I don’t fully understand the operation of the gift of “discernment of spirits.” I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit in the early 80’s which resulted in that gift being given without being asked for. It has remained ever since. One thing I know is that its operation depends on me being not childish, but child-like and willing to be taught by the Spirit. So so often, sadly, we bring what we have previously learned to bear upon a current situation and interpret what is going on according to our knowledge up until that point in time. When we do that, we are likely to draw conclusions more from what we know than from what The Spirit of God within us wants to help us see, hear, or understand in that precise moment and circumstance. Knowledge puffs up and can make me seem an expert; the love of God builds up by revealing true insight which only God can give by the immediate witness of His Spirit.
I have made the above mistake pastorally on occasion. I have brought what I know about a roughly similar situation to bear upon a fresh situation, rather than observing and listening afresh. Of course there is nothing wrong with using knowledge and what God has helped us to learn in the past, but when it stops us listening and being fully aware in the present we may miss what actually “is.” When people looked at Jesus with what they “knew” in the gospels, they missed what was actually there. The centurion did not have the Scriptural knowledge of the Jews, or the Jewish leadership, but he saw what was actually there: that this man Jesus truly was the Son of God, or as a pagan might say before knowledge is added to revelation, this man was a son of the gods.
I am honestly not sure if a gift can be imparted by a blog, nor am I fully convinced of the fact that gifts can be learned without being given by God. In fact though I believe in impartation, the proof it has happened is that it has happened, not that we have attended a conference and been told something has been imparted, despite there being no evidence of it. At times I know I have imparted this gift to others,at other times I have not, which has been an embarrassing not always private experience leading to the good fruit of humility. I have to say though, that the gift of discernment of spirits is not one I come across often in the body of Christ, and yet I am convinced it is a gift that God has poured out upon His Church. I wonder if that gift is waiting to spring into action within you? Perhaps the gift is lying there, unopened….
Here is my suggestion. Thank God for all he has taught you about spiritual life and truth as it is found in Christ. Don’t forget it. However from that basis, be prepared to meet the God who creates out of nothing. There is an emptying of our minds that is dangerous and wrong and is almost an invitation to any spirit around to flood in to the vacuum we create; this is the great danger of some forms of Eastern Mysticism. However, there is a Christian equivalent: remember the occult is a counterfeit of the true. So, pray to the Father, through the Son; tell Him you want to be taught of God; Lift the situation or circumstance you are in, or the person you are speaking with or about to speak with to Him, and offer Him your spirit, soul and body to hear, see and receive what God wants you to see, hear or know.
I guess this is Course 101 type of advice… maybe I will give you some more sometime…it may help me myself to think things through further…
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