How can I discern the Spirits?

How can the Spirit of God work in our lives?

In Philippians 2:12-13 it says: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” This is a powerful verse that reminds us that it is the Spirit of God who does the work in our lives. Many churches today lack this work of the Spirit of God in them. This is one of the reasons why the church no longer has a powerful testimony anymore. It is also the reason why the anointing of the Spirit is not evident in the church – the signs, the wonders, the healings are long gone. In fact, the power that the church has been given to operate in, is almost non-existent. As a result, we are seeing a lot of counterfeit doctrine in the church.

Wrong Spirits as Demonic Entities

When we worship the wrong type of spirit, we are openly inviting demonic activity into our lives. Much of what we see today in the church, which has been passed off as worship of God, is pleasing to demons. Also, many things that have been passed off as the work of the Holy Spirit, are the work of unclean spirits. The church has become so weak that many can no longer discern which spirit comes from God and which does not. Churchgoers rolling around on the ground, repeating the same thing over and over again, or people laughing or crying out in pain is not evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit. This is a counterfeit spirit and is satanic. As believers, we once more need to approach God with fear and trembling (Isaiah 66:2). Unfortunately, many churches have omitted to teach this these days. This is one of the reasons why there are so many deceptive teachers today.  

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How can we grow in discerning the Spirits?

Being obedient to God, and following Him with fear and trembling, is essential in restoring our relationship with Him. There is an inherent relationship between ‘fear and trembling’ and ‘obedience’. When we speak about obedience, we are also speaking about grace, as grace brings forth obedience. The same applies to fear and trembling. That should be a wake-up call for us believers. When we walk in obedience, we grow in our gift of discerning the spirits. This should make us realize that we need to be submissive to the instructions or commandments of God. We should also understand that fear and trembling causes us to submit to the instructions of God – which are always related to blessing.

In Hebrews 12: 28-29 it says: “Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have Grace by which we may serve God”. Here again, grace is essential for us, as inheritors of the Kingdom of God, to serve God. It is through God’s grace that we can be led by His Spirit and therefore be able to discern the spirits. Another useful scripture is found in Isaiah 8:13: “The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” God being our dread is not popular in a lot of churches today. However, we need to realize that in Judgment Day and without Messiah’s forgiveness, we will dread. Here, Isaiah is simply communicating to us the character of God… and that is what we have to teach and preach.


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