Turn ye not aside

And Samuel said unto the people,
Fear not: ye have done all this
wickedness: yet turn not aside
from following the LORD, but serve
the LORD with all your heart;


And turn ye not aside: for then
should ye go after vain things,
which cannot profit nor deliver;
for they are vain.


For the LORD will not forsake his
people for his great name’s sake:
because it hath pleased the LORD
to make you his people.

1 Samuel 12:20-22

Discernment of spirits

One of the harder things to deal with concerning this gift is not always what you may imagine. I’m not sure what most people think of when they think of this gift, either when reading about it in the Bible or if anyone ever speaks about it in any sort of bible study (not sure if anyone ever discusses it even then).

Growing up, most of my questions about it were downplayed and ignored. It would be explained to me that it was discernment (distinguishing) between which spirits were from God or from the devil. That’s it. Done. Move on. No one ever seemed to know much more than that, nor were they that interested. What I found was that I was asking people questions they had never been asked in areas they didn’t take much interest in or understand to begin with.

When I was younger I remember reading about the gifts and always secretly desiring that gift above all the others in my heart, even though I didn’t fully understand it. I see today that the desire I secretly had for a spiritual gift from the Father was a desire put in place by the Lord Himself.
I can’t say that this has been a easy journey for me thus far and I do not believe that this gift is a burden or a curse (though at times it did feel that way, but in truth it’s not). What I do see now is that my faith was so lacking that I made it hard on myself (For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:30 KJV).

Back to what I was beginning to say, one the of the  hardest things to deal with when it comes to this gift is when other “Christians” to not believe you. I’ve run across numerous people that if at any point you mention an experience you’ve dealt with concerning an evil entity, they immediately do not know how to respond. Some act awkward and quickly look to change the subject while others, at times, come in and treat you as if you are in need of deliverance and must have done something wrong or have unforgiven sin in your life to be dealing with such a thing.

The truth of the matter is this: God gives His gifts to those He chooses to give gifts to and it is for His purpose. Some might be gifts of faith, some wisdom, some knowledge, some miracles, some healing, some discernment of spirits, some speaking in tongues, some prophecy, etc  (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Overall, the Lord will work in you what His desire is for you and for the benefit of the Body of Christ; either to grow it or to build it up.

Now, the gifts of the Spirit are all from God. The gifts of the Spirit also come without repentance.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. – Romans 11:29 KJV

That means that you do not have to be a born-again Christian in order to receive a gift of the Spirit from the Lord. Afterall, He formed each of us in the womb, created for His purpose and His Will. Whether we choose to turn to Him with all our heart, repent, be baptized, and become saved from eternal damnation is up to us.

I do believe that not every person will work solely through one gift, but that each gift will come as the Lord sees fit. There have been times that I have received knowledge about someone else that I could not have known or perceived if it were not for the Holy Spirit telling me (gift of knowledge). Other times I have experienced other gifts as well, like the gift of wisdom, and I do not claim myself to be a wise person normally. All in all it is one Spirit working, which is the Spirit of God. Usually these things occur in times that the Lord was working for the benefit of someone else and I just happened to be the vessel. It doesn’t make me some super human with super powers, it makes me a servant striving to be obedient to the Lord. It doesn’t make me perfect or perfect in Christ, as I still have many faults and struggles, but it does encourage me to keep seeking a closer relationship in Christ that I may help others when and how He sees fit.

Discernment of spirits works the same way. It is for the Lord’s purpose, whether to teach you about something or someone else, or to try and help them come closer to knowing the Lord. Sometimes it could be to find out what could be causing someone much distress and there are times that you might witness a demon that is living inside of another person. I’m sure there are other instances that I am forgetting to mention here, but either way, you will not notice these things without reason of some kind, even if it’s not always clear at the time. I have had instances where it has taken months or even years for me to realize why I experienced something the way that I did. And you know what? At the time I didn’t understand it but later on it helped me all the more to grow in faith and depend on the Lord.

