1 Kings 22:22 “And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.”
The need for proper discernment is at an all-time high.
As I read this passage for my devotions, I began to think about how difficult it is today to discern the truth. The message can be shocking, invasive, and damaging. It can also seem inviting, welcoming, and a breath of fresh air.
But which one is right?
Technology has allowed any and every voice to be heard. We hear conflicting messages in every sector of life. Whether business, finance, parenting, relationships, and marriage, we see an opinion put out and one that contradicts that message.
We see it in the spiritual realm, as well. Religions have been formed more because of differences than similarities. The multitude of religions and types of churches is enough to make your head spin.
Again, which is right?
Jehoshaphat and Ahab met together and inquired of the Lord whether or not they should go into battle. They looked to the prophets, and all seemed in agreement. King Jehoshaphat knew in his heart that they had yet to hear the truth and inquired if there was a consensus among the prophets.
Micaiah was brought and delivered a message contrary to the bulk of others that went before him. When asked why his message was different, he relayed what the Lord had told him in our passage.
The reaction of the chief prophet Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, exposes the root of the problem. In smacking Micaiah across the cheek, Zedekiah reveals his pride. I believe Zedekiah was thinking in his heart that he was being challenged not only for his position but what truly defined him.
1 Kings 22:24-25 “But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.”
Micaiah reveals to Zedekiah and us that the key lies in our relationship with God. The time between God’s delivery to us and our delivery to man is where our enemy places most of his resources to disrupt, deceive, divide, and destroy God’s work amongst His children.
Satan knows that if he can divide God’s children and keep them from agreeing on doctrine, we will become ineffective for Christ’s cause.
When situations and circumstances arise, do we point to the Word of God or man’s interpretation of God’s Word?
If saved, we will have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. God’s promise to us is sure.
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Micaiah made it clear that when Zedekiah got alone with God, He would hear the same message given to him to preach.
When the pastor steps to the pulpit in your church or mine, how are we to know that what he is saying is true?
I am not calling any man of God into question; I am trying to put forth a truth that will aid God’s children in wisdom, understanding, and discernment.
In most churches where saved, born-again, Bible-believing Christians gather, you will find they have a Bible in hand and will open it whenever the Word of God is preached. If you attend a church that doesn’t, how do you know it is biblical?
A pastor that discourages the use of the Word of God is dishonest and will lead that congregation astray.
When you hear something that unsettles you, what do you do? Do you write down what was said to look it up later, or begin looking for the truth in the Bible?
If we treat the church and the preaching of God’s Word like we do our amusements, we will accept anything just because our pastor said it was so. God wants His children to be wise.
Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
If we lack wisdom, all we need do is ask.
James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
We often will look back and marvel at the disciples for not ‘getting it.’ All they had was their intellect, their training, and their knowledge. Knowing where most of them came from makes more sense that they didn’t understand at first. But thee Word of God reveals to us why.
Luke 24:45-47 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
The ability to understand is a gift that comes from God. When we read, we need to be in constant conversation with God, asking Him questions about what we just read. The same should be valid for all information we take in.
Psalm 118:8-9 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
Paul had a lineage that many would covet. Yet, he denounced it all for Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ“
Many will cite a multitude of resources for the knowledge they’ve acquired. Paul said I threw it all away for Christ.
I was brought up religiously. When I began to hear gospel preaching, I found that I began to check it against what I was taught. When they agreed, all was well. But when they differed, I had a problem – who do I trust?
My mentor gave me great wisdom. He asked a simple question:
“What does the Bible say about it?”
Each time I came with a question, he replied with the same answer.
It would have been easy for him to give me the answer, but he was doing something far better. He was showing me the value of studying the Word of God, seeking truth in such a way that I would use the Bible as my sole source for truth.
We hear every day what man has to say about something. We need to listen to what God has to say before we begin our day every day.