Discerning of Spirits and Discerning of Self Part 2 by Pastor Don
Pastor Don continued his teaching, see first part here.
Remember, Pastor Don has been talking about how we are all part of the Body of Christ and the gifts of the Spirit are meant to edify the Body of Christ – and – since we are part of that Body, we also need to use discernment on ourselves so we can better ourselves and contribute in more effective ways to the Body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We are new creations in Christ, and to know what that entails we have to have the implanted Word in us. How can we act as new creations in Christ if we do not have His Word in us to show us what that is? (Heather’s note, here is a list of Who Am I In Christ that will help.)
We spent some time looking at James 1:23-24 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
If we observe our natural face and walk away, we forget what we are supposed to see that was ingrafted. In the natural we all let other people define us. But, as a Child of God, we need to let God define who we are. God knows all the things we are afraid to reveal to others. We can walk away from the mirror and don’t have to be afraid.
Pastor Don talked about a person who goes to a party that is shy, and has believed they make a good wallflower. He said that, if they are afraid of strangers, they will probably hide and try to not be noticed. The devil likes to keep you hiding, and feeling out of control, and fearful. If you believe you are a new creation in Christ Jesus, you will begin to believe you do not need to hide. You can go to the middle of the room and interact with people, and begin to realize you do not have to fear and hide. You can step away from the natural man image and begin to believe the truth of the supernatural image provided by God, ultimately becoming the life of the party.
People (like family, friends, teachers) have helped to form you, and have taught you that you are what you have become, but they did not raise you in the truth of the Word of God, and now you are a new creation in Christ, you have to begin to replace the lies with the truth of God.
Pastor Don told us his parents were very firm on instructing him and his brother on not being prideful. They drummed that into them so much it held him back. He stayed humble to such a point it interfered with what God had planned for him. Pastor Don said, for a long time he did not know how to promote himself. He had to work beyond that in order to do what God wanted him to do.
We need to perceive ourselves. We need to begin to ask ourselves questions like, “Why did I respond in that situation with unbelief? A born again person does not ask the Holy Spirit to help them with every decision in life, but if they did, their choices might be radically different. We need to ask ourselves am I perceiving who I WAS or WHO GOD HAS SAID THAT I AM?
Am I living God’s possibility or doing what I am doing because that is the way I was brought up?
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
It is a perfect law of liberty, and we are free. So often we think the law binds us, but God provided the law to preserve our liberty. We need to be doing the work, not just hearing and forgetting. We don’t have to listen to anyone else’s image of us, but just what God has for us. When we try to act on our own we mess up. All it takes is to remember how far God has brought us. We are not saved by works, but as we are born again, we know we want to do the work that God has for us, for we know that His plans for us are in our best interest.
James 1:26-27 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
We do not want to forget who we are in Christ. The work we are to do is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, but still to reach out and visit and help others.
Pastor Don told us we need to remember who we are in Christ and act on that so that we can operate all the gifts God has for you.
Someone asked Pastor Don how can you determine by self discernment if what is affecting you is of God or is from satan. He pointed out that is why you have to discern yourself, and why you have to know the Word of God. If you can’t locate what you are hearing in the Word of God, then you know it is not from God because the Spirit and the Word must agree. We do not want to act on a word that makes us only feel good, because we do not only get supernatural words from God, but satan tries to throw in his lies. And as we discern we need to choose our behavior based on what the Word of God says, not on our emotions.
That being said, there are times when we do feel emotions. For a time period the Body of Christ was taught it was evil to discern emotions, but we also want to locate ourself emotionally. We want to know if certain feelings are the residue of things that were placed in us by others. For example, we want to ask ourselves, if we fear others, why do we have a fear of people and end up in a corner? And then we can find out that maybe we were brought up on years of rejection and just fell for the belief that there was need to fear. And satan wants you to feel that, for if you fear other people you are useless to the Kingdom of God. If you are hungry to serve God, and you fear people, it is not helpful to God. It is important to know who you are in Christ, even if you are bad at doing what it says. Because the more we speak who we are in Christ, the more we will come in line with that.
