1 Corinthians 12 7 -11 NKJV
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Aside from the gift of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge, the gift of discernment of spirits is also part of the revelation gifts. These three are gifts that bring about revelation concerning a matter.
To discern is to recognize and to distinguish between. This is direct perception and it may come in different ways. A good example in scripture of this gift in operation is when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. When Jesus came up out of the water, John saw the Holy Spirit descend on him like a dove, the other people who were there with him did not see it. Also take note that John was able to perceive that this was the Holy Spirit.
This shows us that the gift of discerning of spirits is not just about discerning evil spirits but discerning good and bad spirits. Some believers have this gift but they don’t know it and you will hear them say from time to time “My blood just refused that person, there is something wrong him, I cant put a finger on it but my blood just refused” (Direct translation from Swahili) They can perceive that the spirit operating in this individual is an evil spirit but they don’t know how to express it.
Remember as with all gifts, they are given by the Holy Spirit as he wills and they are for the edification of the body. This gift is important to the body of Christ because it makes us aware of the workings of the Holy Spirit and also it reveals the character and motives of the human heart. Through this gift we are also able to identify if evil spirits are the cause of sicknesses and strife.
Have you ever discerned that someone’s motives or intentions are not Godly? How did you deal with the situation? What other portions of scripture demonstrate the working of the gift of discernment of spirits? Do you desire to have this gift? Ask God to give it you…. he says ask and it will be given to you.