False Prophecy?

Written on 08/20/2021
Christian Dunn

Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

Oftentimes as Christians, God asks us to "live in the tension" between two competing extremes. In this verse, we see an example.

Some people would teach that God doesn't speak through people in the form of prophecy anymore (one extreme). Others seem to prophecy often and loudly with no follow up and no accountability (the other extreme).

Paul is trying to thread the needle for us. On one hand he commands us to "not quench the Spirit." We can, for fear of getting it wrong, or just plain disbelief, decide that prophecy doesn't exist. And we will end up missing out on something powerful that God wants to do.

On the other hand he tells us to "test them all" and "reject every kind of evil." Sadly, there are people who use "prophecy" as a way to gain status and influence. This is not the way of Jesus.

In your life, then, how do you apply this? I would encourage you to be open to the voice of God both personally, and through others. Seek out prayer and prophetic encouragement from others in your life. But ALSO - test what you hear. Just because someone is spiritual sounding, doesn't mean their prophetic words are for you. You need to test with Scripture and with others.

As with so much in following Jesus, there isn't an easy formula to follow here. It takes wisdom and trust. Let's be people of the Spirit, who also use the gift of discernment.

Help me to see your hand and your voice in my life, lead me and speak to me whenever you can God!