Topic: Discerning of Spirits [November 18, 2016]
To another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances true] spirits [and false ones] . . . . — 1 Corinthians 12:10
I believe the discerning of spirits is an extremely valuable gift, and encourage you to desire and develop it. I actually believe it is one of the most needful gifts for today and the times we are living in.
Some people say that the discerning of spirits gives people supernatural insight into the spiritual realm when God allows it. Many also believe that discerning of spirits is a gift given so we can know the true nature of a person or a situation. Our world today is full of deception and many people in it are not who they appear to be. The gift of discerning of spirits helps us see through deception and behind the masks people often wear so we can know what is really going on. The gift also helps us discern good things. It enables us to sense when something is a good thing or a person has a good heart.
Discernment helps us recognize when something is of God and when it isn't. Dave and I have seen this gift work many times when dealing with people who wanted to work in our ministry. Many times, people have seemed qualified, capable, dedicated, and "perfect" for the jobs for which they applied. I remember one specific occasion when we met with someone and everyone involved thought we should hire him, but I had a nagging feeling in my heart that we should not. We hired him anyway and he did nothing but cause trouble. I allowed my reasoning—thinking he would work out because his resume was exactly what we wanted—to overtake my discernment, and I wish I had not.
The Spirit of God lives in our hearts and speaks to our hearts, not our heads. His gifts are not intellectual or operative in our minds; they are spiritual and they operate in our spirits. We must follow what we sense in our spirits, not what we think in our minds should be right. This is why God gives us discernment.