections. God will introduce two people and let them choose. He does not force marriages or partnerships. And I have only met a few people who God told them who their spouse was and it was a great marriage, the rest married into hell. They did not test what they heard or saw.

Truly believe God wants us to know Him for ourselves and cultivate intimacy with Him. I also believe there are false prophets in the world and knowing God, testing what we see or hear is vital. God told us to do it. Leaning on the words of internet prophets or platform prophets or even the local prophet is not wisdom. Wisdom is getting in the word and secret place with God. Wisdom is testing ALL things. “God is this really you? I will not move or act until I know that this is you and not my soul or spirit and not the voice of the enemy trying to deceive me. God keep me in a place of humility where I am continually submitting what I see and hear to you and when needed seeking wise counsel. Help me to be an accountable prophet or prophetic person. Heal my soul of any wounds or deception so I can see, hear, and speak the clear uncontaminated word of God”

Art: Yongsung Kim

Love in Christ,

Erin L Lamb

Empowered to Make a Difference

Don’t worry about the numbers, help one person at a time and always start with the person closest to you,”~Mother Teresa.

God blessed every human being with something to add value to the world. Your smile or kind word can make a difference in the life of another person.

The goal of life is not to pursue being a consumer. We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love.

Part of the work of Holy Spirit is to reveal to us Jesus. Jesus is perfect love and compassion in action. If we see Jesus, encounter Jesus, we encounter the Father. Jesus went about doing good and destroying the works of the devil. Jesus did more than preach the Gospel, He reached out to those in great need.

Love looks like someone, Jesus.

I love the following verses…

Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others,~Phil 2:4 (AMPC).

It is quite easy to see the problems. It requires creativity and courage to see the solution. The problems we face today need heavenly solutions. We can read in the online feeds and see it on the news. Yet who will be part of the solution? Who will move beyond being a critic to being a catalyst for change?

We have the wonderful opportunity to be a blessing in the world, in our generation, and leave the world better than before we came.

You and I cannot do everything, we can do something. We can move beyond being spectators to being activists, revivalists, instruments of change, and humanitarians.

We each have a sphere of influence which needs salt and light. We need light in the dark places. We need salt to preserve. We need those truly led by Jesus to be involved in every sphere of influence. Our world needs Christ in us, the hope of glory.

I encourage seeking the heart and face of God for His assignments in the days and years to come. The world needs a church where ALL the members do their part. A body needs every part engaged and mobile to be fully effective. If only my arms work, I will not go very far. I need my legs. If the church is truly a body, then everyone will have some role to play and need to participate in some way.

Speaking of outreach, what is new with Operation God is Love:

This past year one of the ministries I oversee expanded to include missions. We will be taking teams into the Nations to share the Gospel, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, see the deliverance of the oppressed. You may read more about our work at Operation God is Love or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/OperationGodisLove.

I recently sat for a Skype interview with Convergence Ministries out of LA and spoke about God’s vision for helping the poor. You may watch it here: Interview with Convergence Ministry. As stated before, we cannot do everything, we can do something.

Papa God highlight for each of us the ways we can bless the world. Highlight for us our assignments, divine appointments, and divine alignments. Show us who we are in you and how we can be your hands, feet, mouthpiece, and heart in a hurting and lost world!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

What Is A Life?

Morning Devotion: What is a life?

Last year around the holidays a friend of mine passed away. A man who was not old, still full of life. He woke up one morning feeling a bit off and died before anyone could get to him. I could not attend the funeral because it was out of the country. Yet I had my own memorial with Jesus. I thanked God for a good man, a kind man, an unselfish man, a generous man, and one who made others feel great about themselves.

When young there can be this thought of, “I have forever!” I am in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s…I have time. Yet we have this moment.

As I wept over someone I loved, I also thought of what is a life?

Our culture makes life about material things, fame, building our mini kingdoms, family…things that absolutely have no significance when you stand before a Holy God. Everything we have here is a gift, it is not to be the meaning of life. The meaning of my life is to glorify God, not be a scientist, aunt, friend, minister to people. My life is hidden in Christ and my identity is daughter of God. The purpose of my life is to love God, make Him known.

This life is the shortest time we will live yet has the most profound distractions….”Chase this thing that means nothing if you do not know Jesus.

I thought of the people willing to sell their souls for what is fleeting.

I thought of those who did not love thinking they could make amends later.

I thought of those who mistreated and stepped on other people trying to climb an imaginary ladder that leads nowhere past this temporary earth assignment.

I thought of those who wasted their lives chasing temporary things when they would spend eternity either seperated from God in torment or without heavenly rewards because they lived quite selfish lives.

I thought of those who never shared Jesus with anyone.

I thought of the time wasted on what would not matter in the end.

What is a life?

It is a gift from God that is intended to be marked with radical and profound love. We were created by love, to be loved, then to love. God will measure our lives not only by faith in His Son, but by love.

