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Nov 17, 2011

The Thing With Discerners

I can usually spot them. It's my job as I contribute my portion of the work to the Body of Christ. They are sometimes outcasts. Sometimes they are quiet and introverted. Other times they are more outspoken and abrasive. Either way, they are misunderstood. Usually, if they don't want to be removed from their local church group, they conform, grudgingly and brood quietly. Many aren't aware of why.

Often they get accused of being unteachable or unsubmissive to authority and being headstrong. The problem is, many times even they don't recognize why or what they have. Usually these people's hearts get crushed early on in the institutional church system.

I am speaking, of course, of those with the spiritual gift of discernment. This specific gift doesn't get a lot of limelight and exploitation like the more powerful gifts. It is usually a threat to most pastors and it is more difficult to manipulate and control.

This is one of the biggest population of people in churches that get their share of spiritual and religious abuse. Either they conform to the all-knowing constraints of their pastors, or they get swept under the carpet, or booted out. Their warnings about error taking hold in the church often go ignored and usually such people aren't given a position of leadership or to even speak in the average church setting.

I like to call the gift of discernment the twin gift of prophecy. People who are prophets or who work closely with prophets possess this gift as well. It complements and tempers the prophetic gift nicely.

The discerner is the watchman in the late hours of the night. They constantly scan the horizon for possible danger. They watch closely and carefully with a highly critical mind, for anything that might damage or lead the church away from the truth of the things of God.

If I were to liken the discerner to a part of the body of Christ it would be the immune system. They are the body's defense system against viral lies that would infiltrate His people.

Unfortunately, due to religious pride, financial corruption and desire for power and control, religious abuse, or even the more passive aggressive church communities have rejected this crucial part of the body, rendering it vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.

Usually discerners don't get along well with the pastor who doesn't understand the gift and insists on running the show. They also don't get along well with the "be nice and don't judge" mentality of the average church attender. Often, discerners get accused of being judgmental, overly critical, or even arrogant.

I would offer comfort here though, there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the discerner. It is most often overlooked and poorly understood. It is one of my favorites, the book of 1 John. I take deep comfort in this book and other passages in the Bible which reaffirm this gift in me.

To the pastor or the observant church member, I say this. Look for the ones who usually are considered and labeled rebels. They don't fit in, they don't play nice with the status quo. They sometimes have a chip on their shoulder, they usually complain about the way things are and can tend to be overly critical. Look for the loner who is in the group, but never at complete harmony with it. Also look for the one who drives you crazy with their being "unteachable" and "unsubmissive." Chances are, they have the gift of discernment, even if it is undeveloped and not brought under the control of the Holy Spirit and His Love.

To the Discerner: If this blog describes you, make sure you are submerged in love for people. Use your gift based on love. My gift of discernment became the most effective when I learned that God is love, and I asked God for the gift of seeing the world, especially the Church through His eyes.

As with all spiritual gifts, it needs to spring out of God's flame of love for others deep inside of you. Fall deeply in love with people before operating in this gift. When you love people, you will never go wrong. And things can go awry when love is withheld and selfish motives are the root.

by David Backus

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  1. Gravatar

    I had tears in my eyes after reading this. I am a discerner---while I'm usually not the outcast, most of the time I don't fit in, nor connect well with my pastors. I don't go to them with warnings (haven't really received any), but I have shared experiences with different (and popular) heresies/movement invading the church and their outcome. After that I'm usually avoided or publicly rebuked in a power posturing way where I can't prove it--but it was for me, and anyone else who presented these truths. Reading your article is like a balm---someone understands. I know God always does...but sometimes it's nice to know a flesh and blood person understands. Thank you.

  2. Gravatar

    Glad to hear that. Find me on Facebook under "Ransom Backus" I do regular podcasts as well.

  3. Gravatar

    OMG have your usual way with words here- this is such a clear picture. Get this- as I walked across the room to the computer right before finding this article, I had the thought that: discernment is a difficult gift to carry....Two pitfalls that I think of- The trap of accusing YOURSELF of being judgmental, overly critical, or even arrogant. Also because of the connection problems that you mentioned, it's easy to fall into a people pleasing mode when your love tank is empty..... Absolutely correct on the need to pursue love- first and foremost.

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    A frequent reminder to self- yes we may recognize the origin as carnal or evil, but we will never know all the history, hurts, etc that motivates. I think more often than not this gift is to trigger loving intercession- period. I don't think that a warning will be received unless a heart is ready. I also know that, in my humanness, I am subject to being wrong- dead wrong.....just my 2 cents as I wrestle thru these issues.

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    So, when you have the gift of discernment how do you handle the suffering that often seems to come with it - when you "know" things that break your heart and fill you with concern and wonder what, if anything, to do with that knowledge, other then pray? Lately I am troubled by feeling that I don't have the love to go with discernment. I love hearing many of you talk about being in love with people but I'm not sure that's a gift I have even tho I am so convicted of God's love for me. Well, I guess I have love for hurting people and the "under dogs" - it is people who do the hurting that I struggle with. Do you all ever feel conflicted about these things?

  6. Gravatar

    I've attended churches where they had a designated person they claimed had the gift of discernment. On closer inspection, the whole church was in error & the supposed "gatekeeper" was not really protecting the church from error so much as they were protecting the church from having their error exposed from outside sources. I've been told I have this gift & you have to be very careful. If the whole church is in error & the "discerner" is just as deluded as the rest of the congregation then that is not true discernment. Sometimes it helps for a church to have someone on the outside to be accountable to. I hope this makes sense.

  7. Gravatar

    Another thing to consider, that what you may think is error may simply be a situation where someone's beliefs just may not match up with those of your particular denomination and some denominations have some screwy beliefs. I was a member of a charismatic church which had some pretty far-out beliefs. There were always a designated few who would approach the pastor "warning" of some outsider who was "introducing error into the church" when it was simply an outsider who correctly discerned that it was the church that was in error & in the case of this particular church, had some cult-like tendencies. It can get pretty tricky & a true discerner has to be objective & have their head on straight.

  8. Gravatar

    Really appreciate your thoughts stacey & have been thinking/praying about this alot. One of the things that came to me was that discernment starts "at home" as in the importance of being aware of any "logs" I may have in my eye. One of the most hurtful/damaging things religious people do is speak into others lives authoritatively but are not willing to address their own issues or be held accountable. As far as possible I want God to give ME any needed revelations for growth, correction and relational love, and a deep honesty with myself about my own faults, frailties and motivations. Insight or knowledge that comes from discernment may often only be an FYI in order to have wisdom at a future date if a situation comes into my circle of influence so I will perhaps know what to say/not say, do/not do. At 54, in retrospect I know I often spoke out unwisely and tho it's hard sometimes to hold my tongue I find God leading me to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking.

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    I agree with all who have responded.I had this gift before being born again,but afterwards this gift was bigger than what I wanted because I was seeing and hearing more than ever.I didn't like feeling as though I was judging someone.Time and time again I was coming up with the same conclusion's that could not be ignored.Mainly with how our churches are today and what they teach goes against scripture.Listening to sermon's at time's I wanted to shout that's not correct doctrine,but what do I know,I have only been born again for 8 year's I was still considered a babe.I would sit and bite my lip,by the time sermon's were over my blood pressure would be off the chart's.I would come home and rightly divide the word of Truth.I would catch myself doing this every Sunday after church.After a year long study on my own I've learned there is alot wrong with our church system today and how they are run.I agree that my gift is hard to carry and at times my suffering is great.I'm learning management

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    Jackson Sullivan

    I needed this badly. Being punished for questioning my Pastor's "doctrine" (which I found to be used out of context). Suspended from serving; labeled angry and unteachable. But I love God! How can this be?! He's taught me SO much, I'm just not who I used to be; this situation made me feel like I was back at square one with my Salvation.. Thank you for this.

  11. Gravatar

    I'm seventeen and a discerner. I know how lonesome this gift can make one.

