Spiritual Warfare and Discernment
By: Colette Toach
The Gift of Discerning of Spirits
This is one of my favorite gifts. If you have ever received any kind of impartation from this ministry at all, you definitely flow in this gift. What is it?
It is basically the ability to sense angels, demons, the anointing or the condition of somebody else’s spirit. In short, you discern he spirits - whether it is demonic, the anointing or it is just simply the condition that another human spirit is under.
There are many ways to sense the gift of discerning of spirits. Perhaps you already flow in this gift but you are just not aware of it.
I share in the Dreams and Visions course in our prophetic school the various ways I sense oppression - perhaps you will be able to relate.
You might feel something different. When I feel demonic oppression, I feel like my hair is crawling! It is almost as if there are ants all over me. You know that feeling?
However, when I sense the anointing I sense a peace and like this warm oil is being poured all over me. It is this warm glow and this sense of rest. When I feel that I know I am sensing the anointing.
Then when there is somebody that I am close to who is going through a personal conflict, I feel like a knot in my stomach. Do you know how long it took me to identify that and know what was wrong with me?
I would feel this horrible knot and cry out to the Lord to find out what was going on. Most of the time what I sense in this case is the conflict somebody else is going through. Very often, the Lord will then lead me to minister to them and the knot would leave.
Don’t Get Hung Up on The Angel and Demon Part
Now, perhaps you have been experiencing this without realizing it. If you are seeing angels and demons in the spirit then you are already flowing in the gift of discerning of spirits which is great.
Honestly though, I don’t encourage this. I think that there is just too big of a fuss being made about seeing angels and demons all the time. Unless you are helping people deal with demons in their own lives, I don’t see the point of going around and shouting that you are seeing them. I don’t see where this ministers to anybody.
Dealing With Demons
Certainly when I am in warfare I bind the enemy and if I see a demon it is very helpful because then I know that something demonic is going on and I can deal with it. Also when I am praying for healing and I see a demon associated with it, I can rebuke it and tell it to leave. It is a great tool in personal ministry.
Also when I see a messenger angel then I know the Lord has a message that needs to be decreed. It is a great help in this context.
However, I tell you, just this ability to sense oppression, the anointing or the condition of somebody else’s spirit is very rare.
If you have the gift of discerning of spirits you can flow in that. I think though that people get so hung up on seeing angels and demons all the time that they actually overlook this but it is so important. I couldn’t live without it.
When I listen to music for example, I wait to see if I can sense the anointing. If I don’t feel it then it is not anointed. It is that simple. You know, you would be surprised at how many people can’t sense the anointing.
If there is one gift that you really want to reach out for and receive, please start with the gift of discerning of spirits. It might mess you up a bit though. You might go into a meeting and maybe you thought that particular speaker was great before but suddenly you are feeling demons while he is talking. When that happens, the gift of discerning of spirits at work! We thank the Lord for it and sometimes we wish he could take it back!
I have felt that way many times. When somebody is going through something or you are just feeling such intense oppression all the time you say, “Okay Lord. I am sick of this gift now. I am tired of sensing this.”
Yet on the other hand it is really like a safe guard around you. You can sense when something is of the Lord and when not.
When somebody stands up and gives a prophetic word do you feel the anointing on it or do you feel oppression?
Prophets Subject to the Prophets
That is how the prophets should be able to judge. Paul says how the prophets should be able to judge the prophets. Well, how do you think you will judge it? You don’t do it by just thinking that the word sounded good, that is for sure.
So one of the main ways that you will learn to judge a prophetic word is by the gift of discerning of spirits.
I don’t care if your words sound all pretty and I don’t even care if your revelation really was from the Lord. If it comes with oppression I don’t want it. Maybe it is oppressed because you are in personal bondage or because you have added your own junk to the original revelation. I don’t care why it is oppressed. The bottom line here is that if it is oppressed, I don’t want it.
The problem here is that people hear a prophetic word and then say that it sounded right to them. They don’t have the gift of discerning of spirits though and so they didn’t discern whether it is anointed or oppressed.
Another problem is that you also just go around receiving ministry and prophetic words from everybody and it is loaded with oppression. In doing that you are actually receiving then you are receiving a curse. Do you realize that?
You will receive a contamination in your life that way. Do you see how deadly that is? How can you learn to judge the prophets and how can you learn to give the Body of Christ direction if you can’t even sense the difference for yourself?
This is what I really want you to focus on! Learn to discern the spirits. If you have already seen angels and demons, then you already have the gift of discerning of spirits but just need to learn to be a bit more sensitive.
It is like I said, you are probably already flowing in this but just don’t realize it. Think about the last meeting you were in – what did you feel?
Different Ways to Discern Spiritually
People will discern things differently. Perhaps you smelled, tasted or heard something in the spirit. You might even have felt something physically just like Apostle Les felt it in his hands.
I tend to feel my hair crawling. I feel this terrible cold clammy feeling when somebody is under oppression. Especially when there is a ruler demon in somebody, I feel cold all over and I can see it in their eyes.
Learn to identify it and learn to know your enemy but also learn to sense the anointing and discern when it is present.
When people send us a teachings to look at or send us a project that is what I am looking for. Even more powerful though is the ability to sense the condition of somebody else’s spirit and to be able to discern what’s going on inside of them. T
This is also something that may just take a bit of sensitivity on your part. I will let you in on a little secret here. When you write to us we can discern what’s in your spirit because it is contained in your words.
Discerning the Spirit Correctly
I remember I had one circumstance where this lady submitted a prophetic thesis to me for marking. Even though the words were right, the spirit of it was all wrong. I picked up this conflict in the spirit.
So I wrote to her and said, “I don’t know what’s going on but I really feel that you need to develop your relationship with the Lord more. You said the right things but I felt no anointing what so ever.”
I really gave a very accurate description of where the person was at spiritually at the time of writing this thesis. Except there was a problem… she wasn’t the one who wrote the thesis. Due to the language barrier, her husband wrote it for her. She told him the words to say but he actually wrote them.
So what I picked up was his spirit and you know what, I was dead on! It was like a chisel stroke to him right between the eyes. I was exactly right with what God wanted to tell him.
So this is something you can look forward to as well. It is a blessing to be able to sense what’s going on in people. It will help you identify when to minister. When somebody is under oppression, take the time to notice that they are in conflict and ask them if they are okay.
You will be able to know then if the words you give are received or not. So the gift of discerning of spirits covers a whole bunch of different avenues. Learn to be sensitive to people. Again it goes back to just having an other orientation and to really understand what’s going on. Learn to sense what the Lord is saying to you. For you as a prophet this mostly means to learn how to listen.
Sometimes you think it is all about learning how to talk, but if you want to learn to flow in all of these gifts, there is one clear guideline I can give you for all of them - Learn to listen. Learn to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying inside of you. Learn to listen to the vision that you are receiving and learn to listen to what other people are and aren’t saying to you.
Once you realize that the Lord has been showing you things all along, it can get quite exciting. So reach out and let the Lord use you in this area. Hopefully some things were already explained to you in this article.
If you feel that you are already flowing in this spiritual gift, then I suggest you look at getting some training with us at our prophetic school. Here a mentor can guide you through the process and help you to flow accurately and also help you rise up into effective prophetic ministry. www.prophetic-school.com
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