I loved my friend while living, so I had no regrets at the end. I had no times of treating him like he meant nothing. That’s not who I am. I loved him while I had him, knowing that people are on loan to us. We are not owners we are stewards.

I am always shocked by those who invest nothing, do not love well, do not steward relationships well who become outraged or upset when those relationships die (naturally they drift apart or the person dies). Add value while they are living! Send flowers or cards while they are living. Encourage while they can hear you. Reach out and invest while they are living. Be a good friend! Make life about pursuing loving well.

In the end no one will recall how many Facebook or Instagram followers you had. No one will recall your great messages or sermons. No one will care how many platforms you stood on or how much audience applause. They will recall how you loved them. They will recall how you made them feel.

What does it profit a person to gain the world and lose their soul? What does it profit a person to store up treasures on earth where rust and months destroy?

The treasures remain here when we die. If we do not know Jesus, our sins are not atoned for-they stand on our record. Those who’s names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will stand guilty before the Lord. We cannot earn good standing with God through good works. Our self righteousness is as filthy rags before a Holy God. We need a way to have a clean slate. Jesus paid a debt we could not pay, to save a life!

What are you living for? Will it matter on the day you meet your Maker? Will it matter in eternity? Does it impact the world for good? Is it fueled by love? God’s love?

Why are we here? God so loved the world, He created humanity then redeemed humanity through faith and following His Son. We are carved out of the heart of God for a temporary earth assignment that is training for reigning in an eternal assignment. This is the shortest time we will ever live. We are headed for Paradise with God, or Torment with the evil one.

May you and I live with an eternal perspective. May our hearts overflow with the love of God that says, “I am here by love, to be loved, then to love!” May those around us be positively impacted by our lives. May we steward who and what we have well. May we leave a mark of excellence and love for Jesus. May His plans be fulfilled in our lives because they far exceed what we can think up on our own.

My friend marked my life with kindness, joy, encouragement, and friendship. He loved well. May we be those who mark this world with love while we are living! Don’t waste today!!! Love today. Choose love today.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Overcoming with Jesus

Morning Devotion: Walking with Jesus as an overcomer.

Adversity is an opportunity for advancement, a problem is a setup for a miracle, and sometimes you are delivered through instead of delivered from a trial.

I hope to encourage someone this morning! We become overcomers by having something to overcome.

Walking with God does not mean you will live a life free of troubles, struggles, trials, or persecution…Jesus stated very plainly “In this world, you will have troubles, yet take heart, I have overcome the world,”~John 16:33.

I have walked through many things I thought at the time may overtake me; trapped in a car under water, death threats, racism, sabotage, 7 near death experiences, sickness, chronic sickness for a while, persecution, being left to die, lied on, cheated, heartbroken, abandoned by those who cried out, “You are my family. I love you!”, and so much more.

There were times I stood on mega faith and contended for a breakthrough. There were times I pulled in other seasoned believers to stand with me through the valley of the shadow of death. There were seasons of supernatural joy and others of profound grief. I believe every single experience was and is used by God to be a source of hope for someone else. I saw the power of God in profound ways during some of the most challenging moments of my life. Doctors said one thing, God said another. People said and did destructive things, God spoke life. I learned God is my very best friend and nothing on earth compares to Him. Take the world and give me Jesus.

I do not tell you these things for empathy or sympathy. I do not tell you because I am nursing an emotional wound. It is well with my soul. I tell you because overcoming means you will have something to overcome! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

We impart hope to others when we take our Christian masks off and say, “This was a challenge and look what God had done! This is what I have walked through and this is the power of God.” I have no time for pretend when there are people living in despair, despondency, and hopelessness because no one is real. Let’s be real. Life will punch you in the face at the times, even if you decree/declare/read the word/fast/etc…the goal is not to stay down. Get back up with Jesus!

If I can walk through many fires with God and come out with mega joy, so can you! With God you can and will overcome! Just like the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years. She did not know how long she would suffer, then along came Jesus. Her heart, I believe lept…If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be (not maybe) made whole. Hope flooded the scene when Jesus came. We too can find hope in Jesus.

The strength is not our own, it comes from God. The healing and deliverance is in the person of Jesus. Not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)!! Hallejuah! Praising my heart out!!

Can we worship God? Can we say with utter honesty, “This is challenging, but you are good?” Through it all God is still God. These earthly afflictions are so temporary, God is eternal. God never ceases to be good.

I look to those who walked before us…

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”~Daniel 3:16-20.

They chose not to base their devotion to God on their deliverance. They chose God despite the outcome. This is love.

I am healed, whole, and full of joy because of God! This is for you too. It does not matter how long the storm has raged on or the diagnosis or prognosis. What matters is the presence of God. Is God there? Has God been invited into the storm? He can with one word calm the storm. If He does not, He will see us through it all.