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    David Salis

    Mmmm. Very discerning article (of course!). It's taken me over 30 years as a believer and follower of the Christ to settle with this truth vs church life, the gift always pushing me out of my comfort zone and challenging my people-pleasing personality. Finally starting to feel accepted by leadership as our local church comes closer to Holy Spirit-led meetings. Another thing that has helped is realising that every believer can operate in all of the gifts of the Spirit as He deems necessary, even though we tend to move more in some than in others. Having our personal foundation sure and walking healed are essential for avoiding the pitfalls of hurt, criticism and bitterness. And living in love. Thanks David.

  13. Gravatar

    A few years ago discussing church issues involv- ing poor relationship at church with a retired pastor, he stated that I had the gift of discern- ment and to glorify God with it. His last state- ment was "I think you're just going to stop going to church." Anyway, what a blessing to stumble upon this site. Thanks.

  14. Gravatar

    I want to thank God for placing this word in you it really helped me in understanding this gift that he has placed within me May God bless you and keep using you

  15. Gravatar

    Oh! That's what's 'wrong' with me! I thought I must have evil deep down, because there have been occasions that I have become so disgusted with someone's lies or phoniness that I couldn't tolerate it- and the worst part is, I'm usually the only one who seems to see it! Usually people find out the truth on their own later. Every time I have tried to ignore a 'gut' feeling I end up sorry.

  16. Gravatar

    Like you're "out of the box" perspectives, David. But I have a problem reconciling a part of what you say here with what Scripture teaches in 1John 2.18-29. John begins this section (v.18) by taking a stand against the teaching (common in his day) that "Antichrist is coming": "Even now are there many antichrists". Nowhere is an "End Times Antichrist" taught. And he refers to these teachers as "them that seduce you". But John points his "little children" to the source of their protection against "seducers": "You don't need for any man to teach you, but as the Anointing (a) teaches you of all things, and (b) is truth, and (c) is no lie, and (d) even as He has taught you, you shall dwell in Him." John's goal here is to remind that his beloved congregation does NOT need some human "teachers" to save" them from seducing teachers/doctrines as each Believer is to rely on the indwelling Spirit to guard & guide against false teachers. Discernment comes from the Spirit within, not men without.

  17. Gravatar

    This article seems to be long on prognosis and short on treatment... The pastors and the church are threatened by discerners so they shut them out or down... How do you suggest boards, pastors and churches use discerners without simply turning over all decision making authority to often happens in my experience?

  18. Gravatar

    Thank you for this blog entry. My husband, an "ex-pastor" is employed in a well-known mega church, but I rarely attend services anymore. I watch services online to avoid facing those who are unsound. My gift of discernment (of spirits and heart condition) is often pushed to silence by my peace-keeper husband, in order to maintain his employment peacefully. I don't discern any false teachings or any undesireable nature in the pastoral staff, but rather with the many who are employed & directing within the church. I do feel isolated. I find myself being in an uncomfortable place & running like Jonah. So here I am, a quiet, misfit rebel, asking God for a bold voice & love for people, like Brandon Heath sings in 'Give Me Your Eyes'. Thank you again. I better understand why I am here at this place.

  19. Gravatar

    I am very comforted by this discussion. I joined our church two years ago and emerged myself in it. I liked to call myself a baby Christian but as time has gone on I have felt an overwhelming sensation that certain things are not right spiritually in the church and I have seen good spiritual leads leave to be replaced with people that just rub me the wrong way (full of arrogance and pride). I found this blog because I was searching for answers to why my pastor seems to be lacking discernment when it comes to selection of new leadership and in reading this blog I realized that many pastors dont seem to have this gift. So how do you keep it from pushing you out of the church when you see (discern) these issues? Especially if your pastor is not willing to change or acknowledge it. I feel like it is allowing evil to take a foothold in our church. Should I find another place to worship?

  20. Gravatar

    For some reason, I've been having sleep paralysis( or that's what scientists call it, I feel an evil presence, I try to read the Bible and etc... but its still there. I don't know what to do.

  21. Gravatar
    Janet Ross

    HA!! I KNEW IT. Well, I suspected it anyway :) I didn't know why I always came up as the 'red headed step-child' of EVERY SINGLE CHURCH I went to (even those where I kept my mouth shut). I just accepted it. I have learned to accept God's moving in my life knowing the 'why' or words I'm looking for will come later. I just stopped fighting it. Refusing to be the step-child any longer, I stopped going to ICs. Thanks for the words - and you are dead on.

  22. Gravatar

    Hi my name is Thulani im having the gift of discerning i usualy understand what ather people r thinking, i sense the present of , sense things in the spiritual realm nd sense evil spirits. Im a sensetive person truly speaking when im with the group of people i dont speak much bcs i feel alone nd im also a tactfuly person i love people i dont want people to b hurt. The problem is that i dont have a mantor bcs most of the time im alone but i am a good motiveter nd gud in cunselling people. The GOD we serve is powerful. So the ather thing i usualy see a blue nd purple colour so i dont understand them. Im so happy that im a child of GOD nd im so grateful that our LORD died for us. Thanks 4 this page GOD bless

  23. Gravatar

    This description describes me exactly. Even down to the charge I received from the Lord to be "set apart" as an outcast. I'm wondering if you have any resources on how to use these twin gifts (discernment and prophecy) in a corporate setting. Or perhaps how to further develop/understand these giftings? Thanks.

  24. Gravatar

    I have been an outcast all of my life. People came against and attacked me for no apparent reason. I have been a discerner for as long as I can remember!

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    Walking alone

    I know I have the gift of discernment followed with the the gift of proficiency and helps. Sadly I walked away from for the church I help started. I am not proud of who I am or what I've done but feel out-castes for what I did. My only hope is that the Church has learned from what has happen.

  26. Gravatar

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experience. As a "discerner", I better understand the gift and the guilt I've felt (personally believing I was too judgmental) because of the things I could not seem to ignore.

  27. Gravatar

    I am pretty sure I have this gift. I think even before I came to Christ, my mind was being molded to think as a discerner but before Christ redeemed it to make it a gift, it began as a curse. The curse of accusation. It was a survival instinct. Being able to recognize behaviors, thought patterns, jargon and match it up with certain character flaws that might hurt me and to know how a persons flaws hurt others when they manifest into their actions and words. It is hard to explain. It is like looking at an apple tree but seeing the condition of its seed to explain the tree. I also have prophetic dreams but they so far have ONLY pertained to me and my walk with Christ. My question is, how do you use this gift with love when the most common response you get to using it (even when you try to be tactful) is unloving? That or people just stare at you like you have a 3rd eye. How do you say to a person "you are wrestling with a spirit of discontent" or "you are struggling with pride"

  28. Gravatar

    Even my husband describes me as aggresive which is frustrating to me. My intent is never to hurt anyone. And the thing is, I welcome people to come to me with the same types of comments. I NEED them to! I have blind spots! The sooner I know about them, the sooner I can take them to the Lord for healing. I think discerners also have a keener sense for their own flaws and can sometimes get discouraged by the overwhelming amount of sin they see in themselves

  29. Gravatar

    I always knew i was different,it feels good to have more understanding on my gift. I'am a loner and as hard as ive tried in the past, I just cant be around alot of nonsence chatter.. I sometimes answer people questions not by what they say out there mouths but what i heard in there spirits. This can make you seem pretty Ignorant to others listening. And I become aggressive with my words trying to be understood. I learned of my gift very recently when I left my mothers church, and joined a church that is spirit led. You cant turn it off, boy have i tried, For the first time i feel i have a relationship with god...I'm reading the bible more, and asking for guidence...thanks for giving me some understanding on how love is necersary, and can be implemented reguardless of how my flesh feels.

  30. Gravatar

    I loved this so much. I have known I had this gift for a long time, just didn't always know the name for it. And your article describes me to a T. Even the part about getting hurt early on. I had to tell the pastor of a church I was attending that he had lost his humbleness and had to get humble fast. He just laughed at me. The church closed it's doors less than a month later. I wish more people in the church world understood us.

