We live in a time where we have plentiful access to spiritual direction, but not all of it is from God. A disciple of Jesus needs to practice spiritual discernment in confusing religious times.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Not all “Christian” content comes from Christ.
Don’t Quench the Spirit (5:19)
- The Greek word translated “quench” often refers to putting out a fire (cf. Mark 9:48; Heb. 11:34).
- The Spirit of God provides motivation and direction for obeying the Word of God.
- Don’t desensitize yourself to the Spirit’s leading by your habit of satisfying your flesh.
Don’t Despise Prophecies (5:20)
- The Greek word translated “despise” often refers to looking down on something.
- Prophecy can include telling the future – that which is predicted (foretelling) or possible (forth-telling).
- Don’t despise good preaching just because bad preachers exist.
Don’t Accept Everything (5:21-22)
- The Greek word translated “test” often refers to examining closely to determine its authenticity.
- Don’t be quick to accept or reject something spiritual sounding until you’ve evaluated it against the standard.
- Learn from what is helpful; discard what is harmful.
Those led by the Spirit welcome solid, biblical instruction and practice thorough, spiritual discernment.