As a young child, we lived with certain “activity” in the home which I deemed normal. I knew nothing else, and felt what I experienced was part of life. When I accepted the Lord, I learned what we were going through was actual demonic activity.
Because I had experienced this side of the spiritual world, I knew it was real.
When I accepted the Lord, the gift of discernment of spirits was automatically given to me. I am sure I had it before, as I was able to sense my surroundings. There were times where I could see, feel and smell the demonic.
What is the gift of discernment of spirits, exactly?
This gift allows the Christian to know for sure whether a given behavior originates from a divine, human or satanic source.
In other words, whatever is going on, you can tell what type of spirit is behind it.
As with all spiritual gifts, it is wise to grow and develop them. Here I list a few helpful tips to grow in the gift of discerning of spirits. This can also apply to other gifts of the spirit.
- Read you Bible and become knowledgeable in the word. Satan would love to plant doubt and confusion, much like what he did with Eve in the garden when he said: “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
- Confirm what you are sensing with others around you. It´s o.k. to make a mistake. Recognizing these mistakes will only cause you to grow, and the Lord allows them to shape and mold you.
- Make sure you don´t judge, calling it discernment. Learn to listen, and don´t fall into judgment.
- Have your heart right before the Lord. Our filter is our heart, so a heart of purity is needed with any spiritual gift.
- Operate your gift in love. Some people with this gift can operate in coldness and be very firm. Remember, we do not fight against flesh and blood, so please operate in love at all times.
- True discernment is based on love, false discernment is based fear and not trusting.
Here is a Biblical example of the gift of discerning of spirits in operation.
Act 16:16-18 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
What this girl was saying was true, but the Apostle sensed the spirit behind what she was proclaiming was not of God. Of course, he was right.
Grow your gift
If you have this gift or any other spiritual gift, water it and have it grow. How? Ask God to increase your gift. Look for opportunities to use them. Look for others with this gift and learn from them. Join a prayer/intercessor group.
This gift is very important, it is part of God´s gift to us to protect us from error, of which I am very thankful for.