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 (1 John 4:1).
I thought this was appropriate given that today is Halloween. “Testing the spirits” means “to judge by sunlight.” In New Testament times, the most exquisite and expensive pottery was clear in color. It was also very thin and fragile. Often times during the firing process, the pottery would crack. Instead of throwing the defected clay away, dishonest pottery dealers/sellers would fill the cracks with a hard wax. These cracks became virtually impossible to detect once the piece of pottery was painted or glazed. The buyer would only be aware of the cracks in the pottery if they held the piece up in direct sunlight. The sunlight would reveal the darker cracks. It became standard practice for pottery buyers to give each piece the “sunlight test.”
It would be wise for believers to give everything they see and hear the “sunlight test.” I can think of no better description or depiction of discernment than this! Test what you see and hear by the light of God’s Word. Test your plans and desires by holding them up to the light of God’s Word to discern if they are from Him and represent Him. Test your character and attitude to see if what you are doing is in line with His Character. In all things, dear reader, I implore you to “test the spirits to see if they are from God”!
Father God, reveal to us where we are buying or settling for cracks rather than the purity and authenticity of Your Word. Lord, reveal to us where we are being dishonest and presenting cracks to people. Lord, test our hearts, minds, attitudes and responses! Father God, thank You Lord that You are Sovereign and reign over all forms of evil! Thank You Father, for this imagery, this depiction. Lord God, thank You that Your Word is so practical! Father, in all things may we continuously be like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-15) testing everything we hear to the light of Scripture. Lord, help us to discern error, give us wisdom to know what is and is not from You. Thank You Father, for this dear reader, in Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.