Summary: A series looking into the daily realities of spiritual warfare that we all face.
What about spiritual warfare?
Last week we laid some ground work as we addressed a few of things:
*Satan is an ancient and treacherous foe
*We need wisdom
*There are no shortcuts in spiritual warfare
*We gave the short definition of spiritual warfare as: Spiritual warfare is the unseen part of our walk with God that has consequences and ramifications both in the spiritual realm of our lives around us, as well as, in the physical natural realm. It is a three way conflict between the human spirit and mind of the individual, the forces of evil, and God’s will. It is prayer, but it is much more than just words, it is action, attitude, discipline, obedience, authority, wisdom, and knowledge. It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to know and be engaged in the daily struggle.
*And finally we looked at what spiritual warfare is not and at some of the scheme’s of the enemy.
Tonight we are going to take the next step int his journey of study as we look at the discernment vs false discernment.
The last part of Verse 5 from the Message paraphrase: “fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” Discernment.
Miriam Webster: Discernment
1 : the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure
a power to see what is not evident to the average mind.
stresses accuracy. (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art).
the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent.
implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial.
In short, discernment is knowing what God knows, having the mind of God.
As we move in spiritual warfare, we must not onloy have the wisdom of God, but divine discernment of people and situations and the spirits at work.
In every situation we find ourselves in, there are always at least two spirits in play.
1. Human spirit of the individuals involved
2. God’s Spirit or Holy Spirit
3. Evil Spirit
Discernment will tell us which we are dealing with.
Many times, well meaning, unwise, undiscerning individuals have attributed a circumstance or manifestation or even message to the wrong spirit.
We have discussed several times that the word of God and the moving of the Holy Spirit must come through the filter of the human personality being used. It goes beyond just who we are to what we perceive.
When the Spirit of God moves or speaks, whether in dreams, visions, prophetic words, the written Word of God, or soem other form, much of whast is revealed will actually coem through our ability to perceive it correctly.
It is absolute fact that each one of us perceives things differently. Herein lies the challenge of discernment.
I have literally walked away from a situation feeling like it was a very positive thing with a positive outcome, only to find out later that soemone else perceived it entirely differently and is upset, offended, or otherwise outraged over something.
I have been in services where someone steps out and gives a word of prophecy or knowledge and some feel like it is absolutely of God and others feel it is absolutely not.
The difference - discernment.
The Bible tells us that Jesus perceived the thoughts of men “in His Spirit.”
If we will move in the divine discernment available to us, our view of life must be purged as much as possible of human thoughts and reactions.
This begins with a choice to crucify our instinct to judge. This takes a long time, but is an absolute must if we are going to realize our full potential in Christ.
We all have thought-systems and propensities of opinion that are not rooted in faith and love for people.
In order to have the mind of God, we must first have the heart of Christ which He summed up in His own words in John 12:47 “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”
It is a gift of the Holy Spirit to perceive correctly what is in the Spirit.
It is the grace to see into the unseen.
But the first layer of blindness for us is the layer which is over our own hearts.
If we do not fully see and understand our need for mercy then we will not be able to see the need for mercy and grace for those around us.
The gift of discernment is not a faculty of our own minds. We must thoroughly and fully realize this or we will be blinded further by ourselves and a spiritual pride will prevail within us.
Spiritual warfare is not about fighting satan or attacking demons, it is about drawing closer to God and removing everything that opposes His will in us and helping others do the same.