Don’t stifle the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
When my wife and I lived in Africa, we (as in she) usually purchased our bread flour at the local market. The price was right, but before we (as in she) could use it to make bread, it had to be sifted. Occasionally (or more like every time), a foreign object like a bug, pebble, or mouse poop might get in there and need to be removed. Even with the sifting effort, I am sure that some things got through, but apparently none survived the baking!
In God’s work, we often see the Spirit moving in various ways to accomplish His will and purpose. At times, these “movements” can be uncomfortable because they seem different and unusual. Apparently, the Thessalonians were facing such events and their cautious response was to try to limit or refine them. In similar situations today … often seen in other cultures, what should our response be?
Let the Spirit do what He wills where He wills with whom He wills, but certainly test all things by His Word. Keep the good and toss the bad, but be careful not to place limits upon God’s work that He has not placed there Himself. Some “things” may get through, but do not be overly concerned. They won’t survive the “baking.”
It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to “dishonor God and to flatter man.” – Charles H. Spurgeon