The Gift of Discernment
The spiritual gift of discernment is also known as the gift of “discernment of spirits” or “distinguishing between spirits.” The Greek word for the gift of discernment is Diakrisis. The word describes being able to distinguish, discern, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment. In the New Testament it describes the ability to distinguish between spirits as in 1 Corinthians 12:10, and to discern good and evil as in Hebrews 5:14.
The Holy Spirit gives the gift of discernment to enable certain Christians to clearly recognize and distinguish between the influence of God, Satan, the world, and the flesh in a given situation. The church needs those with this gift to warn believers in times of danger or keep them from being led astray by false teaching.-spiritualgiftstest.com
For more read I Corinthians 12:10, Acts 5:3-6; 16:16-18; 1 John 4:1.
Identifying Gift of Discernment
Helen Calder writes about the Gift of Discernment. She highlights several ways to identify the operation of this gift.
1. Desire for the Gift
As with other spiritual gifts, desire is often the first sign of a gift of discernment of spirits (1 Cor 14:1).
- You may have a longing to see people set free from demonic bondage.
- You may want to be more effective in prayer and spiritual warfare
- You may have a desire for holiness
- You may simply be curious about the spiritual realm.
2. Love for God’s Presence
One of the benefits of having a gift of discernment of spirits is a heightened awareness of God’s Presence and anointing. A true discerner will have a passion for the un-grieved Presence of the Holy Spirit. This is because—and I will continually reiterate this—the highest use of the gift of discernment is not to see what the enemy is doing, but to discern what the Spirit of God is doing.
3. Sensitivity to the Spiritual Atmosphere
You may be more sensitive to spiritual atmospheres than most other people. In the early stages of developing the gift, you may be affected adversely by the presence of any demonic activity in the environment around you. The reality is that we live in a natural world and a spiritual world concurrently. There is constant spiritual activity, and discerners have spiritual senses that are attuned to this.
4. Feeling Different from Other People
Most people, even in church life, experience life through their natural senses. However, someone with an emerging gift of discernment of spirits can see and sense things that others do not see. This ability can result in us feeling different, lonely or misunderstood at times, especially when starting out. It is vital that someone with a developing gift of discernment finds a safe place to journey with others who are similarly gifted and accountable in the life of their church.
5. Unusual Signs
It is not uncommon for someone who is gifted in discernment to experience unusual events or manifestations. People who are incubating a discernment gift begin to see or feel things that others are not aware of. This may include unusual visions, dreams and sensations that alert them to what is happening in the spiritual realm.
6. Childhood or Pre-Salvation Signs
It is not uncommon to experience things relating to your gift even before becoming a Christian. Our creator-God prepares us for our calling and gifts from conception. Even when a talent or gift is misused, God can redeem it and anoint it for His use to serve Him and love and minister to others.
As a child I ‘saw’ things in the night and as a teenager was sensitive to the spiritual realm, sometimes encountering demonic spirits in my room or dreams. Later, as a fully committed Christian, God redeemed this spiritual sensitivity as a gift of discernment. I know Christians who have a gift of discernment who were drawn to New Age counterfeit gifts prior to becoming a Christian.
7. Ability to Know What Lies Behind a Person’s Words or Actions
Someone with a gift of discernment has the ability to see behind what a person is saying and presenting. You may know whether they are telling the truth or not. You may also recognise if someone is manifesting a demonic spirit and be able to identify what that spirit is.
If a prophetic or revelatory message is brought, a discerner can often tell whether it is anointed of the Spirit or from the speaker’s own heart. This is not always the case, and as with other revelatory gifts such as prophecy, you will sometimes get it wrong or have incomplete discernment (1 Thess 5:19-21, 1 Cor 13:9-10)
8. Confirmation by Others and Leaders
You may have the gift confirmed through a prophecy given to you. My gift of discernment was identified through prophecy twice. However, the bottom line of the presence of any gift is that it is recognized and acknowledged by leaders in the church and that it is useful for its purpose—which is to help build up the church and bring people closer to Jesus.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog
This gift is formidable, but to the sensitive of heart, it is something else.
I pray that as I gain experience, wisdom and understanding God would heal the wounds that I have suffered and I will continue to extend the gift of love to all men.
If you are like me, I pray that you too will receive healing for your heart, mind and soul.
May the spirit of Jehovah be our help and balm, forever.
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. — Ezekiel 34:16
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