Daily Office Readings for Monday of the Seventh Week of Epiphany: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 106:1 to 18; Evening, Psalm 106:19 to 48;
Proverbs 3:11 to 20; 1st John 3:18 to 4:6; John 11:17 to 29;
“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.” (1st John 4:1)
This reading from John the Evangelist suggests that there are “competing” spirits out there trying to be the lead in our lives. This is scary stuff. He goes on to say that the Spirit of God is the one that confesses Jesus Christ as come in the flesh and that if it does not it is not from God.
I have other ways of believing a spirit or idea is from God. In yesterday’s Daily Office Reading from Mark we read, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many;” (Mark 10:45). The Spirit of Jesus then is one of serving.
If there are competing spirits vying for control of how I live my life then I truly want to listen to the One calling me to live a life of service to those in need. So my test for a spirit to be from God is whether or not it is asking me to do something that is inconvenient, costly, but brings good to persons outside of myself. If the answer to these questions is yes, then I believe such a Spirit is from God. Self-serving inclinations are not from God in Christ Jesus.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John