The Ultimate Proof
There are many today who claim to be living a spirit-filled or spirit-led life, and they demonstrate it by some sensational or remarkable and sometimes even miraculous means. But IS THAT THE GOLD STANDARD… the ultimate proof that a person is really being controlled or moved along by the SPIRIT of God?
Actually, it is not. The ultimate proof does not even lie in a demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit, whether that is tongues or healing or prophecy or others as the Bible defines those. In 1 Corinthians, a body of believers who were apparently demonstrating works done by the Holy Spirit were critiqued by Paul as not showing a true Christian character and lifestyle.
No, the ultimate evidence that a person is being controlled by the Spirit is not sensational acts. It’s not even something that a TV ministry would be built around.
Quite simply, it’s fruit. Is there fruit? Jesus said clearly you will know His authentic followers by the fruit demonstrated in their lives. Fruit is not attendance numbers, or numbers of converts, or social media followers. Largeness in a ministry is sometimes a blessing from God, and sometimes not.
And make no mistake. Jesus gave an unbelieving world the RIGHT to judge the followers of Christ using this metric: Does their personal and private character match the character of the Savior? If it doesn’t, this person is to be rejected as deceptive at worst or inauthentic or maybe self-deceived at best. “By their fruit you will know them….” (Matthew 7:20)
Spiritual fruit. The fruit proves a connection to the Vine, who is Jesus. Far too many gullible Christians are swept up in a search for sensational signs and wonders, whether or not the person performing the miraculous signs demonstrates evidence of this fruit. We would save ourselves heartache and the church much dishonor if we would take this simple test seriously. No fruit… no follow. It’s that easy. No matter how much charisma, or popularity, or charm the individual may have. Whatever it is it is not from Jesus if fruit is not also in evidence.
You have every right, and in fact, a responsibility to examine those who are in positions of spiritual leadership for evidence of that fruit. And you have every right to call any leader out who is showing signs of being out of step with the Spirit and living a fruitless life…
…even the one writing this to you!