Text: 1 Cor. 12:10
Discernment is one of the seven pillars of wisdom. Most problems in life are issues that have to do with wisdom. There is always the wisdom that dissolves any doubt no matter how complicated. The only wisdom that is above all is that which comes from above. You cannot disarm an enemy that you have not discerned. Anyone who lacks discernment will be easily deceived.
Discerning of spirits is one of the nine gifts of that the Holy Spirit gives to God’s children. There are two dimensions of the move of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer: the wisdom dimension and the power dimension. We need the two. It is interesting to note that Jesus Christ is the wisdom and power of God. The Church is supposed to manifest the wisdom of God above the world. When you key into the Holy Spirit, He will lead you, He will empower you, He will show you things well ahead of time, He will help you to take valid decisions that are in line with the purpose of God.
Take note that discerning of spirits is the third of the revelational gifts. These gifts are: word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits. The gift of discerning of spirits will enable you see into the realm of the spirits; you will be able to tell the spirits behind actions. In other words, you will go beyond the action to the spirit behind it. Many good actions are motivated by a wrong spirit. One of the things that mark Christian ethics is the inwardness. If you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, He will lead you beside the still waters (where there is no loudness). Everything you do in God’s kingdom is evaluated; it can be hay, stubble, precious stone, gold or silver. Discerning of spirits will make you go beyond the package to the content. You can’t really know a person until your know the spirit operating in that person. Whoever chooses by sight will make the same mistake that Lot made; he will choose the green fields of Sodom. This gift is necessary for anybody who wants to succeed in this end time. It is imparted by the Holy Spirit so that we can see into the spirit realm to distinguish between the spirit of satan, evil spirits, the spirit of God and the human spirit. In any Church where this gift is not in operation, all manner of people are allowed to prophecy.
FUNCTIONS OF THE GIFT OF DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
This gift gives one a supernatural understanding of the nature and activity of spirits. It enables one to distinguish between the divine, satanic and human origin of spiritual activity and reveals the nature of the spirits themselves. Satan always tries to counterfeit the works of the Holy Spirit; satan is known as the deceiver, the father of lies and serpent. In the account of the girl with the spirit of divination in the book of Acts of the Apostles 16, Paul challenged the spirit which might easily have deceived other servants of God. The spirit of divination is different from the spirit of prophecy. What the girl was proclaiming was correct but the spirit speaking through her was an evil spirit.
This supernatural gift is especially necessary for missionaries and workers in lands where spiritism, satanism and occultism abound. Every environment has a ruling spirit; what is the spirit in charge of the house and environment where you live?
HOW THE GIFT OPERATES
The first and foremost obvious function of the gift is to reveal the presence of evil spirits in the lives of people or places or Churches. However, it also serves to evaluate the source of a prophetic message, particular teaching or source of a supernatural manifestation. There is a lot of contamination from foul spirits and this is one of the weapons that the devil will use to finish the world. The spirit of the false prophet, who will do lying wonders, is already at work. You must go beyond the wonders to the spirit otherwise you will end up in the synagogue of satan. You must evaluate the source of a prophetic message.
The gift if discerning of spirits usually reveals:
- The nature of the demon. Behind most long standing difficulties are stronghold demons and when you deal with the demons, miracles automatically take place. Jesus rebuked a dumb and deaf spirit and the man started speaking and hearing immediately the demons left him. There is a spiritual dimension to most long-standing issues. Until you come to this realization, you will continue to deal with symptoms. If you fail to discern spirits, you will make the wrong prescription. This is one of the reasons why problems linger.
- At times, it gives the name of the demons but even if the name is not given, you can adequately isolate a spirit from its action.
- At times also, it gives the number of demons – Mark 5:1-9, Luke 8:2.
- At times, it gives the strength of a particular demon.
- It gives other information.
One of the most important things you need to operate this gift is observation. Observation goes before discernment. You must make the right interpretation of the information you receive. If you are discerning enough, you will go beyond the action. When people lack discernment, a lot of goals are scored against them without their knowledge. We need this gift in order to navigate successfully in the coming year. When people lack discernment, they hug their enemies and fight their divine helpers.
You must desire this powerful revelational gift that will help you take valid decisions because decisions define your destination.
- Heavenly Father, I thank you, I appreciate you, I magnify your name, thank you for your faithfulness, thank you for the extra mile you go with us to make provision for our well-being here and hereafter. Thank you for the wonderful gifts that you have for us through your Holy Spirit, the precious Holy Spirit. Lord, I desire the fullness of these gifts; let them begin to operate in my life in the name of Jesus.
- In any way that I have compromised the standard of your word and voted for wrong spirits, Lord, I am sorry, in your mercy, please forgive me, cleanse me O God, purge me, purify me and make me holy and acceptable unto you. I soak my spirit, soul and body, my mind, will, emotion, initiative and personality in the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, I receive cleansing, purification, sanctification and justification. Let the powerful blood of Jesus wipe away every evil record that is written against me and position me for the fullness of the blessings of redemption, in the name of Jesus.
- Holy Spirit divine, I re-invite you into my life, fill me afresh with life and with power, grant that out of my belly shall flow rivers of living water. Holy Spirit, manifest fully and comprehensively in me and through me, in the name of Jesus.
- Precious Holy Spirit, I ask for the gift of discerning of spirits; help me to operate this wisdom gift. Guide me by this gift, in the name of Jesus. Grant that henceforth, I will never choose by sight in the name of Jesus, I will go beyond the package to discern the spirits in operation. I will never be deceived, in Jesus name. I will not be manipulated, I will not be contaminated, I will not be bewitched in the name of Jesus. By your grace, I will walk hand-in-hand with you until I become all that you want me to be and accomplish all that you want me to accomplish in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.