11.30.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: False Prophets and Copycats

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’m not sure when it arrived or when it’s leaving, but there’s a culinary masterpiece of epic proportions available right now for a limited time. 

I am, of course, referring to the Chick-fil-A Chicken Tortilla Soup. 

My husband has gone nuts for it. So much so that I ended up making a copycat version for dinner last night. And it was quite good, if I do say so myself. Judging by the way Wayne ate it, he liked it a lot too. It’s not quite as spicy as the CFA version, but we’ve still got homemade hot sauce that will kick it up a notch.

As I sat here in my prayer chair this morning, wondering what to write about, I started thinking about copycats. The soup I made has strong similarities to the original. It looks the same. Most of the flavors are there. But there was a slight difference. While a copycat of soup is one thing, we have to be ever-mindful of attempts to derail us from sound Biblical truths just because they sound similar or churchy.

I’ll give you an example. “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.” It sounds really good. It lends itself to the foundational truth of an all-powerful God who knows all and is in control with a plan. But—this may come as a shocker to some—it’s not in the Bible. In fact, the Bible says the exact opposite. Paul wrote of the thorn in his side in 2 Corinthians 12, and records God’s answer and his feelings to his thrice-repeated prayer, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV). In other words, God gave Paul something more than he could handle so that Paul would lean on God’s strength rather than his own self-sufficiency.

When it comes to “religious” quotes, sayings, teachings, etc—we have to be diligent to make sure that what is said lines up with the Bible. And moreover that it lines up with the context of the Bible. The only way to do that is to be a student of Scriptures. 

No, you don’t need to enroll in seminary. I certainly haven’t. I’ve prayed about it, but I don’t feel like God is leading me that way, though it sure would make writing this daily devotion a little less nerve-wracking if I had some theological training… but that’s a different topic.

Beyond being a lifelong student of the Bible, finding trusted spiritual mentors is key. I have several friends at church I depend on, and I also have several trusted Biblical leaders I follow regularly—Greg Laurie, Francis Chan, Charles Stanley, and Ken Ham are my favorites. These are people whose theologies line up with the Bible and whom I trust and respect.

But the most important gauge is to test the spirits. This comes from 1 John 4. The opening verses say, “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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1-2 ESV). 

Remember, even Satan used the Bible to tempt Jesus (Luke 4:1-13). He pulled verses out of context and seriously—what would have been the big deal about turning stones into bread? But it was a big deal. It wasn’t a matter of whether Jesus could (no-brainer!), but whether Jesus would succumb to influence that went against Biblical teaching (He didn’t).

There are a lot of false prophets and false teachings out there. Guard your heart. Recognize that the only authoritative resource to know God is His Holy Word! Embrace Scripture over platitudes. Just because something sounds holy doesn’t mean it isn’t full of spiritual holes. 

Today, as you pray, thank God for His Holy Word. Thank Him for giving us this timeless resource that we can know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be diligent and help you measure everything by what Scripture says. Ask Him to help you identify copycats that try to mislead you from the original and real authority of the Bible.

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