#faithbites #faithjourney false
God is perfect. Jesus is perfect. Faith is beautiful. Religion is complicated. When I was younger, I thought Judaism was easy because you were orthodox, conservative, or reform. That was it. As an adult, I realize that had a naïve understanding of it, and have since learned. As a child, I was very confused by Christianity. With all of its branches and divisions, I didn’t understand why. As an adult, I am still confused by it. I am a Christian and a member of the Lutheran Church. Every day, I struggle, wrestle, and try to grow my faith with the help of God.
I have seen Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” and similar verses, used over and over when someone is not a member of their denomination when their politics don’t align with what someone believes, or when they disagree with someone. So who are the false prophets? How do we recognize when we are being duped? How do we ensure that we are following what Jesus wants us to?
How do we know if someone is a false prophet? 1 John tells us to test them. If something sounds too good to be true, maybe it is. Maybe who you are listening too may have other motives at hand. Here are some things to be on the look out for:
Often I see people using God’s word to advance their personal church or their personal beliefs. This to me is a false prophet. Those who go outside of God’s word are false prophets. God’s Word has been used to kill, maim, and destroy as long as it has been around. This is not from God. This is us as sinners using his Word to our advantage.
I am not perfect. I have used God’s word to try to prove a point. Do I think it was Biblical? Yes. Do I think I did it out of the need to feel right? Yes. That is a sin and I apologize.
As we live our lives, we need to look at why someone is using God’s Word. What is their purpose? It’s not easy to unmask a false prophet as they can be very very convincing. This is when we need to go to God and ask for his love, discernment, and help.
Are you unwittingly listening to false prophets? Have you unwittingly been a false prophet? If you have, ask for forgiveness and turn not towards man for answers, but to the Lord. He will open your eyes, your heart, and your spirit for an understanding of the truth.
Father God, your church on Earth is divided just like humankind. We tend to follow people who agree with us and support our worldview. Help us to see you as the only truth. Guide us past what we feel is comfortable towards understanding the truth and the light which is you. It will be a challenge to be uncomfortable but we know that following you is in contrast to the world and not comfortable. Your rewards are greater than anything we can see on this earth.
Lord, guide us and nurture us. Forgive us when we fail. We love you and pray all of these things in your name, Amen.