by Neil Anderson

August 25

SPIRITUALLY AWARE

Hebrews 5:14 
Solid food is for the mature who, because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil

In many counseling cases I am able to sense in my spirit that something is wrong or that the real issue has not surfaced. Sometimes I seem to know what it is, but instead of blurting it out, I test it. For example, if I discern that the counselee may be in bondage to homosexuality, I don't say, "You're a homosexual, aren't you?" Rather, I test the impression at the appropriate time by asking something like, "Have you ever struggled with homosexual thoughts or tendencies?" If the Spirit's discernment in me is matched by His conviction in the counselee, usually the problem surfaces and we can deal with it.

Have you ever "known" that someone was a Christian before he or she even said anything about it? Have you ever sensed a compatible spirit with other believers? There is nothing magical about that; it's just the presence of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit. At other times the Holy Spirit warns you that the spirit controlling another person is not a compatible spirit.

If we would learn to be more spiritually aware in our churches and homes, God could keep us from plowing head-on into so many disasters. In the Western world our cognitive, left-brain orientation all but excludes discernment as our essential guide for navigating through the spiritual world. But the writer of Hebrews identified discernment as a mark of maturity: "Solid food is for the mature who, because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (5:14).

A good systematic theology is the essential foundation upon which we build our lives. It is like the skeleton of our body. But dead orthodoxy is just that: dead! It is the Holy Spirit who gives life to the body. The church is in desperate need of biblically orthodox people who have also learned to be spiritually discerning.

Prayer: Increase my sensitivity to the spiritual world, Lord, and keep me from the dangers of viewing life only from a human perspective.

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