Made for More: Discernment
We have a number of spiritual gifts, but no matter what gift you have:
- They all come from the same Spirit as He wills.
- You did nothing to deserve it or even choose it.
- Gifts are not self-appointed or self-chosen.
- The word gift means GRACE GIVEN.
- The same God works all in all.
- The gifts are given to all. Not one is lacking.
- They are given to the profit of all.
- Our gifts are not for ourselves - we cannot boast in ourselves, but in the Lord.
- They are meant to edify both believers and unbelievers
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Gifts of the Spirit is what you have or what you do. The Fruit of the Spirit is what you are.
Without the fruits of the Spirit we are carnal, fleshly like the Corinthians church. We serve no purpose in the divine. We have an earthly presence but no heavenly impact!
Paul says pursue LOVE ... then pursue spiritual gifts. The fruit of the Spirit is the foundation on which spiritual gifts must rest upon.
It is love that makes us a benefit to others.
The discerning of spirits = gift of distinguishing the true from the false; what is of God vs what it not
It can be said that the gift of discernment is given to tell if the other gifts are of the Holy Spirit, if they are merely natural imitations, or if they are demonic counterfeits. This is how we serve the body of Christ in this area. We help to distinguish between right and wrong so that the body does not fall to false teachings.
I JOHN 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Characteristics of those who have the gift:
- You are more observant and sensitive than others to the atmosphere around you.
- You can discern people's intentions behind their words or actions.
- You feel a greater conviction to certain things than others.
- You often sense something is wrong or out of place. Or if something is not the whole truth.
- You are passionate about the truth and holiness.
- You can discern pitfalls and strengths in others.
- You want to see people set free from bondage. (discerning of spirits)
- You are good at seeing the root of a problem instead of just its symptoms. (counselors)
- You want to be more effective in prayer.
- You are good at settling disputes.
- You often feel different from other people or like you flat out don't belong.
- You see things others don't see. Sometimes you're often misunderstood. Its a lonely gift.
- You are a source of wise advice and decision-making.
- Confirmed by other leaders.
Pitfalls of this gift: You may be tempted to judge others and be tempted to feel superior to others because of your insights.
There is a level of discernment given to everyone, but there are those who move more powerfully in the gift. Whatever level you are you can grow and mature in this gift.
1 KINGS 2:9
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?
Ask of God and He will give wisdom liberally.
This gift comes with maturity, study and understanding of the Word of God.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
This gift must be trained by consistent practice. How do we train ourselves to distinguish good from evil? Ultimately, the WORD OF God. The Word of God is sharper than any double edged sword
We rightly divide and test the Spirits by the word of God.
The gift of discerning of spirits is not only discerning the evil spirits but the good. We are to learn to reject the evil spirits, but also to honor the good spirits.
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
Each member serves a specific purpose for the benefit of another. This is a family business! We need each other. When one suffers, when one lacks, we all lack. But when we all serve one another and hold each other in esteem we all profit!