  31. Gravatar

    Thanks for the article. I know I have this gift because I fit perfectly with what was described. I have a more profound sense of understanding if something is right or wrong, not just a gut feeling and have always been able to sense what I believe to be evil spirits when others can't. When I was younger I could even see them sometimes. Now I just feel them. Can anyone suggest a book or source for me to better understand this gift? An issue I have is that I have fear when I feel something around and I know I shouldn't, I need to grow in my gift so that I can help others.

  32. Gravatar
    April Brewin

    It's been very interesting and helpful to read this. To be honest though I think one of the ways I struggle with this is that it makes me question whether I need healing when I sense mind sets, Spirits etc. I do find it hard to differentiate between my own feelings and those of others. Any help on this would be appreciated. I also feel very different to everyone else at my church but I'm trying to stick this out because I believe God wants me there. Blessings April

  33. Gravatar
    mrs logan

    Thank you so much for this article it clarifies so much, my husband kept telling me there was a problem corporately with the finances of the church and I kept telling him to stop talking about it and go talk to the pastor after praying one day he went to the office and asked for the financial statement and he was right, since then the pastor set up a financial team to handle everything because he's been handling everything his self , I learned to trust my husband and that pastors are not exempt from sin. This is a very vital gift , just be courageous check your motives and fear mo man God will take care of you

  34. Gravatar

    Thank you for this article. It has helped me understand myself a little more. I have experienced people attack me for no reason at all or falsely accuse me. This used to bring out a lot of anger in me. But after I became born again the anger issue vanished. I have had so much love within me, it's awesome ... it's unexplainable. I am able to sense the presence of the Holy Spirit as well as evil spirits. But lately I have noticed that when I go out into a public place like a shop or bank, one or two people would tend to become uncomfortable around me, or would stare at me with a puzzled look. I don't quite understand why.

  35. Gravatar

    I am relieved to know someone else identify with what I have been experiencing all my life. I am looked upon as arrogant and distant at church and in the social order but I find it difficult to socialize with people when you discern their negative thoughts and motives. I understand why I have been set aside as an outcast and give God all the glory. Thanks for sharing your experience which is an exact model of my life. Praying to grow stronger in my love for all people and growing in my god given gift.

  36. Gravatar

    I feel that I have this gift. One I spoke it to a friend of mine at work, then later it was confirmed through another church member. Also there was instances where a old coworker would walk in the room and I would immediately get angry . I knew her spirit wasnt right. I pray that God will help me to increase my sensitivity to the spirit, so thst I can give Him glory

  37. Gravatar
    wayward child of our CREATOR

    Um it explains alot but will u ever feel truly loved by someone or even understood ive turnedto adictions cause it seemed ta make the dreams and conshions num but I cant stop loving ppl or our creator but im pretty rebelious if I could describe my life rite now is . A tree being held up by a cable and the property owner wants to pull it up by the roots the tree I mind u is over 50 ft tall . Im only 25 not sure were to go but I do know to stay n the wrd and pray oh and by the way its really anoying how unclean spirits constantly contradict themselves please pray for me n my adiction problem thank u n I hope our creator is ok wi me comunicating this wi u

  38. Gravatar

    This article fits me to a T. I love God but want to know how to use this gift. I have always been able to 'see' people. This has not made me popular. But now that I am a Christian I want to use it for God's glory. I think when you have this gift, yes you go to church, but you must also have your own ministry because you cannot always work within the confines of a church. I think with this gift you see what the world needs, but your church will think you are 'gooky'. Thanks for posting this!!

  39. Gravatar

    Wow this is me all the day. I am actually kind of scared because the discernment has consumed me. My uncle was telling me that I discern too well and now with the church I attend all I see are lies and lies. I am so scared. I come home and I see so much about the church and the people. God shows me so much its like why am I here with these people. I can see where Satan is trying to destroy the church and who he is using. But I don't know ... I can hear when people are talking but I discern their lies. I can see wolves and when they talking I can hear behind what they are saying. I have always been like that. Now that I am older I just want it to shut off. I had a dream the Pastor was showing me these numbers on a envelope and a spirit was flipping the numbers and when I looked up I saw the person that was flipping the numbers so I wouldn't hear or see what the Pastor was telling me about the church. When this person talks God says lies lies lies... it makes my head hurt.

  40. Gravatar

    Thank you so much for this post. I've been struggling lately with my gifting and the whole "fitting in" thing. I'm the constant outcast and it causes problems. I've asked God many times to just let me see things the way other Christians do. And it is so hard to find discerners. It often feels like I'm the only one in the world.

  41. Gravatar

    We must alwasy speak the truth in love. At first you will make mistakes in your delivery and in understanding, but this gift is refined with practise. So keep your own heart right. Deal with your own "plank" before you take out the specks in another's eyes. Always wait for the Lord's counsel in prayer before you speak. This is a sacred trust. He promises to give us wisdom if we just ask Him. Yes, your anointing will rub some people up the wrong way. Make sure it's the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not your flesh getting in the way.

  42. Gravatar
    James Grant

    Thank you i believe i have the gift of discerment there are times when i am able to know thing's about poeple i could not know iam learning more about this gift your site as helped

  43. Gravatar
    Terry Dobbins

    I was told long ago that I had this gift. I'm hesitant to explain to others why I don't maintain eye contact for very long, and I don't want to sound like I'm "full of myself" for saying something like: "I make too many people uncomfortable because they think I'm trespassing into the very core of their being."

  44. Gravatar

    Thank you so much for posting your article. I have been aware of my gift at a very young age. It was difficult to find a peer group because most of my peers couldn't relate to my way of thinking and processing information. The Holy Spirit has given me both the gifts of discernment and prophecy. Both gifts in their immature states made mee feel like such an out cast in most congregations so I felt very alone. As The Lord began to mature my gifts the more set apart I became and my heart longed even more so to be understood by the Body of Christ. The Lord ministered to me through my husband and instead of desiring to use my gifts or to be understood made peace with being set apart and asked The Lord to prepare me for whatever work He needs me to do for the Body of Christ. The gift of spiritual discernment is by no means a glamorous gift yet I would not trade it for any other gift. With the gift of prophecy I have learned to speak only when guided by the Holy Spirit.

  45. Gravatar

    This was such a great read. I definitely have the spiritual gift of discernment/discerning of spirits. I have always been a loner, even in childhood. Often misunderstood and called a "pot stirrer" whenever I would point out error. I wish I could turn it off at times, because I see and sense things in the spirit that people don't see. I dont tell anyone because when I have other believers have told me I'm just being critical or it makes people uncomfortable like I can see all their secrets. I used to sit in back row in church and be bombarded spiritually with all the error and demonic activity, and deceit that was taking place, but no one else saw it or sensed it! My heart would hurt to see the total disrespect for the house of God and the things of God and for the leading astray of believers. Through continued prayer and time with God and the teaching from the Holy Spirit, I am continually learning how to respond in each situation individually.

  46. Gravatar

    For me, the last year and half have been rough with other believers. I've been strongly convicted of the poor and foolish ways friends are "ministering" and how some are obsessed with false teaching and spirits. I've had to do confronting that led to the dwindling of relationships. It's been hard to so clearly see how erroneous some things are and a struggle to understand how these things aren't completely obvious to others. I've been incredibly frustrated with people when I have had to confront them and they don't give a flaming concern. It's hard because I don't want to see the church make a mockery of God. And it's happening among people I care so much for. Even in high school, I felt like I was the only one with these deep of convictions. I've had to pray hard for the Holy Spirit to help refine my delivery because I know I can sound like a jerk when I get worked up about these things. I've had stress dreams where the congregation was doing "the wave." It's a hard gift to possess.

