Summary: How do we as Christians prepare our hearts so we can accuragely discern what is happening in the unseen realm. (Material taken from The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane)
Discerning of Spirits- Eliminating False Discernment
Last week, started a series on- Discerning of Spirits.
We looked specifically at the Gift of Discernment.
This week- safe guards against false discernment.
What is Spiritual Discernment?
Spiritual discernment is the grace to see into the unseen … Its purpose is to see into the nature of that which is veiled. (Francis Frangipane)
Discerning of Spirits is a (spiritual) (gift) that is given to men supernaturally- not natural intuition.
1 Cor 12:8-10 (How many feel have one of these gifts?)
Everyone at some level needs to exercise discernment.
Discern- to separate thoroughly, to discriminate between, to distinguish the source of something.
Is it by the Spirit of God, an angelic spirit, demonic spirit, or the human spirit.
Last week- established- foundation of our Christian faith comes FIRST from the written Word of God.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word of God
Beyond the Word- HS also speaks- through dreams, visions, prophetic words-other forms of revelation.
These types of revelations are subjective and must be judged by- Word of God/Spirit of God within us.
God wants to reveal things to us- things we need for life/ministry, but will we perceive them properly?
3 And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes."
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? NASU
Jesus perceived the thoughts of men
In that moment, God the Father, revealed to Jesus the thoughts of those men.
Jesus could accurately discern their thoughts because He had the Mind of Christ- His mind was renewed.
We must allow God to renew our minds so we also can develop the Mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:11-14 (v12- Rom 8:32)
What are these verses saying to you?
Last week- examined- how important it is for us to distinguish between discernment/human judgment.
Our discernment- often little more than judging others
True discernment will not come until we crucify our instinct to judge people/situations w/carnal mind.
We must make ourselves blind to what outwardly seems apparent- do not judge after the flesh.
We will never see clearly until the instinct to judge after the flesh is uprooted out of our lives.
Eliminating False Discernment
If you want to say something important to someone you will first try to get their undivided attention.
If we are going to hear God clearly, we must slow down and give Him our attention.
Only then will we hear and see clearly what is happening in the spiritual realm.
Psa 46:10 "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." NASU
How do we eliminate false discernment?
1. Cease striving in the flesh
When we talk about Spiritual Warfare, Discerning of Spirits is one of the tools/weapons available to us.
To effectively engage in spiritual warfare, we must …
FIRST- be conscious of God, and
SECOND- be discerning of the enemy.
All true discernment comes through a heart that has ceased striving, a heart that knows, even in the fiery trial of its personal struggle, that the Lord is God. (Francis Frangipane)
What does this quote mean to you?
It is within our own personal struggles that we become fully acquainted with God.
We come to that place where we know God, we have learned to recognize Him even in difficult times.
We learn to trust God and not jump to erroneous conclusions about life- about situations and people.
Our natural thoughts/reactions to life, people and situations will block us from hearing God clearly.
We must enter into God’s rest- He is in charge.
One reason we strive in the flesh is because we have certain thoughts on how things should be.
Jn 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. NASU
Jesus ceased striving after the flesh and submitted His heart, feelings, reactions, to God the Father.
2. Be motivated by love
I mentioned this verse last week …
Phil 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, NASU
If we are going to have clear discernment what must abound is our love for God and men.
Often discernment comes out of mistrust, suspicion, fear- always leads to false discernment.
True discernment is always rooted in a deep love for God/people- this frees us to discern accurately.
i.e. walking down lonely dark street at night. A young man is approaching from the other direction- long hair, tattoos, piercing, unkempt. Immediately you are concerned for your safety. Your immediate reaction is to judge such a person based on the obvious and superficial. For a moment lets view this young man through his mother’s eyes. Through her eyes she remembers a young boy grew up w/o a father, often rejected by his friends. She lovingly walked with him through the struggles of adolescence- there is a deep love/sympathy. He is a troubled man, thus his outward appearance. We saw him as a dangerous man because we looked outwardly and did not discern with a heart of love.