Have you ever had a moment where you just thought someone was a bit off or what they were saying wasn’t right? In the church in Corinth people from different backgrounds were bringing in ideas, opinions, old practices or beliefs into this church and it was causing some issues. God knew that leaders needed discernment and needed to be able to distinguish voices, writings, and other things that could cause major problems. Any time a church is planted, the enemy usually attacks in various ways so God gives gifts to protect his people and his mission. The gift of distinguishing between spirits in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is one of those gifts. Leaders in the church needed to know the difference between good and bad doctrine, practices and influences (even spirits).

Being able to discern between the Holy Spirit’s voice and other voices or even just between good and evil, was key to the believers in Corinth and believers today growing with God. The gift that Paul was encouraging the church to live out was important. Some commentators give a practical explanation for the verse, such as the gift grows as people grow in discernment (Hebrews 5:13-14). This of course doesn’t quite capture the text fully. Some explain how some believers are spiritually aware of how Satan is trying to attack the church and are needed to know the difference to avoid trouble and sin (1 John 4:1). What we do know is that the enemy is looking for a foothold to cause division and hurt the body. So whether it’s false doctrine, evil spirits, or divisive people; being able to distinguish what the Lord is calling us to do is important for the church today. I tend to believe being able to distinguish between spirits has relevance for today because of the differences among Christians in our culture..

What spiritual gifts has God given you to help build up his church? Are you able to tell good from evil in a manner that protects others? Do you seem to have a knack for knowing what God is doing and how to avoid things or voices that might get in the way of what God is doing? Maybe God has blessed you with the ability to distinguish between spirits. Here is the question I have for you, will you allow God to help you grow in your gifting and use it for the church? Maybe you have been waiting for the right time or maybe just avoiding the call. Maybe God is saying now is the right time. I’m praying God will guide you and use you for his plan. If you have questions or need a little help, just let us know, we are here for you.

Pastor Jeremy

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