We Love This Verse for good reason. But wait, there’s more.
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. As Christians we read that and we think we know what the topic of the writing is or we hear that verse and we think we know what the speaker will speak about. We love this verse. We love quoting it.
Have we ever read the verses before and after?
Do we really know the fullness of this verse?
We live in a world that offers peace in every corner. Buddha's quotes are all over the internet, posted by my Christian friends. Is that wrong? No. It does cause me to question.
Wise words of peace and “how to“ come at us from every side? Have we ever thought about whether or not those words of wisdom, knowledge and inspiration are really for us as Christians or where they're coming from?
Could there be more to this verse?
For many Christians it is common to speak that verse over the stumbling blocks in our lives as we seek to move forward in our 'calling' as Christians.
Do we see those stumbling blocks perhaps as Satan's trip ups, trying to keep us from becoming all God planned for us to be? Maybe we use that scripture when we are trying to overcome bad habits, addictions? Maybe when we're angry at someone like our spouse or co-worker, and we're trying to control our tempers and handle the situation correctly? If so, that's not wrong, but could there be more? If we read and know the scriptures that come before and after this verse, we may see the scripture offers something that could be even more powerful in our lives.
Test The Spirits?
First John 4 ....tells us to 'test the Spirits"
4 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.
In my work as a fitness instructor who has taught my own fitness version of yoga, I find many are practicing disciplines without 'testing the spirits'. Many of my friends, friends from my church or the greater 'church family‘ who identify as Christians are participating in yoga experiences for peace and tranquility. By itself that does not appear wrong.
Still my mind races when I hear them say that. Yes the activity of the mocement and breathing is calming and brings our thoughts to one place, relieving us of the tensions of muti tasking thoughts. Is that bad? Not in and of itself.
It concerns me that as Christians, our first thoughts are not God. Not the universe, God. Why? When I see my Christian friends quoting another ‘spiritual’ leader that is not Biblical, it concerns me. Are they not finding peace in Jesus? They must not be or they wouldn’t be turning to or promoting by posting quotes from other ‘gods’. It may be trending but it’s not Truth. I’m thinking, "what?" "I thought we went to the same church?! I thought she knew and believed what I believe?! Does she seriously think that is where she’ll find true peace and tranquility? Momentary calm may come but True, lasting peace? No.
The Bible teaches that the only tranquility, the only peace, we will find is in God. The only Spirit, we should follow Is The Holy Spirit.
When we open our hands, our hearts, our soul, which is our mind, will, and emotions, to any spirit, to the universe, we do not realize we’re open to any spirit.
Unfortunately not all spirits seem evil at first. Friends the battle of our world is not flesh and blood, it’s not the daily news, the kids, the job, or the excess body weight. No. The battle is with principalities and powers. The spirits that are not God, are our problems. The spirits that appear good but are not God, are our problem. Those spirits are The AntI Christ!
The Anti Christ
3)but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist,
It's important to understand what it means when it refers to the 'antichrist'. Christians too often hear the word 'antichrist' and think that is 'end of time' one being that will come, a future leader that will take over and lead us into the end events. Both have truth to them.
The antichrist is who we invite into our hearts and minds when we believe it’s okay to meditate by opening our minds to the universe. The anti christ is here, now, in this world operating, now, among us,
We invite anti christ which is any spirit that is not God Into our lives If we participate in any activity, action, that involves a spirit other than God. We are participating with the 'antichrist'.
The anti christ will steal our freedoms.
John 16:33 tells us the world will bring us trouble. Freedom from trouble, stress, worry, struggle, if we seek Him first.(Matthew 6:33) will come. If we put on the whole armor of God, we can stand against the (devil) evil spirits that rob us of our freedoms.
Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.
The Holy Spirit, is Truth and guides, teaches, comforts. (John 16:13)
Often we invite the 'antichrist' to comes as a desired end result, like peace of mind, tranquility, good will, when we participate in activity that has an appearance of good, but is not God. We say, oh well, I know God, so I wouldn't involve myself in anything antichrist. Unfortunately not all spirits seem evil at first.
How do we test the spirits?
John 4 tells us 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, 3 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.
Only Jesus Offers Peace
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He already has overcome the world, why go to any other spirit?
I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
Why go to any other spirits dear Christian friend, when the One who lives in you is Greater? The spirits of the world will make you suffer.
Now read the verses before and after our favorite verse.
4 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. 2 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, 3 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.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of God.
Now, my hope and my prayer is that we choose for ourselve, The greater One living inside us.