“Testing the Spirits”In our quarantine, discouraging thoughts can threaten our souls to despair. Test those false voices with all your strength and contrast them with Jesus’ love.
1 John 3:24-4:6
John was most concerned, not about the chaotic, unpredictable and dangerous context of our external circumstances, but about the chaos that might be raging within our thinking and our hearts. His focus is that we know with confidence:
- That God is Love and He loves us (3:1)
- That Jesus is God embodied and fully human (4:2)
- That Love Himself can live within our bodies through His Spirit (This is called being born of God 3:9)
This whole letter is about Love and its true, self-sacrificing nature. God is Love and we can be like Him. This is not a platitude or wishful thinking. This is real Christianity.
There are loud voices who deny that Jesus can live in us and love through us. But–
Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.1 John 3:24
When someone denies the Incarnation, that God became human in Christ, they can also easily deny that we can love as God loves. John warns us strongly to be discerning of that kind of spirit. He calls it the “antichrist:” against what Jesus has promised He will do. Jesus’ commands are always promises. To deny the fullness of what God can do in our lives is a spirit of deception.
I love this Good News! “The Spirit Who is in you is greater than the spirit who is in the world.”
In our quarantined world, discouraging thoughts can come and threaten our souls to despair. Test those false voices with all your strength, contrasting them with Jesus’ love. Perhaps the stress this is causing on your marriage or other relationships might seem irreparable. That is not true! God will see us through this, and He can heal our hearts for one another. Isolation can be infiltrated by deceptive voices through email, news, social media, etc. The Spirit of Truth will help us identify and DELETE them. We belong to God and His love can live within us and fill the atmosphere of our homes.
Jesus, I need you to come to me right here in my house. Fill my whole life with Your Life. With Your Presence, dispel every lie that condemns me to lovelessness, anxiety and paralyzing confusion. I know You hear my prayer and I thank You! Amen.