Extensive travels have resulted in two months of benign neglect of this blog, but I am back in the game and will continue the recent story line.
Marion’s second great challenge at church was her spiritual discernment. She reports defilement in the land, the building and in some of the people who grace the Sunday services. The discernment she experiences makes being in the worship service quite challenging.
This will be a complicated topic to unpack. First is the issue of discernment – it is not one thing, it is many.
A few people discern visually. They can see a demon or other entity in a place or a person. A few others discern through smell. A larger group discern through their hands. They can feel the presence of uncleanness when they hold their hands six inches away from another person’s body, or an object. Most people discern through pain in their body. Pain in one place means this kind of demon and pain in another place, another kind. Some discern through hearing. They can hear pitches of sound that are off kilter, or actually hear conversations with demons. One last kind of discernment which is somewhat common is simply knowing. Their spirit knows and tells the soul what is happening.
A second issue is whether the discernment is the result exclusively of receiving a gift from God, or is partially or largely the result of woundedness. Let’s take the bromide “It takes one to know one.” A former druggie can spot another. Some of that is knowing the physical clues. Some of it may be discernment.
Typically, even when someone is well healed, there is a sensitivity in their spirit to the flavor of junk that hurt them. With my background of having been molested, I have a keen sensitivity to molestation. I can be in a worship service or at a restaurant or at the immigration counter in some airport, minding my own business, and I will have an uninvited ping letting me know that the person in front of me has been molested and is not free from their pain.
The third major issue is how debilitating the discernment is. Many people have discernment of witchcraft in their colon. Their IBS is not at all a biological problem. It is discernment. And discernment of that kind does have a way of making an offer you can’t refuse. On the other hand, when you are just knowing something – like discerning molestation – it is an immediate point of sadness, but does not impede the work in progress.
The fourth issue is how well a person can turn off their discernment, or at least dial it down. Some can, and some cannot.
So let’s play with a number of configurations here. These are all real people who I know and have worked with. We will walk through all four points in each case.
-Cynthia has visual discernment. She can clearly see all manner of critters, all over. She has a background which includes some work on the other side, but it seems as though her discernment is a gift from God. It is not debilitating. She can switch it completely off, and it is off as a default. She only sees in the spirit realm when she is in a team ministry situation and the team leader asks her to see.
This is an exceptionally clean, easy to use, simple gift of discernment. Few have such an easy situation.
-I walked with Susanne briefly about 20 years ago. She also had visual discernment that was quite acute, much more than Cynthia’s. She saw in living color the mass of demonic activity in daily life. She came from a wounded family, but I am not aware of any activity on the other side. Her gift was a massive distraction from daily work because she absolutely could not turn it off.
Most people have no idea how many demons are around all the time. Most do not affect you but they are there. Think of walking through the grocery store. You are breathing in used air all the time. Every other worker and customer there has ingested that air, contaminated it and sent it back out for you to inhale. You routinely inhale a vast amount of germs, but your body just throws them off.
In the same way, we live and work surrounded by unclean creatures that are busy doing their thing and are not impinging on our quality of life. Hence we delude ourselves that they are not there. But Susanne saw them all. Walking from one office to another at work, she walked by, or through, or around two dozen demons.
They didn’t mess with her. She was not permitted to boot them. But the visual experience was horrid. Imagine seeing all the contents of every breath of air you inhale. No matter how healthy you are, and remain, seeing what came out of someone else’s lungs into yours would be severely distressing. In the same way, seeing the demonic realm all the time made for a pretty gross life.
-Greg has discernment in his body – all over. The most basic form of discernment that more people have than any other is a dull pain in the atlas, as though you need to see a chiropractor. It can become acute enough to cause significant headaches throughout his whole head. He has this a lot.
He has mapped his body rather extensively and can tell you that this pain is Jezebel, that pain is bitterness and the other one is Ma’at. His discernment is only from God and from extensive training, since he has never been on the other side. It is a nuisance in daily life when he is out of the sanctuary of his home. He can discern land as well as people, so there is a pretty significant range of aches and pains that occur as he wanders around a generic store.
It becomes debilitating when he works on a deliverance team. When a demon is angry at being called out, but has not left yet, he feels the pain in his body acutely. However, in general, he is able to dial back the intensity significantly. During deliverance, there is acute pain. In daily life, there is just the low grade discomfort that he has learned to block for the most part.
-Craig has discernment in his hands but it only works from the chin down, for some reason. He can hold his hand a few inches away from someone’s body, and in the course of a couple of minutes, map the hot spots in their body. His discernment is quite accurate, but not very specific. A “hot spot” translates into “something is there” but he is unable to differentiate one critter from another with his hands.
His discernment comes from God and was developed through intentional work with his spirit. It is completely non-debilitating. He can’t turn it off at all, but he can keep his hands in his pocket and feel nothing, so it works quite unobtrusively.
-Sylvia has discernment in her nose. She is very sensitive to all natural fragrances, but there is a range of odors on land that she knows is demonic. She has not been mentored in this and has no clue what she is smelling, but she knows that there is human stinkiness and then there is demonic.
This is a gift from God. It can be totally debilitating – especially when the defiled place is a restaurant. She simply would gag if she tried to eat in the presence of a stench that intense. So she and her husband have developed a code. When they walk into a restaurant, she has about two seconds to determine whether the table they are offered is going to work for her. If not, she signals her husband, and he makes some excuses to the hostess, and they exit the restaurant. She has not been able to turn it off or down at all.
Her husband is frustrated by it, but is loyal. It obviously requires building a file of places that are clean enough that they can go as a family, but it really cripples planning ahead, because she doesn’t know about a plane, or hotel room or any store until she goes there.
-Jerry and Mary have a joint deliverance ministry. They both operate in the realm of “just knowing.” They don’t know how they know, but insights just pop up in their minds. Is this strictly what we would call a word of knowledge, or is it some form of discernment? No one knows. They just walk in it.
Neither one has a comprehensive discernment, but between the two of them, they nail a lot of stuff – demons and wounds and beliefs. They have had no significant woundedness or work on the dark side, so assume this is from God. It is a low grade nuisance when they are out in public and not wanting to engage with the people around them, but it is not debilitating. And they can dial it back to a very low level most of the time.
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There are, of course, an abundance of other configurations. These were just samples of what can be. And I have no idea what Marion’s kind of discernment is.
I do know that I am traveling again tomorrow, so will park this discussion here and hope to deal with the “So What” in another blog.
Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk
From home, after a gentle Saturday