Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
This is a verse that may have been simpler and easier to follow in the days of the early church. Today we even have people claiming to be followers of Christ, who are clearly not being led by God. (I am thinking of leaders of cults or those out to profit monetarily from their popularity.) But the message behind John’s words is clear: we learn from God by inviting the Holy Spirit into our hearts and listening. In this way we are better able to discern the truth. Prayer is my connection.
Holy One, You have provided a way for me to reach you at any time, any place. I am so thankful. Teach me and lead me, and I will try to learn as much as I can. Amen.