  47. Gravatar
    C. Kimball

    My Christianity has always been about relationship and not religion. I believe when the Lord gives one the "gift" of discernment of spirits, then we can't help but be the "real deal". In my naivete, I thought everyone born again saw and discerned what I did. Over time I realized I was different and it took me years to understand why I was rejected by the very people I loved and I thought loved me. I can honestly say it's been through seeking a teaching that I "knew" was the TRUE WORD OF GOD that I'm now okay with man's rejection and I can love in spite of their opinion of me because I've received the revelation of how much Jesus loves me thru the teaching of His truth & grace. That matters most to me and thru this revelation I am loving others like I have never been able to before! I haven't belonged to a church for 15 yrs. The isolation has been quite a time of learning but I use my gift for intercession daily and the result has been GLORIOUS! To God be ALL the Glory! AMEN

  48. Gravatar

    My grandson passed away at 4yr old. He is trying to talk with me through my

  49. Gravatar

    Hello all, this is a very interesting blog and a spot on one to boot. I have found myself to be the black sheep of my church and have been often times alone in my walk with God. I have seen the dark shadowy spirits in dreams, in waking moments, the whole nine. I'm not the object of everyone's affection and it feels good to know that there are so many of you with this dilemma. Prophecy and discerning of spirits seem to me to go hand in hand and I was unsure of my gift and I'm still not 100% on what it is, but this site has helped me a lot. It would be great if someone knows of any materials to read to help me fully embrace these gifts for the glory of God. Thank you for your help guys in advanced.

  50. Gravatar

    This article is a very interesting one i have learnt so much. I think i am seeing myself in this light but i am still not 100% sure on what is my calling. I am still praying and asking God to reveal His purpose in my life.

  51. Gravatar

    Thanks for the blog post David. I just recently decided to leave a church that helped bring me out of some really dark times and back into the faith. I made the same mistake thinking that everyone had a similar gift of discernment. In the end, it made me very alienated and pushed away by the very church leaders who helped re-ignite my faith in Christ. The thing that is frustrating to me is this, what is the f*cking point to all of this if I can't change anything? Thanks for this gift/curse God, now can you give me the means to help heal the scars on your creation? This gift has been very useful in business where hilariously I still face pushback. However, unlike churches it's easier to catch someone with their pants down when they waste gobs of money. I want to help people and not fatten the balance sheets of some C level nitwit hundreds of miles away. Either guide me to leadership Lord or guide me to my niche already!

  52. Gravatar
    C. Kimball

    In regards to okyoureabeast, our gifts are not given to us for US to change lives. Only Jesus can do that and He deserves ALL the Glory for it, but we are created for His workmanship. What He asks of us is to love and pray for each other. The gift of discernment is unfortunately not embraced by "the church". Our responsibility is merely to be obedient to our Lord in walking in our gifts. WE are not responsible for the response or reception of the hearer. That is between them and God. If you become angry over their reaction, you will only open doors for the enemy and a possibility for a hardened and bitter heart. Pray for them to hear and see the truth! I believe there is going to be a time when the church realizes it need for those gifted in discernment and those who are called in it must know how to love. Forgive, my brother. Rest and trust it to Jesus. His grace be with you.

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    wow this is really cool; I was seeking for gift of interpreting tongues and healing in you tube but I read a lot of fighting and confusion going especially tongues. I received the holy spirit just this October and discovered about the gifts of God. and I was like hold up! what happened, I thought I left the world of lies and confusion now I'am seeing it amongst believers. and it was really a letdown for me really. I grew depress for a while. but I realized that there is something wrong in the picture, God is truth he does not produce confusions among spiritual brethren. so I drop the healing and interpretation of tongues and went for spiritual discernment. you know what we should all start a church filled with spiritual discerner; a spiritual discerner can spot a fellow discerner; there are so many thinks to prove one is really baptized by spirit aside from manifestations; lets see how many fakes enter that church.

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    Thank you father for leading me here. Finally brethren who share the same gift. I am also a SEER. I desire fellowship with my fellow brethren. Facebook-Christine Living Zion

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    i also think that is it. i find myself lonely and i just cant fit any where. i sense an see things in my spirit which if i could say others might think am crazy,judgmental or proud, but i know God has a reason for everything that he has placed in our lives.

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    Thank you so much for this. I have tried to suppress and reject this 'gift' to no avail. It started 20 or so years ago and manifested physically. After seeing a surgeon and being assured of no physical ailment, i thought i was a hypochondriac and left it at that. Over the years it has become more intense and more apparent. I made the mistake of revealing it to 2 christians. One stared blankly and the other gave me the 'you are nuts' look. I have thus learnt to keep mute about it. My faith was non existent and has slowly picked up to steady with a bit of wobble. I have always felt 'different' and have the distinct reputation of being the antagonist at my church group which is soul destroying. I realise now that i am able to discern but still at the infancy stage i have abused this power for a while and used it without true Love for my fellow man/woman.....i am learning slowly and blogs like yours are a very valuable means of support. Thank you and God Bless you always

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    Thank U so much for writing this!! It describes me Perfect! I spent much of my life thinking I was cursed with this and over the past few years have learned Im Blessed by my God in so many ways!!

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    Thank you for this.

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    Thank you for explaining this so well. i used to always feel like the square peg in the box with round holes. I have been told i am black and white in what i think. But that is how i see it. I sit and listen to people talking about things, and feel ah ah , nup that just doesn't feel right. or meet some people and just get that mmm feeling, i don't have the need to be the centre of attention, i prefer to watch other people. i have always been able to feel when something was wrong or someone was carrying a burden of sorts, without them saying anything. I have now learnt to lisiten to the Holy Spirit so much more , and not think i am an emotional crazy lol, i now know i have a gift that God wants to use. And i am learning how to understand and try and use it for him. It is an interesting journey, but i as i start learning more i start understanding why i am like i am so much more.

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    You have no idea how much this has helped me! I thought I was going crazy. I just wanted to be like everyone else but God kept showing me more. I am quiet. I don't like attention. Don't want to disagree. But I know this is from God. Like some else said when we do speak we are met with anger because we are going against the status quo. I think God wants me to be bolder. I just wanted this blessing/curse to go away. Wrestled with it. Question my own motives endlessly. My fear is that I might be wrong. Not about a person. I would not go public about that. But about doctrine or scripture interpretation. Something keeps telling being wrong is human. Not shameful. Reading the others let's me know I am not alone! I will be forever grateful for this. And for the other comments. For the first time I actually see this as a blessing. Not a burden or a weight to bear. Not something to suppress. This blog has done more healing than you can ever know. May the Lord continue to bless you.

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    Thank you for this!!!! I see myself in almost all the comments posted. I know understand that this gift is what troubled me since I was a teen and why I feel detached from most people; "seeing" them and knowing what to share and when is a challenge. I am now encouraged to pray more and seek to learn and understand more of this awesome gift that God has purposed.

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    Wow!! Thank you so much for this. I have been telling my husband for awhile now, I feel like I am going crazy with this. Does anyone else see what I see? He said "no, they don't have discernment". I have been struggling with this because I feel like I'm on the outside looking in. I feel left out and not utilized and I am becoming very frustrated. I keep my self separate from most of the church because things are just not right. An apostle told my pastor that I have this gift, but my pastor has done nothing to help me. I have been praying for wisdom, righteous, and for me to see people as God sees them. I pray that I have his eyes, heart, and mind. I pray that I decrease and for Him to increase. Our Prophet left our church as well, and she was mentor. So that has also kept me frustrated. It really is like a limb is missing with her not there. People in the church know I have this gift because at first I didn't know what it was. Now they just try to disprove me.

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    This has been a facinating read, I have only just begun to try and put a name to things ive felt all my experience has been that I choose to outcast myself and find myself rebeling against some things I hear, and I wonder if im teachable at times. The word rebel has been affixed to me more than I care to admit though im rarly ever wrong with what im saying. I struggle with the things I see and sense,i feel so misunderstood and find it hard to communicte the things that flash through my spirit in an instant. Its like seeing life as a layer cake sometimes, so many layers so much depth so much going on, but its sooo clear you wonder why no one else notices, like are we watching the same movie here? Its a catch 22 gift, being right sucks when no one listens and come out worse for it...including myself. im comforted in seeing the comments and realising im not alone. God bless you all and stay strong. May you use your gift for His glory.