We also want to check ourselves to know where we are. Are we getting people upset all the time? Are we not acting in accord with the Word of God? How can we flow in the gifts of the Spirit if we don’t discern ourselves?
We need to discern what is moving us, what is making us uptight. Demons can’t read our mind, but they can read our actions and if we are out of control it shows them where they can affect our lives. If you are continuously depressed the demons will come and help you along. If you look at someone with lust in your eyes, you’ll get some help.
Pastor Don gave us an example of discerning the spirits.
Acts 5:1-5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
And then his wife also lied to the Holy Spirit, Acts 5:9-10 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
Ananias and Sapphira messed up greatly. They didn’t discern who they were and pretended to be something they were not. They promised to give something to God, but God had not required that they give it. When they sold their property, they changed their minds about giving it all to God so they kept some for themselves. God did not have a problem with them not turning everything over to Him, but what they did that was wrong was they pretended that was what they were doing. They lied to themselves, to the Holy Spirit and to the Body of Christ. Had they told the truth, said they changed their minds about pledging all to God, that would have been ok.
Elliott Spitzer was not the person who he claimed to be. He persecuted severely people who broke the law, persecuted those in the stock market. But then he spent over $80,000 on hookers, and broke the law.
Pastor Don told us we have to learn to discern who we are and then ask God for wisdom, knowledge, spiritual gifts to overcome those things that are not pleasing to God. Often we don’t ask because we want to pretend we are fine. If we are in error, God wants us to “fess” up. God has a heart for salvations, he has a heart for the sick, for drug abusers, little neglected kids, and any others who have need of Him.
When we get out of sight of the mirror we forget who God says we are. When that happens we have to keep going on with the program and keep reminding ourselves of the truth. If we are the same person we were last year, we have messed up. God is a God of inflation. everything gets bigger and better.
All we have to do is ask, discern where we are and make changes.
Acts 16:16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
As they were going to prayer a slave girl who did fortune telling met them.
Acts 16:17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”
Paul and Silas did not realize what was happening was wrong yet. She was speaking the truth, and they did not perceive it was a spirit of divination.
Acts 16:18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
This went on for many days. Her message did not change, but Paul’s discernment of her changed. She was not speaking lies, but a lying spirit doesn’t speak a bold-faced lie. It tells the truth until the right moment to slip in a lie and mess up the saints. A lying spirit will tell the truth over a period of time and people will begin to believe the lying spirit, and then when a lie is told, people will be tricked into believing it.
Church people can get seduced by the truths told by demons, but at the end of the truth is a lie. And it can be over little things too. Pastor Don gave an example. Your momma tells you not to play in the rain because you will catch a cold. She told the truth, partial truth, but left out that you will not ALWAYS catch a cold in the rain, but if your immune system is weak then you may get a cold. This is the same with lying spirits. They will tell you THE TRUTH, but not all the information. If you don’t catch a cold then you might think your momma’s a liar, and that is what satan wants you to think.
The devil will tell you a truth, but he will not tell you the truth to set you free. He went back to the example of a person who is told to watch out for strangers. They come to a party and see a lot of strangers, so they hide in a corner. The devil puts it in their mind that the strangers might not like you, so you stay in the corner feeling bad because of “who you think you are.” I am shy you tell yourself, but that is not true you are a Child of God.
Don’t forget 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We need to throw off the old man and step into the new man. If we let God in, we can remake who we are and make some changes in our lives. Without a relationship with God, we can’t discern ourselves and the Spirit.
The evil spirit can prophesy about you and you will believe the lie. None of us will grow up until we face the lies and step into who we are in Christ. Then we can get freed of the lies. Those who convinced us of the truth of those lies have created us in the image of those lies, and we need to break out of the lies and go to a mountain top experience of who we are in Christ.
Pastor Don told us that those who can get this can be freed from many things that have bound them in the past. I pray this is as freeing for you as it is for me. It is so easy to get sucked into lies that hold us back, and I don’t want to do anything that keeps me from doing what God wants me to do. Hope your week is blessed.
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