How to Know the Difference Between Good and Evil

    The buzzards are back.


    I feel so blessed that outside my window blue water laps at the shoreline. I stare out the window (too much) as I (am supposed to be at) work, and feel so thankful to see eagles, fish hawks, gulls, herons, mergansers and "The Cormorant."


    But now the buzzards are back. No doubt they are beautiful gliders. I just don't get as excited seeing them over the water. Mainly because I've seen them up close, and I identify them with death, ugliness and puking. Them not me.


    Novices to the whole eagle-buzzard scene have a hard time distinguishing between the two birds in flight. They can be seen together. Here is a tip: buzzards hold their wings up, like in a v-shape, while gliding. Eagles glide with their wings flat, and their wing beats are slow and consistent.  


    So today as I looked out the window, I saw a bird soaring high overhead and I thought to myself, "Nope, counterfeit." As I reached for my coffee cup and turned back to the computer, I realized I could only spot the counterfeit by experience with eagles.


    There is a lesson in that. When we are practiced– knowledgeable– in the Word of God, it is easier for us to discern the voice of our enemy, satan. We will instinctively know the thought aimed at us is either from good or evil.


    We don't become practiced by remaining spiritual babies. Practice makes warriors who know their rights and will fight to keep what Jesus won for them. Hebrews 5:12-14 says it like this.


    "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."


    Christians that are unskilled in the Word are as vulnerable as milk-drinking babies.


    They are not able to distinguish between the subtle deceptions evil can present to them. Evil can be as subtle as it is crafty. Knowing God's character and His word gives us the power and authority to turn back the enemy at the gate of entry to our country, our lives, our children, etc.


    This is why God warns us to be skillful in His word which requires renewing our mind.

    "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2) 


    All this doesn't mean you have to get a Bible degree. It means spending time reading the Bible, doing what it says, and asking the Jesus in you, Holy Spirit of wisdom in you, to give you understanding and insight. Colossians 2:2-4  "...as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ. Not only is he the key to God's mystery, but all wisdom and knowledge are hidden away in him. I tell you these things to keep you from being fooled by fancy talk."


    I'm turning this into a prayer for myself while I'm praying for you.

    Image by Markus Spiske courtesy of Unsplash.


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