(A two-minute read)
Here’s a tough question for me: Do I spend more time each week listening to people teach or talk about God (via YouTube, podcasts, social media feeds, etc.) than I spend hearing from God directly from scripture?
The teaching and interpretation of scripture are good, but never as good as what Holy Spirit can tell me Himself. That’s because God knows my heart, and knows what I need to hear far more than what I might choose to listen to on my own. Five minutes with Him can outdo five hours from anyone else.
Paul warned his disciple Timothy about this: “For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.” 1
Are you cautious about which so-called ‘influencers’ shape your world-view?
Even if you think you are being intelligent, you can be fooled.
I can’t do this seeking in a vacuum
I need discernment. I also need to remember Charles Spurgeon’s observation that discernment isn’t the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, but between right and almost right.
We live in what’s been labeled a “post-truth” society; no coincidence it’s also labeled a “post-Christian” society. In my view, of course (unapologetically), the two go together.
As John says in his first letter,2 I must “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” I test these things against the full body of Scripture, and also amongst a company of discerning believers, including people who will challenge my assumptions.
This is because I cannot automatically assume I’m right, or even that I hear rightly. The inarguable point is that the more time I spend in the Bible, the better I will hear God’s opinion, as opposed to that of some inane YouTube bloviator.
So, how much time will I spend in God’s word today? How much do I want to hear from Him directly? Or is it ‘easier’ to just munch on another YouTube video?
Knowledge (from man – even when Spirit-inspired) may be good, but wisdom (from God) is better. It’s also worth the extra effort.
1. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
2. 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
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