“Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5
Discerning of Spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10) is a very important gift of the Holy Spirit, but it is much different than when we use suspicion — or a type of insight — that comes from experience or insight into a person’s character.
Discerning of Spirits can warn us against the presence and influence of evil spirits. It can cause us to also see the error in various teachings and doctrines that have gone astray, that are contrary to the word of God.
With Discerning of Spirits, one can see into the enemy’s camp, and know when danger is coming.
With Discerning of Spirits, the hearts and intentions of various people are laid bare, and one can see how various spirits and forces have been at work in their lives.
However, when one becomes suspicious, then they are not operating in God’s Discernment, but in labeling something as evil, when it is not.
One can be suspicious about the motives of a used car salesman, or someone who is trying to make a quick buck.
One may be suspicious about a get-quick-rich scheme that promises to make someone a lot of money.
Saul was suspicious of David, and he imagined all kinds of things about him, and became overcome with jealousy.
A person can be suspicious about their spouse and imagine that they are not being true to them. They may imagine all kinds of things about them, and yet their fear and anxiety may well not be grounded in truth, but in a suspicious spirit that has caused one to be led astray into all kinds of thinking.
True Spiritual Discernment is not rooted in fear nor is it in being overly critical.
When it sees a red flag its desire is to warn others and to expose the darkness, so that God’s Light can fill it.
Suspicion is rooted in darkness, and it attempts to distort and twist the truth, so that God’s light is seen through the lens of Satan’s counterfeit.
People can develop discernment from being able to “read people” and to use insight in terms of seeing their true character.
However, there is a “big” difference between developing this type of discernment and insight, as opposed to “The Gift of Discerning of Spirits.”
The Discerning of Spirits goes deeper and sees the root of an issue in a person or in identifying a spirit within someone.
One may well develop a keen eye over the years from being able to read people — and to perhaps even see their intentions — or character — involved in various situations or circumstances.
This type of thing would be considered as wisdom and experience in this life. Many who have lived a long life can help others in their decision making and life experiences.
But… even with the best of wisdom and experience, the gift of it, falls short in uncovering the danger lurking underneath the surface.
Now to be sure, there are many in The Church and in various groups, who have oftentimes labeled someone as having a certain type of spirit or whatever.
I believe that many have gone crazy and overboard in their preoccupation and desire to simply label many with this spirit or that one.
It’s erroneous and prone to sensationalism. Now thousands and thousands of people somehow all have the spirit of Jezebel. Somehow along the way, many have left the arena of common sense and have gone off into chasing rabbit holes.
“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great.” Acts 8:9
“And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” 2 Chronicles 33:6
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.” James 1:17
“to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another Discerning of Spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:10
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?
Stephen is a full-time Artist of original architectural, landscape, portrait, still-life and spiritual oil paintings, available at StephenHansonArtist.com