How do you "test a spirit" (1 John 4)?

Let's say you're praying for a job. You strongly suspect God telling you to take a certain job offer, but you want to be 100% sure it's him talking because, well... jobs are kind of important. 1 John 4 says to test the spirits to see whether or not they are from God. How do you test it when it's something as grey as a job offer? Usually you test a spirit against the word of God, but obviously these job offers don't go against the Bible. So how else do you test it?

1 John 4

1Dear 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.

10 Answers

  • Dante
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In this case, YOU are the spirit in question. God does not necessarily care what job you take as long as you 'do it as unto the Lord.'

    The scripture you quoted has to do with other people and their words; the things they say 'on behalf of God'. Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but we are looking through a glass darkly - we are in the in-part realm. Therefore, the spirit that comes from our mouth is sometimes not always that pure. Hold it up to scripture and the counsel of others; never blindly follow any man.

    Strange how that walking in faith usually precludes us from being 100% sure! We walk by faith, not by sight.

    Paul the apostle, often said things like 'this we will do, if God permits...'

    God is in control whether you are aware of it or approve it. "In him we live and move and have our being." Trust Father; he loves you.

    More often than not we just put one foot in front of the other and make the best decisions we can. We trust that God is able to move in our lives and that he does move in our lives. The old saying goes: you cannot steer a parked car!! God would rather we try and lose than never try at all.

    Trust in him for everything; He is your source of supply!

    Three Guidelines for Guidance:

    Is it scriptural?

    Are the circumstances right?

    Do you have the peace of the Holy Spirit concerning this issue?

    Don't move in God if any of these three aren't present.

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay, some people won't agree with me on some of these points but here goes! The Bible says we have been made a new creation. The old man (sin nature) has gone, and the new (Christ-lie nature) has come. Therefore, if we believe and pray and remain pure, we have a Christlike mind. You can ask and know it will be given (Matthew 7:7). In this situation, I would say God let your will be known clearly in this situation! Sometimes the voice of God can be as subtle as a small feeling, like of complete peace about accepting this offer. Other times, you will be lead to a verse or something that may be talking about something else, but that is relevant to your question. So, to answer your question, I would pray for God's answer. If that didn't make sense, I am sorry. I'm only 14, and not very concise :(

    Source(s): the Bible :)
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It sounds as if John was talking about the human spirit (our own souls). In other words, test the prophets and what they teach.

    As far a spirits go, they do lie, just like all of us. Deception is found everywhere. It is a spirit's job to test us, to measure righteousness. It is not bad in doing so, like a teacher is not bad in testing what he or she has taught.

    God will put you where He wants and you need not be concerned about His spirits and what they say. Ask Him for what you want and He will guide you to your goal, often over a tough trail. Be righteous and you will arrive.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    First of all, your using a very liberal translation of God's word. 2 john 1: 7 - Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Notice the difference, that it speaks of a future coming of Jesus, as well as having already done so. This is why it is so important to KNOW God, that you will know when a spirit of deception is in your midst. You test the spirits by knowing the complete word of God, by study and meditation of His Holy Word, by prayer, fasting and through baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit in you. Trusting God with all your might to reveal this to you. We are told, remember, that the word of God is the Armour of God. Ephesians 6:10-18.

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  • chieko
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    you examine your heart and motives about the job. that is usually where you will see the true "spirit" in a grey area like a job.

    are you motivated to a particular job so that you will make money, even if it means working long hours and neglecting your family?

    is the job going to feed your vanity and give you a sense of superiority?

    or do you feel the job is a great opportunity to glorify God and use the gifts He has given you in a way that makes a difference?

    these are the things to pray and consider when testing the spirit...

  • 1 decade ago

    How do you "test a spirit"? Get a shot glass and pour a healthy tot. Sip slowly and enjoy.

  • 1 decade ago

    The level of understanding of spiritual truth will vary among people and so you can't place your immediate trust on the table.

    You are right, a job helps.

  • 1 decade ago

    i dont believe theres a way to test the spirit, if the lord jesus christ lives in your heart you should be able to decipher satins voice from gods

  • 1 decade ago

    Hook a spirit up to a polygraph. Then you'll know.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it means make sure that what you are listening too comes from the bible.

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