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.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.