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"We Must 'See' Below the Surface! Discernment Is One of Our Greatest Spiritual Gifts & Weapons"

Madeline James
Jun 3, 2020

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"We Must 'See' Below the Surface! Discernment Is One of Our Greatest Spiritual Gifts & Weapons"

Madeline James, Lexington, KY

In a recent dream I woke up hearing the words, "Not everything is as it seems. There is more going on below the surface." This phrase gripped me for several days as it was on repeat in my spirit. It carried a fear of the Lord with it. As I pressed into the greater meaning behind these words, the Holy Spirit began to talk with me about the importance of discerning of spirits in this hour.

What is discernment? Discernment is the ability to distinguish and judge. Discerning of spirits is one of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to us.

1 Corinthians 12:10 (AMP) says, "[A]nd to another the working of miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound, godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues."

I love how the Amplified version breaks down the meaning of discernment here. Discernment is more than just discerning what's in the room or the source of something. Discernment reveals deception. Discernment will be one of the greatest spiritual gifts and weapons needed in the hour, and in the years to come, for Believers to walk in.

Below the Surface

Let me share the dream I had. In the dream, I was walking in a familiar neighborhood, and I was on the phone with a seasoned prophet. I was talking and sharing with the prophet, and listening to their wisdom as I ventured deeper into the neighborhood. Suddenly, I came to what looked like flood waters that were keeping me from moving forward. The water didn't look that harmful and it was clear. As I considered my move, I relayed to the prophet what was going on. It was at this point the prophet told me, "Not everything is as it seems. There is more going on below the surface than what you can see." I took the caution and proceeded to go a different way, away from the waters. (Photo via Piqsels)

On the surface this may seem like a simple dream, but there is greater insight and revelation to look at. Water can be symbolic and prophetically mean many things. In this case, I believe the water represents the waters of the heart, and also the flow of the Spirit that comes from ministries. Proverbs 20:5 (AMP) says, "A plan (motive, wise counsel) in the heart of a man is like water in a deep well..."

In this season where the world has been on pause, the Lord has been using it to reveal the hearts of people. There is a dividing line being drawn between the pure and those whose motives are impure. Even though the water in the dream was clear in the shallow parts, through the prophet, the Spirit of God was telling me there was more to what I was seeing on the surface. What was hidden below the surface didn't match what was being released. Also, there was danger ahead if I proceeded further.

When we're in communication with the Spirit of God, the Spirit will illuminate what's hidden. Even as I was talking to the prophet on the phone, a greater impartation of discernment was being released. I believe the Lord is cautioning us and revealing that greater discernment is needed in this time to navigate and distinguish between people's motives, intentions, ministries, doctrines, agendas, and so on. Witchcraft, new age, and divination continue to grow and manifest like never before. We must be willing to go deeper and see, even if we don't like what we see. Discernment isn't just about exposure, it's about protecting His people from deception and those who have evil intent.

How to Grow Your Discernment

1. The Word of God: We are able to discern to the measure of the Word of God in us. The more the Word is in us, the easier it becomes to discern, judge, and distinguish. Hebrew 4:12 (TPT) says, "For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, like a two-mouthed sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts." (Photo via Pixabay)

2. Practice leads to maturity: The more you're willing to risk and step out on what you're discerning, the more you will build a track record of accuracy. Find a couple of friends or leaders that you can process with, that will help you to navigate through what you're sensing and discerning. Hebrews 5:14 (TPT) says, "But solid food is for the mature, whose spiritual senses perceive heavenly matters. And they have been adequately trained by what they've experienced to emerge with understanding of the difference between what is truly excellent and what is evil and harmful."

3. Language: It's important to build and acquire a language for what you're discerning. When you create a language for what you're discerning through all your senses, it will enable you to articulate and bring understanding to spiritual matters to others.

I believe even as you read this, a greater impartation of discernment is being released into your life. As discernment increases in your life, stay grounded in the Word of God so heightened discernment doesn't cause you to spin out.

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Madeline James
Madeline James Ministry


Madeline James is an emerging prophetic writer and voice who desires to release the heart of the Father, and be a tuning fork for the Body of Christ. She operates in the seer and revelatory realm. Her heart is to release revelation and wisdom that will help propel and push the Body of Christ forward. Madeline is the author of Rooted In Love, Declaring Your Morning, co-author of Emerge, and the blogger of the prophetic blog Nabi's Pen. She resides in Lexington, KY with her husband Richie and their two daughters.

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