“Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.
Dear God, one of the things that is good about getting the “verse of the day” from Bible Gateway is that it will occasionally give me a random verse with which I’m not familiar. In this case, I’m sure I’ve read this before, but it’s been a long time and I’ve forgotten it.
The actual verse was verse 4, the last two sentences: “Serve only the Lord…” but I think the most important part is pointing out the false prophets at the beginning. I need to being everything I read or hear to you and the Holy Spirit in discernment. Even from people I trust.
For example, I really like the preaching of Andy Stanley, and I’m sure he works hard to vet his teaching for authenticity and accuracy. I’m also sure he’s been unknowingly wrong about some things. I have had the opportunity to preach and I am sure that I’ve made mistakes that made you wince. I’ve worked hard to make sure what I say is supported by scripture and consistent with what I know of you, but I’m sure I’ve been wrong. Heck, I’m sure I’ve put wrong things and incorrect conclusions in these prayers to you, and, because I blog them, someone might accidentally receive and start to believe some wrong theology.
There is a Christian denomination in town that teaches that the congregation must accept what is taught from the pulpit regardless of their personal response to it. Therefore, they cannot visit other churches and they cannot hear teaching from anyone outside of their denomination. That’s too bad on two counts. It’s dangerous to give any human that much power over a group, and it’s so limiting to only hear limited perspectives on you and all that you are.
Father, in the end, there might be some mistakes made, but it finally comes down to verse 4: “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Help me to serve only you and to fear no one but you. Help me to obey your commands, make room to listen to you and your Holy Spirit, and simply cling to you for all of my life.
In Jesus’s name I pray,