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Gift of Discernment?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by texasbaptist, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. texasbaptist

    texasbaptist New Member

    Sep 17, 2007
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    Can anyone tell me if this is the gift of discernment?

    My nephew, who is 25, recently confided in me that at age 15 he had a dramtic spiritual experience while he was alone and reading his Bible. He felt a deep presence of God come over him.

    Since that time, he has, on occassion, been able to look at someone he meets and feel things about them. For example, that they have impure motives, or that they are hurting and need help, or that they have a good heart.

    I pressed him to determine if he thought that this ability was real or imagined. He said it was real. I pressured further to see if he felt it was from God or evil. He said it was from God. He said he had never used the gift for evil or for his advantage, just to help people. For example, if he feels someone is hurting, he feels an urge to stop and say something to them to encourage them. Sometime he let's them pass by and he regrets not saying anything.

    He does not speak openly about this and has only told 3 people, however I am the only Christian he has told and the others did not seem to understand.

    I have cautioned him to test this with scripture and pray about it and not be fooled.

    Does anyone have any guidance as to how to tell if this is a true gift or just an ordinary ability to "read people'? Is what he discribes how the gift of discernment would be manifested? I want to help steer him in the right direction.

  2. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 20, 2002
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    When I am walking in the Spirit, this sort of thing manifests itself from time to time. I am occasionally given insight into the concerns and issues of others so that I might privately pray for them or encourage them. (Every time I have given encouragement to another based on these insights, the other person has confirmed the insight to one degree or another...) I also don't have much difficulty weeding out the false teachers and charletans from those who are true and sincere (even if their theology is a little off) followers of Christ.

    Yep. I have a very strong sense that if I tried to use what God tells me to my own advantage, God would severely discipline me for misusing that information. Moreover, it would be a major betrayal of my intimacy with God.

    Yep. That sounds about right. Few people understand (and I don't quite understand the hows and the whys). Furthermore, other people somehow assume that this manifestation of discernment somehow makes those who have it feel superior to others... not true. It is actually very humbling, because you have an opportunity to see how much God cares for others as you participate in that work. But I'm certain that there will be a number of people highly critical of my comments.

    I would say that it is likely the true gift, which may well go along with the natural ability some people have to read people.

    I think it is certainly one of the ways. The gift of discernment often comes combined with the gift of prophecy (that is, speaking the truth of God to a specific situation or need).

    God still speaks to people today, and He often uses flesh and blood messengers to do it. Most frequently it is through the pastor during a sermon (church members often "hear" the words of the Spirit that the pastor didn't specifically say or an unplanned sermon comment is exactly what a congregant needs to hear), but it also occurs in our Sunday School classes, fellowships, private dinners in our homes, and in times of crisis.

    Discernment and prophecy are the two most commonly manifested gifts in my spiritual life.