Test All Things

3 Jun

There is no shortage of wranglings over theological private interpretations of Scripture, so how do we evaluate whether something is valid or not.  Should we follow the loudest voice, stick to tradition, get offended at everyone, take the easiest route, bail out, give in to intimidation, take a vote, toss a coin…?  Sadly, most people cave in to one of these easy-out methods.  But test it we must, because each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” (Rms 14:12)… and none of us wants to blindly run head long over a cliff.  Paul charged us to test all things and only hold what is good.             

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” – I Thess 5:21

Test all things

Test all things

So beyond the theological points, here are some of my personal thought processes I use to find my footing in this abounding grace movement.

If I could only find a few people who were getting this ‘download’ about abounding grace (Rms 5:20), I would tend to feel suspicious of the veracity of these revelations.  And even if I was confident of their veracity, yet didn’t know that others were experiencing the same thing, I might still feel tenuous about buying in.  Like Elijah, who thought that he was the only one who still served God (I Kngs 18:22;19:10) I could feel prone to either pride… or discouragement and insecurity.

Thankfully, we’re not like Elijah.  We don’t believe that we’re the only one(s) who are walking in this revelation.  Figuratively speaking, there are ‘7000’ (I Kngs 19:18) who are leaning hard into abounding grace.  Across the globe many different and unrelated sectors of the body of Christ are getting rocked and liberated in this wholesale revelation of abounding grace.  This gives much confidence and impetus… and brings up a good point.

Consider the prayer movement which grew so rapidly in the last 1 1/2  decades… the fact that it emerged in so many unrelated sectors of the body of Christ gave credibility to it being Holy Spirit’s initiation and co-ordination of the movement.  Likewise this grace movement is springing up in many unrelated streams and groups… which by itself tends to give credibility that this is Holy Spirit’s abounding grace message.

Further, if the fruit of any movement leans toward increased carnality and lawlessness, then that poor fruit gives evidence of its undesirable source (Lk 6:44).  Conversely, if the grace community is falling more in love with this wonderful Man Jesus, then the fruit speaks of Holy Spirit’s handiwork.  Remember when Jesus was assailed by the religious crowd and His message was assigned to the devil, He said, “…A house divided cannot stand.  If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!” (Mk 3:25-26).  In other words, the devil wouldn’t undermine his own ‘house’ by making more deeply devoted disciples of Jesus… not 2000 years ago… and not today.

But we must establish some criteria as we seek to evaluate the fruit and thus, determine the root or origin.  There have always been rogues and renegades within any movement who make obtrusive and cross-current waves… even destructive waves.  But just because an individual runs amuck doesn’t necessarily indict a whole movement… e.g., mainline Christianity has way too many egg-on-the-face outbreaks of maverick individuals and spurious groups.  That didn’t negate the veracity of Christianity… it just gave insight into those who shipwrecked.  In like manner, if individuals distort and pervert abounding grace, it doesn’t necessarily black-list abounding grace… it just gives us insight into those who shipwreck.  Rather, we must look for the fruit of the movement as a whole.

So the way a movement emerges… and a movement’s fruit… both help to determine its authenticity.

We must watch to see how and where the Godly fruit of this abounding grace wave breaks out.  That will be the hot spot you’ll want to drink from.  That’s where God is giving His attestation from Heaven… where the abounding grace anointing is most strong… and where you get ‘infected’ most impactingly.  Ripe and hungry believers will instinctively be drawn there.  You won’t be able to keep them away.  It’s always been that way.  Even the Magi did it… they went to where the greatest outbreak was (the Star) in order to see for themselves.

And you know… true wise men are still looking and listening for the evidence… and then they go to find Him where ever He can be found.

— MLH

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2 Responses to “Test All Things”

  1. Mel Wild June 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM #

    Some real wisdom here. And we seem to be on a theme here about discerning what God is doing by the Spirit. May have to re-blog it’s so good. 🙂

  2. Mel Wild June 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM #

    Reblogged this on In My Father's House and commented:
    There’s some good insights and wisdom here from Mark about how to discern what God is doing in our midst, especially, the grace movement, which also goes well with my subject this week. Take some time to read it. It will really help you wrestle through these important issues in the body of Christ today.
    Blessings,
    Mel

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