1 John 4:1a – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, to see whether they are from God. (NIV)
The first thing that I do every morning is to look out my large bay window to check on the weather. Today, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining brightly. It promises to be a pleasant day, so I head out to walk my dog.
It is then that I notice that my little flag is blowing very briskly. Although that's usually good, something about the flag is making me uncomfortable. It is blowing in the wrong direction, from the east, which always warns of coming bad weather. The sunny, blue sky gives me no indication of such a change, so I decide that my conclusion must be wrong, and I head out on my walk.
Since I have to use my walker because of knee surgery, I usually don't go too far from home, but this beautiful day encourages me to walk further. If I get tired, I can always sit on the walker's seat, and I know that the exercise is good for my knee.
Then, I feel it. A cold drop lands on my bare arm. I figure that it must be my imagination. In so doing, I am totally ignoring my common sense. Looking up, I see that a heavy bank of grey cloud has crept in. Within the next few minutes, that one drop is accompanied by several more. Then, the sky seems to open up. I have been deceived!
By the time we get home, I am soaked, my walker is soaked, and Sparky looks like a wet dish rag with his ears flattened against his head and his tail drooping between his legs. He looks at me accusingly as if it is my fault — and he is right. I knew the warning signs for rain, but I chose to ignore them. They say that there are none so blind as those who will not see.
As I begin to dry off my shivering pup, as well as myself, a thought strikes me. God gives us many warnings about avoiding bad situations, both in the natural world and the spiritual, but we tend to see what we want to see, even though we may know better, and it is to our detriment. Indeed, the Scripture clearly tells us, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)
His traps may be skilfully hidden, but the Lord always cautions us by speaking to our minds, warning us to use our common sense and the knowledge that we have stored up through studying His Word.
So why don't we listen? The answer is simple, especially in my particular case: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)
I thought that I knew all about weather warnings because I had worked much of my life outdoors. This time, I goofed. As a result, the Lord gave me a huge wakeup call. The lesson that I learned from this experience later saved me from a much greater disaster.
I believe that this could be a timely warning for someone who is reading this account. Test the spirits, then heed His leading.
Prayer: Lord, help us to open our eyes and ears to Your warnings, to look to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and then, to follow it. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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