I can look back over previous years and see particular relationships from a different perspective now. I recall going into some new 'friends' houses, and almost feeling as if I was being squeezed and restricted at every visit. We could talk about the Lord, but it was as if I needed to do more to be more righteous & to measure up. It felt like the big burden on Christians back ('Pilgrim's Progress'), but instead of personal sin, it was more religious-spirited baggage. I had put myself into a relationship that brought a form of death. They had a form of godliness but didn't seem to really be walking in the grace of God, or the power of the gospel, nor the abundant life of Jesus.
I have received emails of reprimand towards myself or my friends because of somebody that we had received teaching through. People thought they could us the scriptures to prove their point, which was actually to defraud others. But usually within the first couple of sentences I could feel in my spirit-man that these words were giving death. It wasn't really whether they had any truth or not in what they had to say, but I could easily tell by what spirit realm it was written. Remember, satan knows scriptures and can certainly use them to his advantage, but that brings death. It robs us of joy, for he comes to steal, kill and destroy. But when those words bring Life to our soul, then we know that the source is God.
I recall hearing Heidi Baker of Iris Ministries talking about a time that she was all excited, pushing ahead on a project. But then she had a vision or a dream (I can't remember) in which she was running really really fast, and then she stumbled. God picked her up, twirled her around excitedly, and then said, "You Go Girl! Just slow down a little!"
I love that picture. To me, its such a gentle Daddy excited over the same things that His child is, but there to pick her up, play a bit, and encourage her on. Within all of that is a gentle reprimand or correction, cloaked in love and delight.
That's how I see the Love of God, bringing LIFE to me even when correction is needed. If it feels like death, then it likely is. And I know who authors that! No matter how holy or right it might appear, if the source is not from God, then in the end it will bring death.
Our family can honestly say, that in the 5 months we were hanging out with Extreme Prophetic, and we took in many many meetings (from small informal house meetings, to big conferences), there wasn't even one meeting where we didn't leave there feeling more life, more love for God, more desire for His Word. There was always Life, always encouragement, always support, always God.
" I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants."
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."
Be Blessed and above all, be filled to overflowing with the Life of Jesus.
Question for You: Do you have a simple way to practice discernment?