The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).
Today’s Devotional: God ever gives gifts or imparts spiritual abilities for no reason. Why is the gift of discernment, and the discerning of spirits in particular, so important? There is a sixfold purpose for this gift in the life of the Church/Body of Christ:
1. Freedom from demons. demons must be discerned and exposed before they can be dealt with. The New Testament contains numerous accounts of demon-possessed people who were freed by Jesus or Apostles. This ministry is still essential today.
2. Reveal the servants of satan. Once, when Apostle Paul was sharing the Word of God with a Roman proconsul, he was opposed by a magician named Elymas (see Acts 13:8-12).
3. Expose and defeat the work and utterance of demons. This is clearly illustrated in (Acts 16:16-18) when Apostle Paul cast out the spirit of divination/soothsaying out of the slave girl.
4. Expose error. Discerning of spirits reveals not only the workers of satan, demons, and ancient spirits but the errors of their teachings as well.
5. Acknowledge and confess Christ. As the spirit of prophecy is poured out, people will fall on their faces and declare that Jesus is Lord (see 1 Cor. 14:24-25).
6. Know the moving of the Holy Spirit so as to cooperate with Him. Unless we recognize (discern) where and how the Holy Spirit is moving, we may find ourselves unintentionally working at cross-purposes to Him. When we understand these six purposes, we can begin to see the incredible importance of discernment in the Church today.
1. God never gives gifts or imparts spiritual abilities for no reason. What does this mean to you? Has your life experience borne this out?
2. Explain why the gift of discernment and the discerning of spirits are so important. Has this been true in your life? How do these gifts help us in life decisions?
3. Look at the six purposes for the gift of discernment and the gift of discerning of spirits in the life of the Church. Think through the experiences you have had with each one. Which purpose has been most demonstrated in your life so far?
4. Of these six purposes, which seems to be the most important to you at this time? Why?
5. How do these purposes help express the desires of God for the Church to be wise? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! Is the city or town you live in “religious”? Do you think because your city is religious, it has affected your spiritual discernment in God? How do you need to pray for your city so that it would receive the Spirit of the Lord and the freedom that accompanies Him?
How do these purposes demonstrate the effectual work of the Holy Spirit to train us?
The operation of the Holy Spirit is especially needed in “religious” cities.
God have mercy on us and free us from the slumbering effects of religious spirits.