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    I am incredibly grateful for this article. I have been knowing about this gift since I was at least 10 years of age. I am now 43 and I am still learning more about this gift. It seems as though no one understands me. Every warning I have given, I am looked at as a "know it all" or unruly. My heart becomes so heavy at times because I don't understand some things. However, this article has brought some peace to my spirit. Glory be to God for this article. May God bless everyone that reads it.

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    the Disciple that Jesus Loves

    I read all the responses before I began to read them my heart was heavy and I was in tears.I was told by one of the church members that they understand that I felt ostracized from the church i didn't even know what that meant I looked the word up and it means to be cast out. It's okay to God be the glory he has something better for me. i started out crying but now I am full of Joy I am not crazy!!!! There is a whole lot of me out There God bless you all. And in everything give thanks....

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    This article really pulled me in, being that it so fits me. My issue is that im a bit of a loner( I can still joke with anyone if im comfortable) but if I feel something in my gut I will avoid you the best I can. Believe it or not im currently in face to face sales :-)

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    T Gibson

    I was stunned when I read your article. I've been taking a much needed break from my home church (I was finding myself becoming bitter and cynical) and after reading this post I felt like the lights were turned on in regards to my abrasive relationship with the church. There's an unending battle that's always storming inside me between speaking out and holding back, and I'm a little worn from it. When we read about the straightforward (sometimes cutting?) manner Jesus dealt with the Pharisee's(Luke 11 39-52, John 8;39-47) and sometimes his own bumbling disciples(Mt 16:5-12,21-23; 26:31-35) you can see how using the gift of discernment-even perfectly with love as Christ did- can sometimes appear harsh. Thanks for the encouragement and validation.

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    The ring of spiritual truth always brings me to tears in the midst of His grace. Having been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I wonder how many with BPD are actually Spiritually Gifted with Discernment and then were severly abused as children.

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    Sherry ann

    I began about 5 years ago, not feeling comfortable around people who I trust, family, relatives and good friends. It was never this way before, all of a sudden it's like I look in their eyes and feel uncomfortable or they can't look me in the eyes anymore, what do I do? Ever since I was little I felt like I didn't belong anywhere, I was always alone in any group I was in, I now understand why!

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    So I am not crazy! Thanks for clarifying things.

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    Wow..... I felt like you were talking right to me. I get advised all the time of being judgemental and I really try to voice my opinion and concerns with biblical back up but it just doesn't matter. I feel like if I have any opinion I'm a target of ridicule and feel like ppl want to silence me. I understand God is love but.... He's a Good of mercy and slow to anger. Ppl don't want to hear that last part tho. This article was very enlightening.

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    This is such a welcoming article. I have a strong gift of discernment and like the article suggests, it is a difficult gift to carry. It is resented by many, and frankly it leaves one hurt more often than not. I am at a point now where I almost feel like just keeping my mouth shut. I can see spirit, eyes go black, see the motives of an individuals actions whether involving me or others, and I am often hurt and rejected by the very ones I endeavor to help see something ahead (a pastor, a minister, evangelist). Happened just today, and I just feel like crying right now. Holding on to the hem of His garment praying he would guide me to use it only as He would have me do and only to whom has the spiritual maturity to receive it. God Bless you all.

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    Apostle Samuel Ugochukwu

    Great article to read on this topic. But, The gift of decernment should be the most important to anyone that is called by the Lord into the ministry! (2)There are also fakes in this gifts, whose lives are not in line with the word of God and yet they claim that they have the gift when actually they go by the gossips they heard from those who refuse the truth from their Pastor!(3)The gift is not for you to go and correct your Pastor or challenge those in authority. It is a revelatory gift and our lives must aligne with the truth before we can go to correct people in the name of having the gift of discernment, it does not make you the leader or overseer of the body of Christ but only enables you to know when the spirit speaking is not of the Lord! If you read the responses on this blog everyone seems to have the gift, which may not be impossible but the Lord is not an author of confussion!! Like I said before it is not a gift for you to go looking for a Pastor to correct!!!

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    Wow unrealistic how on point this appears to be!

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    Down South

    I've had the gift of discernment as long as I can remember. Even before being born again I was sensitive to the spiritual world around me but didn't know why. I have always felt like and been treated like an outcast in my church. I "see" things others don't seem to notice and don't acknowledge. I watched John Paul Jackson for awhile until he died and even now in reruns. This man was a sort of mentor to me though we never met. I too have had dreams directly from God, some warning dreams and some directional dreams. I have had to keep most to myself because people are skeptical when you tell them anything like that. Pastors don't want you to tell them what you see, even if it's strictly to help your brothers and sisters in Christ. I do feel like an the one commentor said "the red head stepchild". (Apologies to any red heads out there...I LOVE red hair and think it's beautiful!!) I will embrace being the "outcast" if that is the cost of having this gift of discernment.

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    This blog like many others, blessed my heart. I've had discernement as far back as a little girl. I was prophesized to that my discernment will increase and shortly after that I started picking up people's ailments and sickness. I work in healthcare so it's strong. Does anyone have any experience with this?? Like a lot of you churches and leaders have been my constant struggle. I always feel like Moses going up against Pharoah. I'm naturally quiet and at times tell myself "I'm going to be extra quiet, nope that never works when God has something to say or do I do it. And I get EVERYTHING out just in case I'm never invited back lol :) This blog is more than necessary, thank you!!

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    Wow. This is absolutely awesome. Like so many before me, I knew I had this gift but I guess I saw it as a curse. I make my own family uncomfortable. I make my friends uncomfortable. I have cried myself to sleep and asked God why He gave me a gift like this that has only caused me isolation & confusion. Now, I know I'm not crazy and I that knew in my heart was correct. I have so much more to think about. Thank you all for sharing. I'm not alone. This is a very special gift. I am thankful for now. It's not a curse anymore.

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    I always knew that I had a very strong and accurate gift for discerning and "judging" someones character and intentions based just off of the atmosphere they give off. I remember sitting in religion class and taking a spiritual gift test that came back with "discernment" on it. Lately, I think it had been coming full bloom, and I am really struggling with it. I always thought that I was an outcast because there was something wrong with me. I thought there was something wrong with me by how strongly I felt things and more importantly how I was able to judge someone character so easily and see past deception and evil intentions. I am going to be searching for a church where this gift is welcomed and there are people who will be able to help me. I feel like I always said things that pointed towards discernment but the elders in the church ignored the signs. There's also the dreams I've had that confused me. I think it's a misunderstood gift because misunderstood people have it.

  79. Gravatar

    Awesome! I'm looking for the truth and this helps me alot! I am a seer and I feel also but mostly see. I know or hear peoples thoughts...weird! I just don't understand what it is. I want understanding almost of all...still looking but my heart (mind) tells me I already know.

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    Lol MCK! I second that. So, I'm not crazy. I sure feel like it most of the time. I see so much especially at church. I want to be more involved at my church, but it's hard for me to be around the people I sense negativity from. Any suggestions? And thank you to the author for writing this. And to everyone who shared their personal story. I felt like giving up today. Spiritual discernment is really hard to deal with especially when you don't understand the charteristics of the person with the gift. I truly was beginning to think I was crazy, weird, and strange.

  81. Gravatar

    im sorry.. but I hate this gift. not only can I pick up people's ailment and sickness but it passes into me as well.. and it forces to read the bible for hours on end before I am cleansed. can I pray to have this "gift" removed.

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    way to go! the gift of discernment is super important and especially undernoursihed in the modern american church. As a discerner, you need massive doses of God's Presence to be satisfied and to be filled with enough love that you are not labeled "arrogant" or "unteachable". Seek these fellowships and these training environments through prayer and you will find that you can operate under your pastor's authority and cause radical change in your churches without them even being aware. A time is coming when the discerner wil be given a prominent place in the body in the West but we have much work to do to bring life back into our churches and multiply that! Love everyone! I am feeling right now your pain, discouragement, rejection, frustration - none of this is from God. I break these chains and completely loose you now in the name of Jesus to minister effectively and in power! You are loved and appreciated!!!

