I was sitting in a bible study today and we started to talk about the gift of discernment. I have wrote about the need for biblical discernment before but it is something that came afresh in the midst of talking about it today.
In the article, 5 realities about the gift of discernment (Click here!) I made the statement,
If someone tries to discern without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they will not have Holy Spirit discernment. They are left with just being judgmental on a human level. Being filled with the Spirit and conducting yourself in the anointing can not be over stated.
I am convinced that most believers do not understand discernment because they want to do it apart of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you want to grow in any spiritual gift without being filled with the Holy Spirit, this is the first mistake. I have said it 100 times on the blog, you are nothing and have nothing without the Holy Spirit.
Even if you are filled with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues, there is a lot of misunderstanding what the operation of discernment really is. It is not “having a hunch” or a woman’s intuition.
Discernment requires relationship
In the study, I opened up my thought talking about the discernment by bringing it to the core of the issue. I do not remember the exact words but this is pretty close to it.
Discernment flows out of relationship. You can not have spiritual gifts without first having intimacy with the Lord. You can not give what you do not have.
According to 1 Corinthians 2, discernment is knowing the mind of Christ. When you are operating in the gift, you have the spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) concerning whatever the issue is. You are not just saying “I don’t agree with this.” Discernment is when the Lord says he does not agree. Discernment is prophetic and it is not, it is not biblical discernment.
How do you know the mind of Christ? You develop intimacy with the Lord from making a decision every day to spend time in the presence of God. Jesus talked about as investing in oil (Matthew 25:1-13). Paul spoke of quenching the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19) John (not sure if the Apostle) was told by the Lord that He would remove lampstands (Revelation 2:5) Every page of the New Testament is a call to intimacy with the Lord.
As you grow in the knowledge of the Lord, you will know the mind of Christ. You will not be led astray by the enemy because you know how He speaks to you and understanding the patterns of the Holy Spirit in your spiritual walk.
An example of this is David. In Psalms 29, the words “voice of the Lord” was used six times in 11 verses. He knew hearing the Lord personally and directly was critical to knowing in the knowledge of the Lord. If that was that important in the days of the Old Testament; it is even more critical today as the catching up draws very close.
Impartation comes from encounter
In Acts 3, the church was on fire. They had seen thousands saved just before this. They were walking in the fires of revival and everywhere they turned, miracles were breaking out. No ministry on earth today walks in the level of anointing that Peter and John were at this time. (We will see a restoration of apostolic power before the catching up, though!)
There was a man begs outside the temple for any loose change. We see the same thing today a long the corners of intersections and in shopping areas in Kansas City and across the country. This has not changed all that much!
Peter and John looked at them and told some bad news and then some great news.
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
The truth is we can not give what do not have. You can’t understand the mind of Christ unless you have longed for the heart of Jesus. The Lord is not moved by your great theological statements. He is moved by people who want His heart. When you pursue the heart of Jesus, He will reveal His mind to you.
Acts 12 tells us another powerful, and related, truth. Peter was in jail for preaching the gospel and seeing miracles break out. The disciplines are praying for a miraculous release because they are going to murder Peter if he is not.
“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” (Acts 12:15)
There is something powerful. It was the angels that had released him. He had been in the presence of the angels just an hour before Rhoda had opened the door. People will see the presence of who have been around.
If you have been in the presence of the Lord, the spirit of the Lord will be on you and people will see the impartation you have received in the throne room. If all you have is lifeless religion and a bunch of bible verses to justify yourself, people will see that as well.
Spirit of discernment vs distinguishing of Spirits
There is that the discernment that every believers who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit has. There is a different spiritual gift known as distinguishing of Spirits. This is a gift that many do have not everyone. Not every gift is for everyone. I have a strong gift of prophecy but I am called to the gift of mercy. (Romans 12:6-8)
The spiritual gift of distinguishing of spirits is directly related to the operation of the gift of prophecy or tongues with interpretations. It was important to the local believers in the cities of Asia Minor to know “that is the Holy Spirit” or “That is a false prophecy.”
The modern Pentecostal church needs people walking in this gift more than ever. There is little to no real judging prophecy by people who are anointing to do so. However, this is different that the discernment talked about in 1 Corinthians 2 and other places.
If you are interested in how I judge a prophetic word to see if it is from the Lord or not, click here.
At the end of the day, we do not have discernment in the faithful or people judging prophetic words by the Spirit because we do not have true intimacy with the Lord. I fear that most of our churches will be said of in the Kingdom that they lost their oil.
Don’t be a church that the Lord has to remove their lampstand.