Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (Eph. 5:6)

WHEN THE NEW PUPPY came to our home, I found myself looking at all dogs wherever I went. I had never noticed before how many breeds and mixtures of breeds there were. Some breeds look alike, so much so that you can mistake them for each other. I found myself second-guessing my knowledge of dog breeds, realizing I didn’t know how to distinguish between them most of the time. All dogs are not purebreds. Some only look as though they are.

It can be the same with the Christian community. Since the term is used so lightly, it’s often hard to distinguish between the real and pseudo brothers and sisters in Christ. Some in our midst will walk and talk and sing like followers of Jesus, but under the surface the Spirit of God doesn’t dwell in them. They are not the purebred in the Spirit and can lead unsuspecting believers astray.

This is our assurance: we can test the truth of someone’s words by depending on the Spirit to speak to us concerning them. What a precious gift of protection from our heavenly Father. He guides us this way to keep the line of His Son pure and to keep us from trouble. We need not depend on our fallible judgment. We need not be deceived by the mixed breed any more.

Call on the Spirit today to help you recognize the truth.

Jan Cline is the author of three devotional books. She is a speaker and founder and director of a Christian writers’ conference in the Northwest.