When I look at Jesus, I see perfect theology. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He was not speaking of His maleness for God is Spirit, those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth. He was speaking of His heart, His compassion, His character, His desires for the least/last/lost, His purity.

When I look at Jesus I see someone who was betrayed, mocked, abandoned, sabotaged, whipped, assaulted for His faith, rejected, had His heartbroken. He was lied on, humiliated, disappointed, and gave His very life for the ones who yelled, “Crucify Him!!” I am no better than Jesus. He had no sin and faced many challenges. We have hope in someone who already defeated our worst enemy, death. What He overcame, I can overcome and you can too by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God does not ask us to overcome in our strength. God does not expect us to be the superheroes of the story, He is the Savior/Deliverer/Healer. God invites us to abide in Him and overcome in His strength.

If we cannot run, we walk. If we cannot walk, we crawl. If we cannot crawl, we reach up into the arms of God. We cling to who God is and all He has done before. God is a way maker and a sustainer of life. I am living, walking additional evidence that nothing is impossible for God.

The odds may seem against you, you may feel alone in the storm. The doctor report may be grim…the circumstances beyond hope. Yet I know a man. A man who raised from the dead and walks in resurrection power. His name is Jesus. I know a man who opened blind eyes and deaf ears and set the captives free! I know a God who has done what mankind could not do. The same God who saved my life over and over is calling out to you! Speak life to the dead situations God told you should live!! Say what God says until you see what God has said.

We stand on an unshakable God and in an unshakable Kingdom!! Most of all we can have bold confidence that in the end, God wins!!

Let hope arise…hope in the only one who cannot ultimately fail.

Love in Him,

Erin Lamb

Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Sustaining Power to Overcome (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part III)

Photo credit: Word of the Day

Holy Spirit is sustaining power if we abide. Our world is full of things that are not like God; pain, sin, death, destruction, rudeness, cruelty, abuse, and so much more. How do we overcome? We abide in the one who has overcome. Jesus suffered and died. He did not stay dead, He rose with all power in His hands. He says to born again believers, “I overcame, you can overcome. The same power, the same Spirit that raised Me, it abides in you.”

Since the Spirit of God lives in me, I can (so can you if you are a Spirit filled follower of Jesus), give thanks for adversity, opposition, and persecution.

Before you think I have lost my marbles or gone wackado…heres why?

Adversity, opposition, and persecution are opportunities for growth, refinement, and deeper intimacy with God.

Adversity reveals the authencity of what we proclaim to believe. Without adversity we can claim to trust God, claim to have faith, yet the fire of affliction reveals what is in us. If there is unbelief, it rises to the surface in panic in moments of adversity. If there is pride, it rises to the surface. Adversity reveals what we believe and exposes any flaws in our character or identity that need refined.

Opposition is an opportunity to rely on the Spirit of God and not our flesh. Can we love like God when we are being opposed, sabatoged, mistreated, and persecuted? It’s easy to be kind when life is peachy. Can we be kind when hell is going on around us? Can we stay in a place of honor, even when dishonored? Can we represent Jesus well even when hated without cause? Opposition reveals our love walk.

Persecution, if yielded to God, brings forth the oil of His glory or bitterness. An olive is pressed to bring forth more oil. If we let hurt or offense in, the stench of bitterness arises and the fragrance of hatred flows from us. If we yield to God, more and more of the character of God is manifested in our lives.

Persecution can also deepen our intimacy with God. “God here I am. What do I do? Help me to love those who hate me. Help me to love and honor those who mistreat me. Forgive them God for they know not what they do. Invade their hearts with your love. Help me to abide in you and not respond in my flesh. May you be glorified.”

The Psalmist stated, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees,”~Psalm 119:71.

It is so tempting to run from Gethsemane, yet nothing crucifies the flesh or exposes our blind spots like testing, trials, adversity, opposition, and persecution.

If you are in the fire today or your faith or love walk is being tested, my prayer is, “Don’t jump out of the fire ahead of time. Some things we are delivered from and some through. The only thing consumed in the fire (if we are linked to God) is what limits us, the dross, the stuff unlike God.”

It is not by our strength or power, it is by His strength and power. God is able to sustain us and help us thrive in the midst of the worst adversity, opposition, trials, and persecution.

Disclaimer: this does not apply to abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or spiritual abuse); get out, get help. If you physically or emotionally sick, Jesus wants you healed.

Papa God, for those weary in well doing I ask for a wave of your goodness and glory to wash over them. For those beaten down and afflicted, I ask for a raising of a standard against the enemy, let not our faith fail. For those persecuted, I pray comfort, healing, and your sustaining power. Help us to lean on you and not ourselves. Increase our awareness of your love, peace, goodness, and joy. Take us deeper into intimacy with you. Holy Spirit come and saturate our body, soul, and spirit with Shalom. In the mighty name of Jesus amen.

You are so deeply loved! You are prayed for too on a regular basis.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb