“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
One of my favorite sayings by John Eldredge is, "You will know them by their fruit." If you are unsure whether the things happening in your life are from God or from the enemy you can figure it out by looking at the fruit of what is happening.
James 3:17-18 provides a glance at the some of the "evidence" that would show us things are coming from heaven. God provides us a "check-off" list to see if things came from Him or from the enemy. Is it pure, is it peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy, impartial and sincere? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you know it is from Him.
The verses prior to this section state some of the evidence we can look for to see if it comes from the enemy:
Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility
that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and
selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven
but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have
envy and selfish ambition, there
you find disorder and every evil practice.
I think as Christians we sometimes hurt ourselves by assuming that since we are children of God everything that happens in our life comes from God. We get involved in a situation where we are being hammered and we are surrounded by disorder and evil and we embrace it. The Bible says in Romans 12:9 "Hate was is evil, cling to what is good." I think it is time we start calling things by their face value: evil is evil, we can and should hate it and we can cling to the things that are good and from the Lord.
If you are having trouble defining which category something falls into then run it through the checklist: You will know them by their fruit. I firmly believe we are in a spiritual battle. If we keep running around with our eyes closed thinking the enemy who hate us and is making war against us can't touch us because we are God's children then we will keep getting blown out of the water.
"Then the dragon was enraged at the woman
and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—
those who obey God's commandments
and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
The sooner we open our eyes and realize that God says we are in a battle and that He has equipped us and has given us the ability to say some things are right and some things are wrong, the sooner we can start fighting effectively.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking 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.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me."
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire,
he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has
conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin,
when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
If you find yourself caught in a situation where the evidence is from the enemy, don't give in to him. Instead of embracing it and trying to put God's name on it, call it what it is: evil. Then invite Him in to do what only He can do: redeem it and bring good from it. Put Your Clothes On and fight the battle.