“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 ESV
Please stop sharing muddy water for the thirsty to drink.
They are thirsty for the clean living waters of Christ and the ‘good intention’ sharing of muddy water literally clouds people’s understanding of God and strips power from the word of God. The unadulterated word of the Lord never returns void and will accomplish what it sets out to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11). But if it does not go out alive and clean – it cannot work it’s work.
The hard truth is – regardless of if you have good intentions and you share a nice meme with something that sounds encouraging and kinda biblical truth, then you are a false prophet! Wait?! What?! It is the same when sharing anything in relation to any current event (as the air ways are so muddied by false statistics and mixed messages).
Imagine – you get to heaven – and it’s time to account for everything – and God asks you to account for all the false prophecies you put out into the world. You stand there feeling all confused and defensive. You say, “but Lord, I did all these things over here in your name, what can you be talking about?” And he opens your social media account and says – “These.”
Some of these memes have flowers and a feel good message – especially if one take them a certain way. ‘They are just putting positive messages out there’ is what we try to convince ourselves of. We say: ‘It’s not like sharing something that is blatantly wrong or evil’. We are trying to help – people need this information (which I did not take the time to look up).
False profits are NOT blatant. Not obvious. The water isn’t crystal clear – there are contaminants that an undiscerning eye might miss. These contaminants can be deadly, can wound, and damage. They can lead people to death and destruction instead of to God’s grace and salvation. Even if your intentions were innocent.
“Oh, you are over reacting!”
I am not the one who wrote that scripture. Maybe, John was a bit dramatic? I don’t know. Honestly, I think Paul’s writing is a bit more dramatic than John’s is, as a total body of work. And look how dramatic Hebrews is with it’s hell, fire and brimstone messages. Although, John did write Revelations – and the visions written there are pretty dramatic.
Regardless of drama – chapter 4 of 1st John is a big lesson on “beware of false prophets” and if we didn’t need to beware then it probably would not be in the Bible.
There are so many of these floating around that my friends and I play a game we now call “Is this a false prophet?” We play almost daily. Its actually reached epidemic scale! Someone has to teach on this – so here I am!
Just for fun – let’s dissect this one to see what the fuss is about. Yes, I avoided using a political one:
In case you cannot read it – it says: “When Joy is a habit, love is a reflex”
Awww. This has the words “joy” “habit” “love” – seriously God is love – what is there NOT to like about this?!?! And before we go any further – is this innocent enough that maybe you might share this?
(let me clear my throat, then say in a game show host voice): “Let’s play – Is This a False Prophet?”
Does your spirit feel a check? Or uneasy? That is my first indicator that something is wrong. You can pray and ask God to give you an uneasy feeling when its a false prophet. You can pray for discernment.
Because they are twisted, usually these muddy meme’s have to be explore in a different order than the order in which they are written. So let’s start with “love is a reflex”.
Staying right here in 1st John we get to see exactly what love is a reflex means:
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-12
Love is a reflex of knowing God! Wow! That is powerful! That is truth. All false prophecies have some truth as that is how they win you over. There is water – the question now is: is the water muddied?
When knowing God – Love is a reflex = Truth
When joy is a habit – Love is a reflex = ?
Is “when joy is a habit” equivalent to knowing God? Go ahead and form an argument for this – I can create an earthly argument that knowing God is joy and it love so this meme is ok…. BUT! AND THIS IS AN ALL CAPS BUT!
BUT the question is now – what does the Bible say about joy and what does the word habit mean.
1. a settled or regular tendency or practice
2. an automatic reaction to a specific situation
So it is a reaction – a reflex so to speak. So “when Joy is a reflex, Love is a reflex”? I thought we all already agreed that love is a reflex of knowing God, not a reflex of a reflex.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” Galatians 5:22 ESV
Both ‘love’ and ‘joy’ are on a level playing field here – they are both reflexes and results of knowing God. In 1st John, he continues with explaining that the only way to have real love is threw God – and in the fruits of the spirit passage it goes on to say these fruits only come to those who know God.
The result of experiencing God:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 ESV
OK – Back to this meme.
When joy, a reaction to knowing God, then love, a reaction of knowing God? Something isn’t quite right here.
Now, we see what has been removed. The very thing, the empowering, life changing thing that causes Joy and Love has been removed. Along with removing God – the grace, mercy, forgiveness and redemption has been removed.
Let’s then think of this from the eyes of someone who does NOT know God. If they do not know God, they have not yet known the resulting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. They only have a partial experience of which the world offers – a corrupted experience based on their own ability and trying and corrupted by sin. They can try all they want, but will fail. Because you must know God to obtain joy and love. It is nothing we can do on our own – it is something that God creates in us.
This self-failure leads to self-condemnation and we all know how destructive that can be.
There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Don’t remove the grace and salvation! Don’t remove the very thing needed to create joy and love!
This is how a simple meme that is muddy water – turns you into a false prophet causing your friends to feel condemned, worthless, and defeated. But you thought you were being positive and building people up. You bought the devil’s lie and spread it.
Let’s clean it up – “When you know God, love and Joy are a reflex”
Obviously, each things shared should be evaluated on it’s own – and the exact reason it passes or fails is based the the scriptures which are applicable to it.
Please be prayerful about sharing on social media. You and I will answer to God on our choices. Our shares represent God as well – you may be the only Jesus someone ever sees.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~ Love one another ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~