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    Try being ostracized by your family. I have been considered weird my entire life. I learned after I was saved that I had discernment but was not allowed to use it because I was a "baby" Christian. Now an older Christian, I am still seen as weird at times in my family and sometimes at church. So I tend to keep to myself to avoid the hurt. But when I get something clear, I will go to the Pastor of our church. I also use my gift at work (I work for a lawyer) to help see what is really going on with people and hopefully talk to them about Christ. But at family gatherings, I usually am very lonely. It's sad but true. But my husband and 2 of my sons come to me when they are worried about something and usually I am right which reinforces to them at least that I know what I am talking about. Others....... well I guess they like living in their world until the bottom falls out. Then they come to me and say, I should have listened but will do it all over again. It can be frustrating.

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    Not a debatable negative argument..if you discern you go through sum hectic stuff-feeling evil when its close or if its directed at you from close folk is quite hectic...had to ask God to tune my sensor down a bit at sum point was way to sensitive to spiritual activities,.its more under controle now thank think deep about people,situations etc..the deep thinkers..yeah thank God for this gift...😘😘😘Prayer Warriors...When Eordly Things Dont Matter No More,But The Well Being Of All Peoples Souls..and the worry of our House Love for bros and sisters in Church..😘😘😘

  86. Gravatar

    i've had the pleasure of reading through some of the things that people r experiencing about disdcernment!! I thank GOD 4 allowing me come across this site which has enlighten me on this topic & i want 2 thank GOD & everybody for sharing their experiences!! I have this gift as well since i was of a very young age!! I've been cry'n out to GOD y did he give me this gift & noy give me the instructions to go wit it!! But now since i have been read'n some of these experiences on here today i understand that we all that share this gift of discernment we we all share this same cry of feel'n isolated from people we were called for a reason & we all feel some type of way or another that we may not know when we r suppose to speak or take our postion & where fit in etc.... Well if this is an enlightment to any of u, it sounds like it's not our time yet we all have a purpose & a duty to GOD & right now we all can say that we r all here together on 1 accord with the same issues.....

  87. Gravatar

    We can all agree that we share the same issues, fears & isolation.. Here we r 1 body of GOD who r look'n for the same answers!! Beleive that if we just Pray & ask GOD for PATIENTS,UNDERSTANING,KNOWLEDGE & WISDOM he will lead us 2 when we need 2 come forth & do a PERFECT job well done for his goodness & his GLORY!! We were chosen for his purpose & here we stand together as 1 n the body of CHRIST agreeing on the same things about this beautiful gift that he has given to each & everyone of us!! We just need 2 continue 2 build a better relationship with our GOD & stay focused on him & he will shine through us at his appropriate time & when GOD speaks through us everything & everybody will know it's truly GOD!! We r experiencing the same thing for reason!! It will come together!! We r different & it's nothing wrong with us!! Rebuke what the negative thoughts stay positive!! These thoughts r 2 be casted down u r more than a CONQUER REMEMBER that everyone!! RHIS IS A CALL"N ON YOUR LIFE!!

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    I was told i have the discernment of spirits because i see things which makes me happy i can help God it truly does. Though if i may ask what are the gifts i guess that are more powerful you say so i was wondering why discernment to people is not as good or recognized like the others. Though reading this i do not think i have discernment i know everyone says i do but i do not know just because you see or hear things does not mean its discernment. I personally believe everything and i believe lies a lot. I am not a loner i love people even though people do not like me. I am not that outspoken sure i get mad but i do not speak out too much and i also i do not judge really at all or say things i just want to make people happy. I am not a rebel or anything like this i do not know what i am anymore i am confused. I am sorry

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    Shante B.

    Wow. That's truly amazing how perfectly you explained that. Wow. Just wow. I am honestly amazed at what God does. All my life I have been the outcast, dubbed as the sensitive one, and I always found myself away from the crowd...I felt alone. Through His works I was adopted as a spiritual daughter by Pastors. I lived my life with so much negativity, I didn't know how to react to their kindness, their love, and the anointing they had/have on them. Wow. Eight years later and I'm still amazed at how God works everything out. They always say "my spiritual daughter"...makes me happy you know? God has a purpose for you. I know you feel alone but hold on, Jesus is always there to take you through.

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    I've always known that im different. God has told me that everyone doesn't have to know what I know that I know. I've prayed since I was a teen for God to use me in whatever way he sees fit. I've lost my way many times but NEVER stopped believing and God never left me. I've been misunderstood my entire life. And my life has constantly been under some sort of attack but God has always been there. I was raised in a family who has so much LOVE for each other and with Grandparents who Love God. My nanny is a prayer warrior. Quietly she does her part as God has called her. My reason for posting is this...after seeing a demon on my roommate...he looked at me and said "i think i have demons on me" as he said it his face started morphing.I had seen this before but not with the certainty of knowing what it was. Since then my senses to the spiritual realm are crazy heightened. Any advice?

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    This article gave me some understanding how people treat you when your discerner.The people in the church overlook gifts God put in you like you don't matter or your not important.I'm a loner but I can't tolerate when people mistreat other people. Because God is love the church is not fully living by God's word.I know God got my back.Thanks for the article because I seen myself in it.

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    I have had this gift as well my whole life. As a child I was tormented by a demon, a shadow being. I was beaten and called a sissy by my father because he said it was my imagination. I have been able to sense when people are acting nice but are dark and evil inside. I can also sense people who are involved in the occult and have dark spirits in and around them. I also have prophesied. I remember knowing once that a friend was going to get into a train wreck, and he did. After it was over he has never been much of a friend anymore because I warned him something was going to happen to him. It freaked him out. I sense pastors and deacons who are there for the money and their own glory even when the rest of the church is thinking they are wonderful. Preachers and teachers and deacons avoid me when they realize this gift is real and that I know the truth no matter how they act. It is a burden. It is hard. I love Jesus and knows He gave it to me for a reason. I just have to figure it out.

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    Thank you for the article and thank you all for your helpful comments! I always thought everyone picked up on people's feelings, thoughts, etc and couldn't understand why people would look at me like I had 3 heads when I would discern true motives of others when these things hadn't manifested yet. Like everyone else has been saying "I'm not alone! I'm not a freak!"These comments and other articles have broughtmme so much freedom and joy today! Learning to walk in this gift with submission, humilit, gentleness and love. Thank you all!!

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    OMG...I have been struggling with this for so long and now that I am a part of a ministry I am labeled as all you have described above. It is difficult sometimes to see the heart and/or intentions of a person and still have the love of The Father if this gift is not under His submission. This gift can hurt so much...other people as well as personally if the love of our Father is not the focus of our life. Thank you for sharing as this word brings a sense of awareness to the gift and how to better flow in it.

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    Dear Mr. Backus, this was a great way to explain to those who don't understand us just what we are all about. I don't have many friends and realize most people don't like me at first and I like that. As I grow more wise and get deeper into my gift I realize that, as a part of my mission, I am not to necessarily be liked. The Lord does not wish for me to desire that. I desire justice, fairness, and for every knee to bow to my Lord Jesus Christ. I love my gift and the territory that comes with it. I'm an Indigo Warrior and it feels good. I only pray to connect with other like minded Warriors. Do you know of a platform where this can be done?

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    Katie Winschief

    Thank you so much for this. I have literally discerned with a pastor who would talk with me for hours and hours and over a year and had that pastor turn on me the moment I discerned a spiritual issue that might be at play with him. I discerned lust at a high amount of provocative selfies another member posted and he liked. I asked him to correct me if I was wrong and if anything it could harm him if the wrong person noticed. He immediately contacted the entire family of the member, seperated my husband from me and was outraged with me. From then on, the normal discernment he valued he took in a negative way. For instance I said I did not sense peace in the congregation and could not say that and quoted Ezekiel 13 I had come to. He said I accused him of being a "false prophet." It was a horrible experience for my husband and I. It hurt me down to the core. I quickly found out that I was considered crazy and very expendable. Discernment is a beautiful gift but you have to master timing.

