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A more specific form of discernment, discerning of spirits, is a spiritual gift imparted by the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. It is also closely related to wisdom, but it is somewhat different in that it involves specific knowledge given supernaturally. Because of this, the gift of discernment is sometimes considered a special expression of the word of knowledge. Discerning of spirits involves distinguishing between the three possible sources of spiritual motivation and activity.


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The three areas of spirit activity are:. Most important is being able to discern the activity of the Holy Spirit; He will also give the ability to recognize the activity and presence of angels. Discerning the spirit of Satan or demons includes identifying when someone has a demonic problem, or determining when something is from Satan rather than God.

How can I increase my spiritual discernment?

Of course, God would not give us the spiritual gift of discernment for no reason. The major reasons are:. Jesus did this often, as in Mark 9: I was once part of a small group of women who met for fellowship and prayer. At the end of one meeting, a woman laid hands on another woman who had been ill for some time with a lingering cough. The sick woman began feeling better right away, but oddly enough, the woman who had prayed for her began feeling poorly shortly after. I had not been present at this meeting, but after being contacted by the second woman and learning she was about to be hospitalized with bronchitis, I discerned that a spirit manifesting as sickness had passed from the first woman to her.

I met with her, read several scriptures, cast out the spirit, and she was healed immediately! One, for instance, involved the era of cattle rustling, which released a spirit of robbery! This will become increasingly essential as we move toward the end of the age. The Lord is bringing new levels of discernment to His people—discernment is like a weapon you can shoot and use often.

If you desire to grow in the gift of discernment:. 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. 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.

Like Jacob realised, we also live in a double camp where there is constant spiritual activity, and discerners have spiritual senses that are attuned to this. Most people, even in church life, experience life through their natural senses.

Distinguishing the Source

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.


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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.

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.

What Is Spiritual Discernment?

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. 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.

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. 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: You may have the gift confirmed through a prophecy given to you.

My gift of discernment was identified through prophecy twice perhaps this was because I was reluctant to accept it! However, the bottom line of the presence of any gift is that it is recognised 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.

When you submit what you are seeing or sensing, your leaders confirm your accuracy and your gift begins to be recognised for its effectiveness. Because these kinds of abuses are common and have brought disrepute to the gift of discernment, I will take some time over the next couple of posts to share how the gift of discernment can bring value to church life. Available for purchase from the Enliven Ministries e-store. The gift of discernment of spirits is a powerful weapon in times of spiritual warfare, and can be of great assistance when ministering freedom to individuals.

And yet many who recognize they have signs of the gift of discernment, have difficulty knowing what to do with what they are feeling or sensing. All transactions are secure using PayPal and we do not pass your information on to third parties. Our store will convert to your currency. I think I may have the gift of discerment. I have seen, heard and scenced different spirts in different ways. Even in the flesh. Had an emblem appair on a wall that I cannot wash off and no one else was there to put it on the wall. No one heard the voice during the time the recording was taking place. Lightning bolt looking flashes of bright electic looking bolts shooting in my bedroom after I praid for angels.

Footsteps on third floor while on the first and second floor while no one is up on those floors. Thank you for reaching out. I think those with the gift of discernment are likely to be marginalized, labeled as divisive, even cast out churches more than any other type. So instead, the discerner is labeled as critical and judgmental, and their voice is invalidated and silenced. Particularly by church leaders. And I can always tell when someone is telling the truth or not. Just recently I saw Jesus at the foot of my bed.

He had on a long white hooded rode, but I could not see His face, and His arms were outstretched. I sat up in bed and felt a sense of peace and laid back down and went to sleep.

8 Signs You May Have The Spiritual Gift of Discernment

One in particular gave me the shivers to my core even when I still think about now. What do you think? Thank you a response and God bless you and this website.


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  8. Hi thanx alot for teaching n reaveling the gifts of Spirit,ive been around many sites as a young pastor who just started a ministry,but i found everything in here,i always believe that i had prophetic gifts or descernment cos eveyrthing tht has to happen i saw a vision or hear voice telling me abt that,and i somtyms get irritated when is abt just meeting person n dont even say a word to them,like il dream passing some boys de corner it just hapen like that but no words exchanged.

    I have experinced some of those things you have talked about, I have always felt like I was a little more sensitive to the spiritual realm. But im still not sure. I do love to feel the presence of the Lord and I desire that my relationship be stronger with the Lord and I am often misunderstood in the church I go to but I am not being fed spiritially either.

    As I have said before im still not sure. But I do have a question if you can answer it for me I often encounter people in the church if I do something say sing they will always try to do it better or if I do say something that I sense somebody will say I already knew that. I am in a confused state. I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit, angels, demons, ghosts or just residual emotions in places or things. Lack of truth in a teaching or false intentions are very clear to me and they affect me badly whilst holiness in certain ordinary persons make me joyous, humbled and in awe.

    It was hard to accept it as a gift in the first place. Some people verbally attack me without any provocation and I discern that on an unconscious level they are reacting to this gift.

    Jonathon Welton -- Discerning of Spirits Part 1 of 5

    Others are magnetically attracted to me and go through conversions after they hear me speak. I am going through a breakthrough crisis and am praying hard for guidance and deliverance from all the shame and fear I feel in relation to this gift. I am Catholic so I do not have much support in this area since the Catholic Church is still very cautious regarding all spiritual gifts.

    I have been born again for about 5 years, but I have experienced many visions and dreams. My visions are very tough to understand but I really enjoy them so much because they are full of raptures and bliss. Some one in the ministry of prophecy told that the Lord is preparing me for a prophetic ministry. Do you think it true? Tears filled my eyes when I read this article.