Lately I’ve been gaining some experience with “what is what spiritually speaking” if you know what I mean. Discerning is the believer lingo for that. What do we discern? I believe that is: Substance! Substance is the ingredients in the food we eat to the bark and leaves of the tree outside our window.
God brought this word to my attention when I was seeking Him about discerning the fake christ from the real Christ.
In the Hebrew/Greek Concordance there are only two definitions that appear for Christ. One is Spurious Christ, and the other Anointed Messiah.
Spurious is all smoke and mirrors, an illusion that isn’t valid or real. Beyond the façade you will find nothing. While on the other hand, the one that was nailed to the Cross, He is the man who walked and talked. Now you might say that IF you could even believe he did come here and walk around and lived to die for us, he isn’t here now so what substance is there?
He left behind the fruit of the Spirit to bear witness to Himself. All good things, all beauty, all love, all light, all kindness, come from Him. John 1:3-4 “Through Him all things were made that has been made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
The fruits of the Spirit are: Galatians 5: 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.
When we discern what something is made of, what spirit we are dealing with, we have much substance to look for, but an even bigger guide post is this: Does it point to me or does it point to Jesus?
“He must become greater, I must become less”
In all things we are dealing with either the Christ or the other. In making our choices, I believe that we get pointed in a direction, and onto a particular path, which leads us to my personal scariest verse where this person stands before Jesus and Jesus says “I knew you not”, even though this person did miracles, signs, and wonders for Jesus. Wow. It’s amazing that they did the miracles and stuff without Jesus, but what caught my attention is that they did that “for” Jesus. The way I read that I believe the person is the one who decided to do those things for God – not by God’s direction, clearly. That person wasn’t in relationship, he was in religion.
I’ve seen this verse stop fellow Christians in their tracks too scared to go in any direction because they fear “I knew you not”. I’ve been there. There are so many voices saying so many things using so many verses to back themselves up. There are camps that believe in miracles, signs, and wonders. There are camps that don’t believe that is for today. There are camps that want to guide you to hear God for yourself and follow His leading in your life, and another camp which says that too, but in actual application you are to follow what man comes into agreement with God on for your life.
I hear people say “hear God’s voice for yourself, listen for it and then go do what He says”, I hear people say “when you hear from God tell me and then wait for me to tell you what to do”, I hear people say “that isn’t God” when I know it was Him, and I hear “that’s God” when I might not be sure that it was.
This kind of stuff only serves to bind the hands and feet of those who want to follow God’s leading.
I believe there are two paths: Religion – One that leads to Self, and Relationship – one that leads to less self and more of Jesus shining through us. That is a substance people see. There is a difference about us. Why else do people automatically apologize for cussing around people of faith when they haven’t said a word about it? There is the presence of the Holy Spirit which people recognize, but they just don’t know why.
The path to self is all about “ME”. If I say this positive statement three times I’ll get that promotion or if I want it I should have it, or if God wants a good servant I’ll be one. I’ll do so much for Him he’ll be thrilled with me and I’ll be first in the Kingdom. Self, self, self! None of that is relationship. Even people who don’t believe in God are religious; it is just that they are the god they worship and bow down too.
So back to substance! What I’m learning is: When discerning, examine the fruit regularly, keeping your focus on God, making Him Lord of your life not just Savior, spending time with Him, telling him your days good times and bad times, listening for His voice. He is our teacher, guide, Father, friend, and He will establish you in the very unique plan He designed for your life. Don’t expect to be identical to everyone else, or even anyone else. And remember we are not responsible to fit all the unique pieces together that shape the body of Christ –that is for His very capable hands, His perfect hands. As for me, the only “camp” I’m an adherent too is at the feet of Jesus. It is the only place, in my opinion, for believers to worry about being. Everything else flows from there.