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    This blog was so beautiful. I also am a discerner. I know what it feel like to be the loner. To be told that I am crazy, judgemental,and all of the above. I thank God for my gift because my prayer to God is,"Lord let me see what is around me, not so that I can judge but so that I can guide, witness to, and know what to pray for. If God shows us we are responsible to take action in love,wisdom, and in the spirit of God.

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    I first commented in April 2015.I have thought about leaving Christianity. In my bible study I've seen: hypocrites prosper, the proud promoted, arrogance applauded. I questioned why God doesn't stop it. I dread going though I feel compelled. I rationalize when I miss sessions. Surely God doesn't want me to be miserable. I'm reminded that he said we would suffer. Well discerners certainly do. I realize (it makes sense) that discerners are spread out. We are loners for a reason. We are different. We can see things. But no one wants to hear what's not fashionable. Even its from God. So, we don't get that camaraderie or fellowship. We don't even have to speak. The spirit in others knows who we are. So antagonism is inherent.We are ostracized and dismissed. I've noticed over time this year that some of my points have been co-opted by others. They get an amen.While I sit in silent awe. I know to God the glory. But I feel badgered if I speak, convicted if I don't. Reading your comments help.

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    I got addiction issues, i lie a lot. Fall often to my nature, pure evil. Pride is a problem. I have found myself abusing my gifts. It's painful to desire walking with God, learning his heart.I want the real thing or nothing at all.I'm so tainted, i would love a word of wisdom from someone.

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    Lynda Haley

    I read this article and comments with tears. I too feel that I have the gift of discernment. My first Pastor recognized this and welcomed it. I have had problems building relationships as most do not want to hear about errors. My discernment is in the truth of God's Word. Even what most people would say are little or minor things. Like: God needs you, God is faithful to us, and Stand up against the devil are only a few of the recent things I have heard. Of course there are more major things like, God loves you for who you are, so many things exalting humanity instead of God. I have begged God to take this from me as others say I am too critical/analytical. As I type I even question myself, Is this discernment? I wonder how God uses me and become very hard on myself. At times I just want to give up. But I love the Lord and pray for and desire that Christians would discern the truth and reject error. Also I pray that my love for others would abound more and more.

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    You've got to get the Holy Ghost first. Bringing you into knowing your new Father. acts 2:38

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    Tonya Smith

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    Mike Judge

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    Natacha Chaney

    I've always had a strong gift of disernment. However I don't always trust it with men, just because I was hurt in the past. Sometimes I'm suspesiou. I know suspension is more like the counter fit of disernment. How do I know the difference between suspension and diserment? I've gone through healing, lot of it and I feel whole, I minister aND move in all the gift of the spirit, but I am suspesious about my relationship, i don feel trust. I know some of this is me and some is not, I just don't know how to disern accurately due to past wounds. Any advise?

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    An older man was a prophetic voice to me the first 10 years I attended the church I was in for years. He was a godly man;a true prophet. If this man said something was from God you could take it to the bank! When he died, I realized I was without a father in the faith as he was the only one who bothered to mentor me. I was coming from a very religous denomination and started attending that new church when I got born-again. This man spoke into my life on a regular basis, like the Lord had put a spotlight on me in his eyes. He confirmed repeatedly my gift of discernment and prophesy. He also said someone in authority would verbally abuse me but it was not God's doing. Shortly after my pastor started verbally abusing me on a regular basis. It got so bad I had no choice but to leave, though I stayed a few more years. I do have discernment for which I'm glad but it puts a target on my back and I still get attacked by pastors. I think they recognize the gift and it threatens them somehow.

  106. Gravatar

    I always believed that the major screw up inside the church is leaving the leadership to ONE person which most of the time is the pastor. Apostles, Prophets, Teachers (not sunday school ones), Evangelists, and Pastors are infact part and share the leadership within a church to complete the need of equipping the saints. It is always sad that most of the church will definitely shoo away the discerners because of this flawed structure we have :( Most of the time, discerners are prophets but they don't get to help as the existing structure only acknowledges "pastors".

  107. Gravatar

    Thanks for this article I am a discerner by His Grace my pastor now never wanted to acknowledge it and also every pastor I got closed to never did. Right now I am about to leave the church because I feel like my gift is not so welcomed ...i have even been told that I think I know too much. It sometimes hurt and I feel like maybe I was never called to submit under anyone pastor but to run with my own vision. I amnot sure what to do here.

  108. Gravatar

    Thanks for this article I am a discerner by His Grace my pastor now never wanted to acknowledge it and also every pastor I got closed to never did. Right now I am about to leave the church because I feel like my gift is not so welcomed ...i have even been told that I think I know too much. It sometimes hurt and I feel like maybe I was never called to submit under anyone pastor but to run with my own vision. I amnot sure what to do here.

  109. Gravatar

    Ok, this does describe me. But at the risk of sounding cliche... I hesitate to simply ascribe this "gift" based on a few characteristics. Surely, there is a little more to it than this. What if I am wrong? At some level, we all want to see the best in ourselves. And a "gift of discernment"? Sounds pretty neat to me. So... I dunno. And there's also the pride thing that you mentioned - what if it is pride and not the "gift of discernment"? We'd be stepping into a danger zone!

  110. Gravatar

    drivel Radical didactic rant. Grace is the key...not your fanaticism. yours is not a gift it is a philosophy. Start your own church and see how that goes!

  111. Gravatar

    I do believe I have this gift, the more I have talked with others and not being understood has caused me to think I am crazy or delusional. Though I have sensed evil in a form of feeling heavy and sever headache and feeling like I could vomit when being around a particular person, I have as well had a knowing that a spirit of anger came through an indivduals eyes and entered me I fought that spirit for 2 days and I felt like I was being beaten from the inside like he had gotten stuck I felt like I was going to die and I prayed and prayed till I saw the dark spirit leave my body and I knew! I would love to meet up with someone to learn more about this gift! I am standing strong in my faith and relationship with the Lord and I am looking forward to being of more service to the kingdom.

  112. Gravatar

    I am a pastor of 9 years. I walk in the power of the Holy Ghost and have seen many spiritual things in my life.I have seen people who have the gift of discernment and those who claim to but clearly don't and cause many problems in the church. If you have the gift of discernment please walk in love, pray for those things God shows you. be submissive to the authority of the church and pray for your pastor. Also keep in mind, if your pastor is walking according to the spirit he will do what is right for the church. There are many things that God shows pastors about situations, much more than people realize. I am aware of the problems that exist in my church. God shows me, I pray constantly about these things and do my best handle them according to the word and how the Spirit leads me. unfortunately not everyone in the congregation knows what God has shown me and some things I cannot share. Please take this into account. the church will never be perfect due to imperfect people.

  113. Gravatar

    Your article gives a perfect description of me. Am glad there are so many others like me.MY GREATEST NEED NOW IS A MENTOR. Thank you and God less you.

  114. Gravatar
    Dean Langaigne

    Thanks God bless you.

