The Lamp Shining In a Dark Place {Team Journal}

This world is a dark place, sisters, BUT we have the light! Jesus called himself the light of the world (John 8:12). We have Him, and we have His Word. If you pay attention to it, you can share that light in whatever dark places you find yourself.

The ladies on the DWITW leadership team are intentionally seeking that light in their daily lives through His Word. We are real women finding ourselves in dark places, needing that light everywhere we go. We started this thing because we needed encouragement from each other to keep seeking that light from God’s Word. All that we do in this ministry keeps us accountable to do the very thing we are about: cracking open God’s Word, every day.

We would like to continue to share that light with you through our 2017 Team Journal Series here on the blog. Every Friday, a DWITW team member will share specific ways that God is teaching her through His Word. Enjoy our first Friday journal from Jillian, our Blog and Podcast Coordinator.

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention to as a lamp shining in a dark place.
— 2 Peter 1:19 ESV

Are false prophets and teachers something we have to worry about? I’ve been studying 2 Peter lately, and chapter two is all about them. It was tempting for me to skim through this passage and move on, because I honestly didn’t think it was relevant to me. When I think of false prophets or teachers, I picture showy televangelists with greased-up hair and prosperity gospel pastors standing at the pulpits of mega-churches. But by God’s grace, these people don’t really have much sway in my current life.  I’ve been wisely directed to press the “mute button” on those voices in my life. However, I got the feeling from the language of Scripture that I am actually surrounded by them. Jesus calls them “ravenous wolves” in Matthew 7. Peter uses similar wording here, calling them “insatiable for sin, enticing unsteady souls.” This is no joke. Anybody else feeling a little freaked out? Maybe this does apply to me after all…

After reading 2 Peter 2, I realized the false teachings in my life are sneakier, quieter; striking in moments when my soul is unsteady. I have a suspicion that they come in the form of voices I listen to for advice or splashed on the social media accounts I follow, telling me what my life should look like. They come in the times and places my heart is insecure, when I’m looking for answers or reassurance that I’m heading in the right direction.

So I asked the Holy Spirit some scary questions: “Where are the false teachings in my life? How can I tell someone is a false prophet or teacher in my life today?”

When I cross referenced this chapter, I found two helpful passages: Deuteronomy 13:2-3 and Matthew 7:15-20.

Deuteronomy 13:2-3 says, speaking of false prophets, “And the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whatever you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

In Matthew 7, Jesus says we can tell if a teacher is false or not by the person’s fruit. A false teacher or prophet is like a diseased tree that cannot bear good fruit. In Galatians 5, the Word describes the fruit of the Spirit to be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As my pastor likes to pray, “God let us produce the fruit of changed and transformed lives.”

From these passages, I learned that we can tell someone is a true teacher or prophet if a) they are directing us to love God and only God with everything in us and b) if they are producing good fruit.

Immediately, upon reading those passages, I realized I had SEVERAL voices in my life that I needed to turn DOWN the volume for in my heart. So today, I’m asking God to turn UP the volume to the voices that come from men and women who love the Lord with everything in them, are deeply rooted in God’s Word, and are bearing the good fruit of changed and transformed lives.

My deepest hope for the DWITW blog and podcast is that we can provide some of those voices for you, dear sister. But above all, I hope our ministry directs you to the ultimate TRUE and REAL and PERFECT teacher and prophet, Jesus Christ. When your heart is unsteady or insecure, cling to His Word. Let the loudest voice with access to your heart be the voice of God himself, the lamp shining in a dark place.

Jillian Vincent is DWITW's Blog and Podcast Coordinator. She has been a lover of Jesus for over twenty years. She's a wife, mother of two and a Dayton enthusiast. Jillian currently is a stay-at-home mama and spends nap times jotting on her blog and discipling other women. She would (almost) die for an avocado, a cup of coffee made by her husband, a novel that makes her cry, and a bouquet of sunflowers.  Her favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."