The Art of Discernment

Warning: Reading this post may open your spiritual eyes and ears. Proceed with caution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you first.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:14‭-‬16 NASB

Wise people will understand these things. A person with insight will recognize them. The Lord’s ways are right. Righteous people live by them. Rebellious people stumble over them.

Hosea 14:9 GW

God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions.

No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him.

Hebrews 4:12‭-‬13 GW

Here’s the deal.

There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them all.

I believe that we all have the potential to move in any of the gifts at any time, but some people are given a special grace in certain gifts.

It’s like evangelism.

That’s one of God’s gifts to the Church.

Certain people are blessed with an extra measure of boldness and faith, but everyone can evangelize.

And in fact, I believe that’s part of our duty as disciples of Christ to share the Good News that the Lord has entrusted to us.

But let’s talk about discernment today.

What is discernment?

It’s discerning the spirits.

There’s a lot of different spirits out there, but only one Holy Spirit.

The rest, you could say, are unholy or unclean spirits.

Some people call them demons.

Now there are angels as well, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

They act on God’s behalf and minister to humans, but they cannot enter a human, at least to the best of my knowledge.

So discerning is identifying what spirit is speaking or acting through a person at any given time.

As Christians, we are meant to abide in Christ.

We should let the Spirit lead us.

Unfortunately, that seems to be more of the exception than the rule, currently.

I’m here to change that, but enough about me for right now.

So before you can discern, or appraise the spirits, you have to know God.

How can you tell the counterfeit if you don’t know the real?

There’s three voices in this world.

God, the flesh, and the devil.

Or God, the beast, and the false prophet.

Whatever’s going through your head could be one of those three things.

Our job, as temple keepers, is to keep our focus on God’s Word all the time.

Think about Jesus Christ always.

Pray without ceasing.

Abide in Christ.

Maintain the unity of the Spirit.

Sin cuts that tie.

As soon as you sin, you open the door of your temple to Satan and his minions.

Or if you let your carnal flesh rule your life, like unawakened souls do, you’re a slave to your flesh and its desires.

So just as it is for you, the same is true for others.

That means the words and deeds of everyone around you could be motivated by one of those three sources, God, the flesh, or Satan.

It’s that simple.

Get to the root.

Get to the source.

Where does it come from?

You judge a tree by its fruit.

So learn the Word of God, be filled with His Holy Spirit, and focus on God at all times.

You’re a spring.

You’re a well.

What is flowing through you?

What is flowing through your neighbor?

What is flowing through your friend, your enemy, your spouse?

Place your trust in no human.

Trust Jesus.

As you can see in yourself, we are weak and fallible creatures, prone to wander from the truth.

But there’s Good News.

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice covers all of our sins.

That’s not an excuse or license to sin.

Quite the contrary.

We have grace.

But we’re called to obedience.

There are real rewards and real consequences for everything that we say and do.

So do the right thing.

Follow Jesus.

And share His love.

And speak the truth in love.

Share the Good News.

The lost will thank you for it when they get found in Him.

And God will reward you when you get to Heaven.

Until then, suffer on joyfully for Jesus!


Be careful not to let anyone rob you ⌊of this faith⌋ through a shallow and misleading philosophy. Such a person follows human traditions and the world’s way of doing things rather than following Christ.

Colossians 2:8 GW

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