  115. Gravatar

    I only recently realized I was using my gift as an outreach tool. I have begun to understand that He has given me a heart for the lost and hurting and the ability to see which ones are vulnerable to the Gospel, or prayer, or even encouragement and a hug. I pray with people literally everywhere in elevators going only 3 floors. Waitresses. People on planes it is a tool of Gods. When I see error and a hard heart or pride I humble myself before God and pray in my heart for the person. I’m working on the next steps in prayer - be tender, firm, resilient, loving, trustworthy - and non-judgemental. You will win through Christ’s intercession - after all its not our war. It’s our victory if we choose to believe that We can do all things through Christ

  116. Gravatar

    Can anyone give me some advice? I'm a discerner, to an extent. I see a lot, but it's more so been learned or developed over time if that makes sense? I used to feel like I couldn't see or discern anything spiritually. But I prayed for it, and I suppose I got what I asked for. Now days I wish I could shut it off. But this is more so about my son. He's 14 and it seems he's always been a discerner. He has a slight developmental disability, but he's sees everything! But what I've recently noticed is that he has something the medical community calls "sensory processing disorder". He's extra sensitive to things in his environment, such as light, sound, tastes (makes him a very picky eater), etc. Is this something any of you can relate to? He's very spiritually sensitive but it's like it translated even into the physical realm for him. It has to be so hard to live this way. But he seems to adjust as he matures. I don't like to think this is simply a gift. But could it be that doors are opey t

  117. Gravatar

    Thank you for this blog. I'm always praying for the gift of discernment ever since i became a Christian. i don't know why but i'm so attracted to this gift. My current church right now did misunderstood me. I tried to talk to my pastor about what i see, but she doesn't believe instead she criticize me & thinks i'm the bad person. My churchmates also accused & spread lies about me of things i'm not even doing. I don't naturally go well with judgmental & proud people. I can see their motives but i just keep it to myself coz no one believes except those who did see the confirmation. Right now, our pastor already saw the real motives of those who she thought are nicer. But anyway, i also prayed to God to look them with love even though they left me wounded. It's because, it's what the Lord told me to do. To love them. I'm hoping to be with people who also has the gift so i can practice it. My pastor is not really open to spiritual gifts. I feel like the church was suppressed with he gifts

  118. Gravatar

    I googled this topic today because I need answers. Am I a rebel?? I am now sitting here with tears streaming down my face and with understanding of why I have been outcasted. You are so correct an authoritative Pastor doesn’t like it. I have been outcast twice and I have absolutely no intention of malice. I see what isn’t right. The problem is one of us (the pastor or me) isn’t right and Pastors always assume it must be them! I have been struggling with questions, condemnation and vulnerability. I have been asking God for months where I will fit??? And to lead me to a church which can handle me. Thankyou for assisting me to revelation today.

  119. Gravatar

    I am totally boggled by this. Judge not that ye be not judged. So no judging of the hearts of others. Discernment consists of studying the Bible with a sound background in correct doctrine (the Bible interprets itself), and then using the knowledge gained to discern between true and false doctrine, which we are to judge. This whole string of comments is made up almost entirely of people who say they have this "gift", and it sounds an awful lot like putting "me" on the throne instead of Christ. Being rejected is not the same as being a discerner. I was rejected. I will not claim this "gift". And here I am, the person who is in opposition, the rebel if you will, and will be found not belonging with the rest of you. And I am not a discerner. Just an introvert, and I speak my mind.

  120. Gravatar

    Finally! It all makes sense now! I have these strong senses, feelings, & can feel demonic oppression, attacks & even when peace release enters a room, impressions, seeing things in a feeling/sensing sort of way rather than visually, I can feel unspoken energies & when they change. I don’t have a rhyme, or reason, and sometimes it’s very intense. Drives me crazy sometimes because I can’t prove it I just “know” it. I truly like to help people at the deep levels but I always feel different than others and not completely understood. I’m terrible and really dislike surface-y conversation, time waster. If we are not growing in the Kingdom of God then who cares what the weather is or what party you’ve been to. I judge all the time, not someone’s heart to salvation but whether it is Kingdom business or not. I’m relieved to know there are others. I’m not alone.

  121. Gravatar

    I believe I have this gift and it started as a child when I saw things no one else could and knew things i shouldn't. I am often rejected in church and considered a freak. I haven't met another person with my gift and it is extremely frustrating. I feel alone and tend to run from church because of it. Sometimes I pray just to be normal but of course it never happens. God uses me to speak to others and it scares people. I'm currently away from God for lack of better words. I am glad I read this because it has given me a bit of insight on "what I am." It's hard having this gift, especially when your alone. I will continue to research and hopefully come up with some real answers. Pray I meet someone like me for a bit of guidance. Thank you all God Bless and stay strong.

  122. Gravatar
    Associate Pastor

    It is sad so many have suffered this kind of abuse in their churches and by their Pastors. On the contrary we have had instances where the person with this gift would not share when they felt a major check in their spirit - only afterwards when the damage had been done. We have spent many times pleading and encouraging those with this gift to not "sit on their gift," but to let us know. Of course we encourage them but most the time as Pastors we are left on our own to do it all regarding protecting the flock and flowing in the gifts. Its the Pastors wearing every hat known to man while the church sits and receives. The only time I have seen this "gift" abused is when it becomes the gift of suspicion versus the true gift of discernment. Then you have a problem and many times someone is just not teachable. Discernment should come to us on its own. We do not decide what gifts we want, The Holy Spirit distributes them as He wills.

  123. Gravatar
    larry clement

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  124. Gravatar

    Those who really have the gift are chased out by those who just pretend to and you will know if someone actually has it because many come together behind that person's back to talk negative about the person.

  125. Gravatar

    Also, not all discerning types judge everyone...often times it's the other way around where the discerner is chased out by being heckled, left out and judged. The final judgement of a discener is when the discerner leaves for good. Remember the bible says judge not unless ye be judged. For those that do judge in an unfair way do so based on superficial things. Hold people in contempt for little things as they have bigger problems. Matt.7. [1] Judge not, that ye be not judged. [2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. [3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  126. Gravatar
    Identified Follower

    Amazing. I made the HUGE mistake of joining the BUSINESS Hillsong. This has brought me great comfort thank you.

  127. Gravatar

    I have done the spiritual gifts class through my church and I have taken 3 times. each time I test highest in discernment. People tend to vilify us because of being able to "read people". people think I'm overly critical and I think the worst but the unfortunate thing is I can truly see what is going on and I can't explain how I can. which of course tends to lead me being an outcast. I think the issue is people (even Christians) see us as mean, aggressive, and not understanding (which can be the case) but I try very hard not to come across this way but of course am not successful. This article gives me comfort that even though I'm skeptical doesn't mean I'm bad or God doesn't think much of me. I do wonder why he gave me the gifts I have as I seem to be the bad guy in most situations :-) I have discernment, teaching, and administration as my high. But anyway, thank you for the article. this helps explain discernment better than most people can explain.

  128. Gravatar

    This explains it. I find myself being an outcast at my church. I do not always conform with what the pastor is saying. I question everything that is being preached . Most often than not, I am looking for what the Spirit is saying. My sister says that I have the gift of prophecy, the greatest of all gift but how? I am very introverted and not always agreeing with what the pastor is saying. Now that I have read this, I felt in my spirit that this is me. This is my gift. DISCERNMENT, the twin gift of PROPHECY. But how is discernment the twin gift of prophecy?

  129. Gravatar
    Flor R. Dobbyn

    I am in complete tears as I was reading your article. You have written all aspect of the struggles that a discerner experience. I am going through it now. You are always misunderstood and branded the most painful accussation rebellious, judgemental, hardened heart because you see and expose unrighteousness. You even struggles to whom you can share it and really be truthful with their commment rather than being talk and betrayed at your back. I sometimes ask God to just take it back because of the pain you have to go through. When I read your article I was release from that struggle of condemnation. Thank you so much and blessings on you.

  130. Gravatar
    Brent k

    Discernment is based on and linked to your knowledge of Scripture. It is not "special revelation" or visions or dreams or feelings. I have always been extremely committed to keeping Scripture "in context" and that by itself has gotten me in trouble many times. I believe what God did NOT say is as important in a given context as what He DID say. In my 50 plus years as a Believer it has gotten me fired, banned from church Bible studies, and literally avoided by some people. Pastors and church leaders generally de-value my observations and label solid Biblical exegesis as "speculation" when it doesn't conform to their views. I truly believe that those with the gift of discernment are the "sons of Issachar" for whatever time and situation God places us in. I sincerely believe hillsong, elevation and most tv "evangelists" are dangerous because they are not talking about the God of the Bible and most people don't realize that! I appreciate this website. Thank you.

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