Last week I went to Savers, a local thrift store, and shopped for some exercise clothes. I somehow ended up in the shoe and handbag department as I always do. (Yes, I really like shoes and pocketbooks). Anyhow, I spotted this beautiful brown, pink and blue, flowered hand bag. It was brand new with tags and all! I looked for a price tag but there was none. So, I put it in my carriage and continued to shop. When I was ready to check out I asked for a manager to price the bag. I wondered what the price would be…probably twenty dollars as it was a new item. To my surprise he priced it at five dollars! What a steal I thought! A brand-new designer bag for five bucks! Woot! Woot! I was so happy! I went home and told my husband about my find.
I used it for the first time that Sunday, putting my bible and other stuff for church in it. I was still gloating over my super deal that day! I remember telling my friend, “Yes, some man priced it. He obviously didn’t know the value of it when he did.” “Ha ha!”
Well, the joke was on me because the next time I used it, I noticed the bag starting to tear. Oh no! I removed my bible from it. I sewed it back together with my first-grade level sewing skills. It looked terrible. But, I figured it’s okay because it was on the back side of the bag. No one will see it, I thought. Then my eyes were drawn to the piping that went around the two front pouches. The leather like plastic was all flaking! I looked at the rest of the piping and saw it was flaking too! Say Whaaat? My “great” find was really trash upon closer inspection! It wasn’t the beautiful pocketbook I thought it was. Under a little stress, it was something completely different.
God’s word says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1John 4:1 There are so many people out there trying to sell a form of godliness and religion. They will tell you everything you want to hear. They will likely back it up with some scripture too. But buyer beware…remember the serpent in the garden with Eve? What did he do? He twisted the word of God saying, “…but of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.’ “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:3-5
Let’s examine this exchange a little closer. First of all, God never said not to touch the fruit. God said,” but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." Gen 2:17 The enemy added to and changed up God’s words to fit his own motives. He mixed a little truth with a lie. The serpent said they wouldn’t “surely” die. That’s like saying, “Nah…you won’t really die." The day that Eve partook of the fruit, she and all mankind died spiritually. We certainly did! Just like God warned!
There is truly nothing new under the sun. The very tactics that duped Eve, the enemy still uses today. All he needs is a person with ulterior motives and he’s all set. So how do we “test the spirits?” Gos' word says, "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God." John 4:2-3 The message should always point people to Jesus Christ; his sacrifice, salvation, character etc.
Now, lets go back to my pocketbook. It had a designer name on it, but it wasn’t the real thing. How could I have known? Easy peasy…if I knew what the real markings of the original were, I could have easily seen the difference between the real deal and a knock off.
That’s why we need to know the word of God for ourselves. You can’t spot a fake if you don’t know the real thing. It is so important to go to God Himself with your questions concerning His word. A good friend taught me that scripture will always interpret scripture. God never says something just once.
Get a study bible, cross reference the scriptures and look up the notes to see how they apply to your life. It is worth a little digging to find true treasure in God’s word. Then you won’t be fooled when a false prophet attempts to woo you out of the will of the Living God!