Let’s Talk About The Discerning Of Spirits
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits,…”
-1st Corinthians 12:7, 10 NKJV
Two days ago, I was mulling over this word on “DISCERNMENT” and I saw it in the form of a blogpost “let’s talk about discernment”.
So what is discernment?
Discernment is the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well. In the case of judgement, discernment can be psychological, moral or aesthetic in nature. Within judgment, discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities.
Discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making judgements about who and what that thing REALLY is.
Discernment is not just a definition, discernment is a spiritual gift given to believers. An ability to discern hearts and discern spirits – what is at work in a place or person or city or environment etc.
Take for example you step into a city (as I do for ministry because I travel a lot) and God shows you/you begin to pick in the atmosphere what that city is desperately struggling with, eg a spirit of lust at work in that city (as I have picked a few times in a few cities) then because of discernment you are better able to narrow your prayers to WHAT EXACTLY you should be praying about.
Also Jesus was the very best poster child for what discernment really means. He uses discernment in no small measure to deal with everyone he met. He could tell beyond men’s actions to seeing into what was in their hearts.
“But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”
-John 2:24-25 NKJV
Jesus was never moved by men’s applause or the lack thereof. He was never moved by whether men celebrated Him or did not celebrate Him. He was totally grounded in the Lord His God-given identity of who He was and aside from that, He also related with men according to their heart and not their outward actions – discernment.
“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, aOKnd stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.””
-Luke 7:36-40 NKJV
Also Jesus could discern a person’s thoughts as He did with the Pharisee as seen above and answer their heart thoughts. Jesus could sit at a table with a man as seen above, the man doesn’t say anything, yet Jesus could discern what He was thinking in His heart and gave the man answers accordingly. Jesus did this over and over and over again throughout the course of His life.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.”
-Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV
This is Jesus but I want to also speak about discernment for believers. We have been given this gift by which we can also know the hearts of men. A believer is not meant to walk foolishly and idly by taking things at face value. A believer should be able to discern danger or wrong hearts from a mile away.
I remember a few times when I have met people and something in my spirit just didn’t sit with them. In the physical it was unexplainable but spiritually I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease. Or I’d be praying and it would come up in a situation. That was God speaking to me with the gift of discernment.
Or I’d be invited somewhere to preach and I would be able to sense the atmosphere and what God is doing in a place. I have walked in a meeting before and just began to cry in deep intercession because I could sense and discern that almost all the women there were struggling with their identities in God.
I have also seen people make many mistakes (and me too) based on simply not following the gift of discernment God has given to every believer and some because their antenna of discernment was so low it was literally non-existent.
You see, the gift of discernment works greater and more actively when you are spiritually sensitive, ramped up in prayer and have your spiritual senses open and alert to God!
I love it!
It can tell you what direction to go, what way to do things, who to call and at what time to call them, even what to wear, etc etc. all these are done by the Spirit of God on the inside of us working in the gift of discernment through us, and for our own good.
So it would be good to:
1: Pay attention to what the Spirit alerts you to in discernment and not wave them off. It may NOT be in words so you need to be sensitive to these directions by the Holy Spirit, be able to pick them up and discern them accurately
2: you need to feed your spirit so you can be better placed to hear rightly and correctly from God. The more alive you are to and in God? The better you hear and discern more accurately.
To this end I would encourage you to download these prayers for LIGHT and CLEAR VISIONS below to see clearly and hear MORE accurately. They are powerful prayers to be ALIVE in God again.
I sincerely hope that from today, like the Lord Jesus Christ, you will pay attention to your spirit man in God to be alert, to be sensitive to His voice through His Spirt guiding you within.
1: Sign up for our DIVINE PROVISION CLASS
Join me for an interview on The Principles is divine provision on Instagram tonight by 7pm @HephzibahFrances
God bless you!
Lots of love,