I used to wonder why I could feel the presence of so much around me so consistently in some areas to the point that the feeling of spiritual filth and evil entities would almost drive me nuts, cause me to feel sick, or become so overwhelmingly dizzy that I thought I might fall over. I realize now that the spiritual battles that were taking place around those areas (or people) were battles the enemy was winning at. Otherwise they would not be able to stand being there and would have no license to be there. When coming across things such as this, whether in the home, workplace, or otherwise, we must take these things to the Lord in prayer and seek His guidance on what to do. It will sometimes take time in this and not every battle is won in an instant, but through the same love and longsuffering the Lord has for all of us, we must be patient and not lose hope.

I hope to write more on this soon and to share more of what I have learned so far in this journey with the Lord. For those who may be going through similar things and are at a loss on how to deal with them at times, you’re not alone. Keep up the faith and depend on Jesus Christ, the only Savior and King.
Seek Him for everything, no matter how small it may seem.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1  John 4:1-6

False Guilt from the Devil

Often times as time goes on I tend to forget a lot of the things of the past. I’m sure most people could say this. Typically I have a very good memory for things done or said in general and can recall or recount conversations on who said what, in what order, and so on.

This does not seem to always be the case, however. I find that in painful situations I tend to block out a lot of what was said or done most likely as a coping mechanism of not knowing how to deal with the pain.
When someone mentions being offended or hurt in by others I am instantly worried that I am included in that group of offenders. Then the devil comes in to try and accuse me, causing mass amounts of guilt and anxiety.
I have started to learn to try and stop, reflect, remember, and pray about these situations. If I cannot remember anything I might have said or done that cause someone else grief then I probably haven’t.
When the Lord corrects you on something you do, it is not through feelings of fear and anxiety. If I have not been corrected by the Lord then I probably don’t need correction in that area I am fretting over.

In the past I used to get caught up in that trick quite often. I would have past friendships that had fallen apart through hurt and disdain only to later forget most of what was said and felt I had done something terribly wrong. I would even sometimes reach out to some of these people to apologize and come to find out they were just as heartless to me when I sought forgiveness as they were when we parted ways. That is not to say I have never done or said anything wrong or that I have never accidentally or intentionally hurt anyone, though I try never to do that.

Either way, the devil will try to trick you by giving you false guilt and shame for things you had nothing to do with or things you had not even done. If you ever doubt in these situations ask the Lord for help and He will help you. He is our help in a time of trouble.

Psalms 91:1-16 KJV
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 73

Truly God is good to Israel, even
to such as are of a clean heart.
But as for me, my feet were almost
gone; my steps had well nigh
slipped.
For I was envious at the foolish,
when I saw the prosperity of the
wicked.
For there are no bands in their
death: but their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other
men; neither are they plagued like
other men.
Therefore pride compasseth them
about as a chain; violence
covereth them as a garment.
Their eyes stand out with fatness:
they have more than heart could
wish.
They are corrupt, and speak
wickedly concerning oppression:
they speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the
heavens, and their tongue walketh
through the earth.
Therefore his people return
hither: and waters of a full cup
are wrung out to them.
And they say, How doth God know?
and is there knowledge in the most
High?
Behold, these are the ungodly, who
prosper in the world; they
increase in riches.
Verily I have cleansed my heart in
vain, and washed my hands in
innocency.
For all the day long have I been
plagued, and chastened every
morning.
If I say, I will speak thus;
behold, I should offend against
the generation of thy children.
When I thought to know this, it
was too painful for me;
Until I went into the sanctuary of
God; then understood I their end.
Surely thou didst set them in
slippery places: thou castedst
them down into destruction.
How are they brought into
desolation, as in a moment! they
are utterly consumed with terrors.
As a dream when one awaketh; so, O
Lord, when thou awakest, thou
shalt despise their image.
Thus my heart was grieved, and I
was pricked in my reins.
So foolish was I, and ignorant: I
was as a beast before thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with
thee: thou hast holden me by my
right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy
counsel, and afterward receive me
to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that
I desire beside thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but
God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion for ever.
For, lo, they that are far from
thee shall perish: thou hast
destroyed all them that go a
whoring from thee.
But it is good for me to draw near
to God: I have put my trust in the
Lord GOD, that I may declare all
thy works.

