The Bible teaches us that one of the ‘Gifts’ of the Spirit as found in 1 Corinthians is the ‘Gift of Discernment’. This is a supernatural endowment and an enablement that is given to a believer for the purpose of helping the Body of Christ grow and mature.  It is given as God chooses. It is not merely the keen ability of observation. Rather, we must understand that it is a supernatural ability as given by The Holy Spirit of Truth.

There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them.“  -1 Co 12:4 GW

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” – 1 Co 12:10

What is it anyway? As stated, the Spirit of Discernment is a ‘gift‘. A gift is ‘given’ and by definition, cannot be earned.  It is also known as the gift of “discernment of spirits” or “distinguishing between spirits.”  The Greek word for the gift of discernment is ‘Diakrisis’. It is where the word ‘Crisis’ comes from. This word describes being able to distinguish, discern, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment. In the New Testament, it describes it as the ability to distinguish between spirits as in 1 Corinthians 12:10, and to discern good and evil as in Hebrews 5:14.

The Holy Spirit gives the gift of discernment to enable certain Christians to clearly recognize and distinguish the difference between the influence of God, Satan, the world, and the flesh in a given situation. The Spirit of TRUTH shows those who operate in discernment, the Truth behind teachings, situations, actions, motives, facades, fabrications and governmental actions or political policies, etc. The church needs those with this gift to warn believers in times of danger or keep them from being led astray by false teachings, influences and the demonic covert activities both within the church and outside the church.

Not all believers operate in this gift, but all believers are encouraged to practice praying in the spirit which will sharpen one’s ability to have a discerning spirit in general.

Having a discerning spirit is important because the enemy is crafty and is always plotting and scheming against the Believer. Your spirit can be developed and strengthened in discernment.  In the following scripture, you can consider the word ‘senses’ to be the word ‘discernment’.

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil).” – Heb 5:13-14 KJV

Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth by being able to see or sense undertones, undercurrents, hidden meanings, motives, nuances, and vibrations sent forth in the spirit.  This is a spiritual muscle. The more you practice walking in discernment the stronger these senses will become.

To walk in Godly Discernment, one must not be limited to preconceived mindsets imposed by race, creed, color, political convictions, gender, financial, social status and personal experiences. All of these things can hinder the ability to sense and discern what God is trying to reveal to you. Godly discernment is established within us when we learn to filter ‘EVERYTHING’ through the Word of God.  When we learn to use The Word of God as a filter to all that we perceive, the truth will easily be separated from that which is false. Through further prayer, clarity will arise and wash away those things that would cloud our ability to see clearly and hinder our understanding.

The Bible tells us that “..there is nothing new under the sun.”  When we take the time to thoroughly study the Bible, we learn that the truths, information, principles, strategies and understanding that we need in order to glean the truth of any situation. It has already been written down for us.

For those who wish to operate in a discerning spirit, it is imperative that they stay in tune and in step with the Holy Spirit.  One must walk in agreement with God and be open to receiving ‘The Spirit of Truth’. The Truth often contradicts popular opinions, racial divides, trends, cultural habits, political opinions or policies and often times, what appears to be the facts of the situation.

One of the key underlying principles of operating in this gift, is that the one wielding the gift must have pure motives and intents, themselves. If their motives are not pure and in line with The Holy Spirit of Truth, then their perception will be distorted. Truth always operates at a higher realm of reality than falsehoods and deception.  Only from the higher vantage point of Truth can one see and determine the lower things that are false. Someone operating in the lower spiritual realm of deception can never see up into the higher things that are True. Those that have been blinded by falsehoods, deceptions or the cultural legends driven by popular opinions cannot understand the actions of those operating in and by the Spirit of Truth. Those that operate in Truth can always see those that operate in lies.

A couple examples of the ‘Gift’, Discerning of Spirits can be found in the following sets of scriptures:

Peter asked, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill you with the idea that you could deceive the Holy Spirit? You’ve held back some of the money you received for the land. While you had the land, it was your own. After it was sold, you could have done as you pleased with the money. So how could you do a thing like this? You didn’t lie to people but to God!”

 When Ananias heard Peter say this, he dropped dead. Everyone who heard about his death was terrified. Some young men got up, wrapped his body in a sheet, carried him outside, and buried him. “ -Act 5:3-6 GW


One day when we were going to the place of prayer, a female servant met us. She was possessed by an evil spirit that told fortunes. She made a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. She used to follow Paul and shout, “These men are servants of the Most High God. They’re telling you how you can be saved.” She kept doing this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned to the evil spirit, and said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” As Paul said this, the evil spirit left her. “ -Act 16:16-18 GW

It is interesting to note, that the girl was on her way to prayer just like the Apostles. She was going to the right place, saying all the appropriate ‘Christian’ things but yet she was motivated and driven by the spirit of divination. Apostle Paul discerned her spirit and took the appropriate action of casting out the evil spirit.

In these two examples the supernatural enablement of God expressed itself through the men of God. The Truth and their underlying motives were revealed, and the situations were resolved.

Great wisdom, grace of speech and love must be employed by those who can see The Truth of situations, motives, undercurrent and such. Grace and correction must be applied as Wisdom dictates. The unfortunate truth of the matter is, that most people really don’t want to know ‘The Truth’. Sadly, most people have grown accustomed to the illusions that have been carefully crafted around them by the prince of the power of the air. These carefully crafted illusions are designed to keep them mentally anesthetized and spiritually impotent. The last thing the enemy wants is for Christians to grow strong in The Spirit of Truth and in their spiritual discernment.  Discernment will cause the illusions of the enemy to fade away like smoke in a strong wind.

Pray and ask the Lord for His Truth and His ‘Gift’ of Discernment.  And as you pray and ask for that, ask Him also to give you the Spirit of Love and of Wisdom.

May God’s Grace Abundantly Reign In Your Life!

-Apostle Ric & Prophetess Kathy Steele

This Book Should Be In Your Library!

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An Apostolic and Prophetic View of God’s Process for Personal Growth and Ministry

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

According to the Scripture, Romans 8:28 says- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  The questions is, how do all these things work out to our benefit? God is a “God that declares “The End” from “The Beginning”.  However, we must understand that He is also a God of process. There is a process that takes from the beginning unto the end.

By Dr. Ric Steele

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