The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Test

If you look closely at the picture you will notice a number in the circle. If you don’t see the number then you are probably colorblind. It may look like a circle with lots of dots in it, but there actually is a number and it’s difficult to see.

I think this describes people very much. Sometimes it may be very difficult to see the real them because of camouflage. I don’t expect people to trust me the moment I meet them. I want them to make me earn the trust that is given. I know from experience if I blow the trust it takes a lot longer to get it back than to lose it.

There are many people who hear the truth but disregard it. As one of the famous lines in “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicolas says, “The truth, you can’t handle the truth.” This statement is accurate much of the time because many times we don’t want to hear the truth, especially about ourselves. Have you ever noticed people have no trouble with the truth until you hit on their weakness? Then they become defensive. Let this be a sign to you that if you become defensive, maybe you should give it more thought. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. John 8:45

With all the garbage going around in our world and nation and so many false prophets, the Bible warns us to be careful. It’s not my responsibility to be careful for you, but yours. It’s so easy to be deceived even with someone saying all the right things. However, God left us a way out because He knows we’re too blind to see the truth.

Imagine if you will, walking around life not being blindfolded, but wearing very dark tinted sunglasses. You can see somewhat but it’s difficult to be accurate. For now we see through a glass, (or Sunglasses) darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. I Corinthians 13:12 This is where Jesus will shine His light so we can see more clearly. We will know for sure when we’re dead. So how do we do this now?

Not long ago I sent out a story “Do You Know Me?” I’m not asking if you know God or who or what He is. I’m asking do you know His character. This has helped me so much to clarify where something was coming from. I’ve had people I knew and loved come to me ignorantly pushing me away from God. One was a former pastor. He thought he was doing the right thing, but he had a heart of selfish motives. Therefore I knew it wasn’t from God.

So many times I hear the Bible misquoted because people are trying to conform God into their image. Such as, I heard a woman say that God brought a special man into her life when she and he were already married to someone else. God will not bless adultery. I hear people say their favorite verse is “God helps those who help themselves.” This is not in the Bible. This was a quote from Benjamin Franklin. God will not go against His Word and will not bless our sin. I’ve heard people thank God for their one night stands or make the comment, “There really is a God.”

The first thing we have to do is know the genuine character of God. The way we do this is to seek. God so much wants us to know Him intimately, but He can’t give it all to us at one time or our heads would explode. Let me help you with a little demonstration. In 1 John 4:8 it tell us that God is Love. It’s not the human love that we’ve come to know, but something beyond our comprehension. Here’s a good test. This is Godly Love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthian 13

So if you are trying to decide where someone or you might be coming from, you could test their motives and your own by using this list and see if it matches up. If it doesn’t, then it’s not from God. This is not just a good method for testing false prophets, but for testing anyone’s motives. Any false teacher whether they are deliberately being a false prophet or ignorantly being a false prophet will not be able to stand up to this test. Even if they can, they will not be able to maintain it very long because it requires too much energy. I had a slight confrontation with someone recently and I tested him. He pretty much blew the entire list. By the way, the number is 74.

No comments: