Are you trying to figure out what's "really" happening? Are you trying to discern what's really true?
"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their POWERS OF DISCERNMENT trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:14, emphasis mine)
There are many predictions and prognostications being shared concerning Putin and Ukraine, the fallout of Covid, the outcome of the 2020 election, what's happening economically, and where this is all headed. We'd like to think that our prophetic gifts would give us an edge on what's happening, but it's evident by the wide variety of perspectives being promoted that even prophets only see in part. But, perhaps that's by design.
God is not simply looking for a people with prophets, but a prophetic people who can rightly discern the times and seasons. He's looking for a unified Ecclesia, with a collective witness, that can rightly perceive His movements on the earth. If we're going to come into agreement concerning the battles before us and Heaven's strategies for success, we've got to grow in our powers of discernment. We've got to sift through our own ideologies and mindsets before we can accurately assess what's happening – and know what to do about it.
Consider these 8 filters that color our perceptions and beliefs. Determine to increase your awareness of these filters as you grow in your own powers of discernment:
1. Lack of the Word
Before we can claim to know what God is thinking or feeling about something, we'd better be sure we've got a good biblical worldview in place. The devil has convinced many people that Scripture is no longer relevant to the times we live in, and many have ditched sound doctrine for their own ideas. Before making a judgment call on anything, be sure it's backed by God's Word. (Photo via Unsplash)
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
We all have presumptions we bring to the table – ideas that we've never taken the time to examine. "God would never use someone like that." "So-and-so said this and he can't be wrong." "Those people can't be trusted." Our personal experiences, either good or bad, are powerful influencers. Before assuming anything, acknowledge that you have personal biases and preferences that will color your perspective. Your motives may be noble, but your perception could be skewed.
"And He said this plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, 'Get behind Me, satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'" (Mark 8:32-33)
3. Familiar Beliefs
New seasons and new battles often require new weapons of warfare. Some of our familiar belief systems are in need of an update. "Politics has no place in the Church." "We must always submit to those in authority." "You're not loving if you don't follow the rules."
Traditional mindsets from the past can become sacred cows if we are unwilling to adjust to the battles in front of us. Though the dogmas of our faith will never change, God's methods of engagement can. If we want to walk in wisdom and revelation, we must be willing to see things from a higher dimension.
"As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.'" (John 9:1-3)
4. Lack of Confirmation
There is a biblical principle of confirmation that safeguards us from false accusations and counterfeit ideas. Especially when something is highly controversial, we should expect any new revelation to be confirmed by at least two or three viable witnesses as an affirmation of Heaven's approval.
"...Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses." (2 Corinthians 13:1)
5. The Spirit of Fear
Anxiety and worry will blind us to truth. Fear is not simply a negative emotion – it is a demonic spirit that immobilizes us and robs us of faith in God. If any judgment call is based in fear, we will be subject to deception and unable to move forward in confidence of God's purposes.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)
6. Mercy Untethered to Truth
Compassion for others should always be a hallmark of any true Believer. But, mercy that denies the truth, or refuses to acknowledge evil, is falling short of God's intention. We must care for those impacted by a virus or those suffering because of war, but we must also consider the truths behind those battles to make sure our cause is not based on a lie. Just as we can never walk in the fullness of truth without mercy, so we can never extend true mercy apart from the truth.
"Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate..." (Amos 5:15) (Photo via Unsplash)
7. Lacking Common Sense
In some cases, one only needs to step back and ask some simple questions to rightly discern what is true. One can get lost in suspicion and hearsay and totally lose touch with reality. When all else fails, look at the evidence and consider the tangible fruit right in front of you.
"Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin." (Proverbs 13:15)
8. Lack of Counsel
If we each only see in part, then we should desire the perspectives of others to help us see a bigger picture. This doesn't mean asking someone we know is going to agree with us. We must be willing to change our opinion by listening to those who have a proven track record and have born the fruit of right discernment. We must learn to distinguish godly counsel from popular opinion.
"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." (Proverbs 1:5)
Conclusion: Though the "discerning of spirits" is a powerful gift of Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10), let's not forget the powers of discernment that should be foundational for every Believer.
Let's be more aware of these filters and avoid their limitations. Let's pursue the truth together to become a prophetic people that will cause the whole world to listen and take heed of His voice.
Whatever you do, don't miss another ELIJAH LIST email! Subscribe at this link: elijahlist.com/subscribe.
Wanda Alger¬†has been a field correspondent with Intercessors for America, is a recognized fivefold prophetic minister, speaker, and is the author of several books including Prayer That Sparks National Revival and¬†Moving from Sword to Scepter: Ruling Through Prayer as the Ekklesia of God. She and her husband founded Crossroads Community Church in 1998 where her husband serves as lead pastor. Follow her blog at www.wandaalger.me.
To receive more words like this in YOUR inbox, subscribe FREE to the Elijah List at this link: elijahlist.com/subscribe.
Find us on:
* Facebook click here
* XAPiT click here