Blessed is the name of the Lord

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God
my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low
estate of his handmaiden: for,
behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to
me great things; and holy is his
name.
And his mercy is on them that fear
him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his
arm; he hath scattered the proud
in the imagination of their
hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from
their seats, and exalted them of
low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with
good things; and the rich he hath
sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to
Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Luke 1:47-55

Immediately

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matthew 14:25-31

Therefore I say unto you, Take no
thought for your life, what ye
shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye
shall put on. Is not the life more
than meat, and the body than
raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for
they sow not, neither do they
reap, nor gather into barns; yet
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can
add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for
raiment? Consider the lilies of
the field, how they grow; they
toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even
Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the
grass of the field, which to day
is, and to morrow is cast into the
oven, shall he not much more
clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying,
What shall we eat? or, What shall
we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we
be clothed?
(For after all these things do the
Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly
Father knoweth that ye have need
of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of
God, and his righteousness; and
all these things shall be added
unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the
morrow: for the morrow shall take
thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the
evil thereof.

Matthew 6:25-34

The Lord’s Jewels 

Then they that feared the LORD
spake often one to another: and
the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance was
written before him for them that
feared the LORD, and that thought
upon his name.
And they shall be mine, saith the
LORD of hosts, in that day when I
make up my jewels; and I will
spare them, as a man spareth his
own son that serveth him.
Then shall ye return, and discern
between the righteous and the
wicked, between him that serveth
God and him that serveth him not.

For, behold, the day cometh, that
shall burn as an oven; and all the
proud, yea, and all that do
wickedly, shall be stubble: and
the day that cometh shall burn
them up, saith the LORD of hosts,
that it shall leave them neither
root nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name
shall the Sun of righteousness
arise with healing in his wings;
and ye shall go forth, and grow up
as calves of the stall.
And ye shall tread down the
wicked; for they shall be ashes
under the soles of your feet in
the day that I shall do this,
saith the LORD of hosts.
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant,
which I commanded unto him in Horeb for
all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers
to the children, and the heart of the
children to their fathers, lest I come and
smite the earth with a curse.

Malachi 3:16-18, 4

Thou, which hast shewed me great and
sore troubles, shalt quicken me again,
and shalt bring me up again from the
depths of the earth.
Thou shalt increase my greatness,
and comfort me on every side.
I will also praise thee with the
psaltery, even thy truth, O my
God: unto thee will I sing with
the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when
I sing unto thee; and my soul,
which thou hast redeemed.
My tongue also shall talk of thy
righteousness all the day long:
for they are confounded, for they
are brought unto shame, that seek
my hurt.

Psalm 71:20-24

Thus saith the LORD concerning the
prophets that make my people err, that
bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and
he that putteth not into their mouths,
they even prepare war against him.
Therefore night shall be unto you, that
ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be
dark unto you, that ye shall not divine;
and the sun shall go down over the
prophets, and the day shall be dark over
them.
Then shall the seers be ashamed, and
the diviners confounded: yea, they shall
all cover their lips; for there is no
answer of God.
But truly I am full of power by the spirit
of the LORD, and of judgment, and of
might, to declare unto Jacob his
transgression, and to Israel his sin.
Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the
house of Jacob, and princes of the
house of Israel, that abhor judgment,
and pervert all equity.

They build up Zion with blood, and
Jerusalem with iniquity.

The heads thereof judge for reward, and
the priests thereof teach for hire, and
the prophets thereof divine for money:
yet will they lean upon the LORD, and
say, Is not the LORD among us? none
evil can come upon us.

Therefore shall Zion for your sake be
plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall
become heaps, and the mountain of the
house as the high places of the forest.

Micah 3:5-12