Jeremiah 23:28 – “Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain.”
Grain and stalk. True messengers and false prophets. One is good for health and growth and the other is a by-product of little to no nutritional value.
The context of Jeremiah 23 describes how the Israelites had been led astray due to the preaching of false prophets.
I see examples of false prophets all the time. We are told in a thousand different ways that how we see ourselves, what we think, do and act is acceptable depending on how we individually chose to interpret the world. Some even go so far as to preach this false narrative to others as a way to inflate their personal beliefs while pulling unsuspecting Christians away from God, by ever-so-slightly twisting the Word to meet their agenda.
I believe God uses the analogy of the straw and grain to remind His children that what starts out from the very same seed will in fact, be divided through the act of threshing. Stalks on one side, grain on another. Stalk is used for bedding with very little nutritional value. While the grain is full of nutrients and leads to good health and the growth of all who partake. The same can be said of false prophets and true messengers.
But let’s face it, sometimes the line between the way the world and God’s calling for His children, can seem blurry and at times, invisible. So then, how can we distinguish between the two?
First off, Christians are called to seek God for wisdom and discernment so that we are not led astray. Proverbs 2:6 – “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Friends, let us remember that wisdom and discernment don’t happen overnight. Very much like the threshing process to divide grain and straw, it takes time, effort and hard work. And… sometimes our lessons can be painful. But if we will determine to seek God is all that we do, wait to hear His voice, then through time, we will grow in His wisdom and be able to discern between those who are trying to lead us away from the Lord.
Remember, threshing is tough stuff!
Yet, it is in these challenging times where God gifts us the opportunity of a deeper relationship with Him, while growing us in His wisdom by way of us seeking Him through prayer and His word.
For those who call Him Lord, let us apply the following to our lives so that we may be considered grain and His true messengers, able to share the love of Christ to all.
Here are 4 ways to grow in wisdom and discernment
- Seek God Through His Word – As we spend time in the Word, we begin to learn the character of the Lord and with the help of the Holy Spirit discern good vs. bad. James 1:5, reminds us that we can always go to the Lord on anything: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” I love this verse because not only does it encourage us to seek God and share with Him our needs but it reminds me how loving, kind and eager our God is to communicate with us, at any time.
- Acknowledge – Once I’ve prayed and spent time in the Word, I need to also make room for my own shortcomings. I know I’m human and can make mistakes every single minute and that includes talking myself into my own wisdom. So I need to ask God to forgive and lead me. Remember, God calls each of His children to be “true messengers,” and in some translations, we are required to “speak His word faithfully.” Why? So we can refute false teachings and prevent others from being led astray. At the same time, we are able to share the love of Christ to all, offering love, hope, healing and compassion to desperate waiting world.
In fact, 1 John 4:9-11 – encourages us to love one another the way God first loved us, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
- Pray – Ask God to reveal His truth in scripture to any situation in your life. Psalm 37:30-31 teaches us, “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.” Often times while I’m in prayer over a challenging situation, I’ll ask God to bubble to the surface any wrongdoing, any evil or malcontented information that He believes I should know about. I find that through the Holy Spirit, and the study of His word, God will begin to speak and the truth of any situation will come to light. This in turn causes me to trust God more and to seek Him more because His ways are always just.
- Act – Be careful that you truly listen to God’s calling on any given situation, sometimes, yes, we are called into action. To speak truth, to step into a situation either through prayer or by actually giving our presence to the situation. But remember, God may also call us to “stand firm.” Stand firm doesn’t mean do nothing, it means be prepared to wait for God’s command. “Philippians 1:27 “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
“There is a difference between straw and grain!”
This is so true – there is difference between those who would lead others astray and those who love the Lord.
And at the end of the day, God judges our hearts, so if we, as sinners, people who make mistakes constantly, can realize our need for the Lord, ask Him forgiveness for any/all harm we have done, He is quick to forgive us.
To me that’s the most amazing thing about our God loves us. He pursues us, died for us, wants to walk every minute of every day with us and wants to talk with us.
Think about that for just a minute – if we were the “false prophet who is/was nutritionally defunct,” and trying to get others to be just as empty as we were, trust me, when I tell you that God, in His infinite love for you can change you from a stalk to a grain!
In fact, He gave His Son Jesus to pay the price for every sin ever committed. All we need to do, is to come Him with a repentant heart and invite Him into our lives so that He may change us.
If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Amen! The promises of the Lord are great and never-ending!
Until we meet again dear friend,
I am praying God touches your heart and changes your life!