Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?…Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions (Matthew 7:15-16, 20 NLT).
This morning, while praying about the affairs and people of our government and such, I was reminded of something that happened last week. My grandson likes to have apples as his pre-bedtime snack, so I grabbed and washed a nice juicy one. I have an apple-slicer which makes his helping me cut it much easier, but in this case he decided I did not need his assistance. As I pushed the slicer through the apple, I was disgusted to see the entire inside brown and rotten. This apple did not have any appearance of rot, bruising, or holes anywhere on its outer skin. I was doubly glad he had wanted it sliced instead of taking a bite out of it. As I reached for another apple I was half expecting it to be rotted on the inside as well, but it was (thankfully) not.
This is a tumultuous political season we face, prayer is a great tool in discerning what is really going on. While I already know who will receive my vote, there are many still undecided. I am not writing to sway anyone in one direction or another. I am writing to say that the Lord will always reveal what is going on if we will pay attention. What may look and sound great on the surface could have absolute rot beneath. I buy organic apples, I expect them to not last as long, and I expect them to turn brown after cutting. I expect them to occasionally have worm holes and bruising, what I don’t expect is for them to be rotted from the inside. My prayer this morning was for a revelation of the motives and intents of the heart within all levels of government. This may be a presidential election year, but there are still other governmental offices to be elected that we mustn’t dismiss.
We can not let the fanaticism and cacophony of childish playground antics distract us from the larger issues facing us in both the natural and spiritual realms. We are already victorious, we need to blow away the smoke screen of the enemy and discern through the power of the Spirit, what is really going on behind the surface. Be aware of the tactics of our enemy, he always mixes a little truth with a lot of lie, twisting things to suit his purposes. As a church, we need to remind him that he is under our feet and defeated. His tactics are not new, they are not improved, they are the same as he’s always done.
Pay attention, Church, pay attention. Wake up and look with spiritual eyes at what is really at work. Shake off the mob mentality and group think, for too long we have stood powerless because we have allowed others to dictate what, how, when, where we should speak, react, minister, etc. Look for the fruit and then examine what fruit you find. Cut it open, dissect it, taste it and discern what it really is. Do not allow others to tell you what kind of fruit you have because they will surely tell you it’s an orange when you can clearly see it’s an apple. Just because we are told something is true does not mean it is. Ask the Holy Spirit, He guides us into all truth.
Look for, at and into the fruit. Toss away the imposters, eat and plant the seeds of the good.