The gift of Discernment, first and fore-mostly it is a call to a conversation with God and a gift to recognize His Presence, His person.
What is Discernment?
Discernment not only involves discerning of times and seasons as we have previously discussed it is also involves discerning of Spirits
In 1 Corinthians 12:10, this gift is listed in the middle of gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues given by the Holy Spirit. These are called ‘power gifts’.
Discernment is considered a power gift.
This discernment reveals the SPIRIT OF THE MATTER, whether it is human, demonic or divine.
Why is this important?
These gifts are a “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:7) to “profit all.” Gifts manifest the Presence of God and what he is targeting! Their Purpose: to profit everyone!
This is a great way to check on how you are going with working this gift – is it manifesting, making known the presence of God and is it profiting people around you?
This spiritual ability exposes you to spirits. This can be disturbing as it can seem when this gift is activated, that the demonic spirits are everywhere. Fear and alarm are big emotions in this gift.
I remember years ago mentoring a young leader who had been given the gift of discernment. She would often experience moving through her day, and all of a sudden she would receive information through her senses. Initially she did not realize it was in the spiritual realm and it would ruin her day. She felt like she was crazy.
Then she found out she was gifted with this gift and she began to grow in understanding discernment of spirits and how it worked for her. She is now a power hitter in the Christian world.
How does discernment work?
1. Respond not React
This is why the Lord has taught us how to centre on the presence of God. Jesus didn’t react to the Devil, He responded to the Father.
John 5:19 , is a fascinating verse. It records that the Jewish Leaders are trying to murder Jesus, they are trying to trap him and question his identity.
Jesus responded, “Assuredly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
His first response was to assure them! He knew they were set on murder and He is assuring them!? He assures those under the influence of a spirit that wants to use them to murder Jesus.
I think of assurance as something you give to a child or someone who is in distress. It’s an action of love and compassion. Jesus clarifies how he works in the face of discerning the Devil. He refused to react to the Devil.
This is one of the biggest challenges that this gift brings. Learning how to respond to the Presence of God and not react to the presence of the demonic. It takes practice!
The KEY here is discernment is a practice that trains us to recognize presence.
Hebrews 5:14 is key for training us in this gift and recognizing the Presence of God. It says, “But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.”
I love the word ‘practice’ here. It reveals that this gift as with all gifts divine or human, require practice. It is not about perfection, it is about practice. And practice demands of us the willingness to be vulnerable.
3. No love, don’t share what you discern
Discernment reveals both evil and good. THE REMEDY FOR THE NEGATIVE, the EVIL WHICH WE WILL SEE, REQUIRES THE HIGHEST APPLICATION OF LOVE. If you don’t love the person, city or nation, don’t share what you discern!
This is why this gift MUST be about learning to recognize His Presence, His person.
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