Dear friends, 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.
1 Jn 4:1
When John writes this verse, he is not writing just to pastors, elders, deacons, but to all Christians. These are not optional words, but the word of God for all Christians.
For we are not to believe everything we are told – whoever may tell us it. Whether it is in the pulpit, the media (Christian and secular), people we know or through any other way.
Instead, we are to listen to what has been said, think about it and compare it with what God’s word says. Christianity is not about switching off your mind – far from it, but it renews our mind by the power of the Spirit working in us.
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Ac 17:11
Christians should have the same mindset of the Bereans. They even compared what the apostle Paul said with the Scriptures.
This is not to say we should actively spend time hunting down heresies, but deal with them as we come across them in our daily lives. This also means our knowledge of the Scriptures is important, that we might know the truth, and that they might effectively shape our thinking.
It could be said of Caleb that he had faith. Rather than great faith in God though, he had faith in a great God. For it is not the faith itself which is useful, but the object of that faith. I could have all the faith in the world in a rabbit’s foot, but it won’t do anything for me – well, except maybe trigger an allergic reaction. Faith in the one true almighty God does not need to be great, for it is he who is able to do more than ask or imagine.
As such, Caleb’s faith allowed him to be courageous, confident and constant, even at the age of 40 he wholeheartedly followed the commands of God. Through seeing things from God’s perpective, he wasn’t deterred by the reports of the Canaanites. He knew that God’s commands were for his good, and was able to do the will of God, by the power of God working in him. He knew that God would work out his purposes and drive out the Canaanites as he had said.
Above all, he rested on the word and promises of God. His whole attidude was conditioned by the word of God and the promises therein.
Will we be like Caleb, working for God by his power at work within us, resting on God for strength? Will we see things from God’s perspective, despite difficulties and disappointments?