Birthing Real Discernment

July 5, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of First Corinthians chapter twelve. First Corinthians chapter twelve. And when you reach the book of First Corinthians chapter twelve, please stand for the reading of the Word tonight. That’s First Corinthians chapter twelve. We’re going to look at verse four through verse eleven. Verse four through verse eleven. And when you reach there, also signify by saying amen.

4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Father, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Dear Lord, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God tonight.

Tonight we’re going to be talking about discernment, discerning of spirits. What is discernment? Discernment is being able to perceive what is obscure by the Spirit of God, what has been covered in darkness to the natural eye.

In the body of Christ, especially in the New Testament churches we have been taught to discern everything. In some cases we have become discernment crazy. Do you hear what I’m saying? We can no longer walk into the house of God and get into the Presence of God. Immediately we put on false discernment. Because our discernment is discernment by the flesh and not by the Spirit of God. You don’t want to talk to me tonight.

But it is time that we understand real discernment and how it is actually birthed.

When we look at the prayer of the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter one and verse nine, it said, “In this I pray, that Your love may abound, yet more and more in knowledge and in judgment.”

And when we look at that word “judgment” it means “in discernment.” “That Your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in discernment.

Discernment is birthed (glory to God) from abounding love. If I don’t have the spirit of love in operation, my discernment is not real. You don’t hear me tonight.

You see, we all have natural senses. But because you discerned or detected something with your natural senses did not mean that God showed it to you. You see, the spirit of discernment comes into operation where there’s something that God wants it to be revealed to you, but you cannot discern it with your natural senses. Especially when you have a prophet in the house.

You see, if you don’t discern by the spirit of love, then your discernment is not real. Oh, come on. Talk to me tonight.

The Bible says in Romans that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. Our hearts have got to be filled with the love of God, with agape love, with unconditional love, to love... Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to tonight?

We’ve been trying to discern things by our flesh. You can’t discern the heart of a man or the heart of a matter by the flesh.

You see, God, the Bible says, looketh on the outer appearance... I mean, man looketh at the outer appearance. But God looketh at the heart. You see, the spirit of discernment is going to take you past this outer shell. It’s going to cause you to be able to penetrate into the spirit and soul of a person. Come on, talk to me tonight. It’s going to let you know what’s really operating on the inside.

Everything that operates by the Spirit of God works by the love of God. You see, if I do not love my brother, then I do not love my God. And that same fault finding spirit that’s working in me is the same fault finding spirit that’s working against God. You see, I just won’t verbalize it. But on the inside of my heart I’ve got ought against God. I’m mad with God.

How can I say that I love God and hate my brother? Somebody need to hear this tonight. That means your love ain’t real. That means your discernment ain’t real. That means that you’re like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

The gifts even operate by faith. And the Bible says that faith worketh by love.

What have we been discerning? Flesh discerns flesh. I need to say that again. Flesh discerns flesh. And Spirit discerns Spirit. Where is your love tonight? Where is your love?

You see, we’ve been walking around in the body of Christ. And we’ve been judging ourselves by ourselves. But the Bible says that they that judge themselves by themselves are not wise. You see, we become a lot of times, wise in our own...

Saints of God, you see, the reason why we can’t cast out devils is because we trying to cast out flesh. You see, a lot of times a person acts the way they act because that’s who they are. It ain’t always a devil. Sometimes it’s their flesh.

But when the spirit of discernment is in operation it will let me know that that is their flesh operating. Discerning of spirits operates by the Spirit of God.

You see, when you came to this house tonight you began to look at me. And a lot of you tried to discern me. But except you were in the Spirit of God with the love of God, you don’t know nothing about me. Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to tonight?

It’s got to be by love. Because love, God’s love is unconditional. You see, because you discern something by the Spirit of God does not give you the right to begin to be their god.

You see, when we begin to discern something about something, we want to recreate them, don’t we? We want them to be formed into our image the way we want them to be. Oh, you don’t want to talk to me tonight.

But see, He will give us the spirit of discernment, that we may be able to drive the enemy out, not drive our brothers and sisters out. He said, “With loving kindness have I drawn thee.” He said, “If any man come to me,” He said, “I won’t cast them out.”

You see, not only discerning of spirits, but the gifts of the Spirit, period, are supposed to work by the love of God that’s on the inside of us. It’s got to move by love. Real discernment is birthed from the heart or the spirit.

Why is this understanding so important? Because Jesus is coming back. And He’s coming back for a church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. And though there be many denominations, we’re still one body in Christ. But many of the different denominations have become cultic. And they say, “If you don’t do it like us, then you’re not saved.”

But as long as you believe in Jesus, as long as you believe in the Godhead Trinity, as long as you believe in the Holy Ghost... You don’t even have to speak in tongues to have the Holy Ghost. He’s just the evidence.

Our gifts, our discernment, everything about us has got to operate by the spirit of love. It’s got to. It’s got to.

We try to discern through suspicion. See, we can’t discern anything, because I’m suspicious of you. You see, anybody can look suspicious. But until you understand real discernment, you can’t discern anything about them. You can see somebody on the street and they can look suspicious.

And if the truth be told, you know the stereotype about our color causes us to be suspicious. And places that we go automatically they think that they have discerned... And I’m not trying to be prejudice. You don’t want to talk to me. But I’m telling the truth about it tonight. They think they discerned that you have done something wrong. But in actuality it’s a stereotype because of what they see on the outside, if you catch my drift.

But discernment comes from the Spirit. I cannot be suspicious of you and watch you every minute.

You see, you’re supposed to watch me, and you’re supposed to watch my wife, because we’re your pastors. But don’t watch us because you’re suspicious of us. Who am I talking to? Oh, I might need to turn around and come back again.

Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Don’t follow us because you’re suspicious of us. But follow us because of the Christ in us.

If you continue or if you try to discern because you’re suspicious, you’ll find something wrong with somebody all the time. Be still. And if there’s something to be revealed, then the Revealer of secrets will reveal it to you.

Real discernment, it works by love. It’s because I love you. I’m not looking to judge you. But I’m looking for the enemy that’s trying to bother you.

It’s like a shepherd. When we lead sheep, there may be something on the inside of that sheep that needs to go. Because we’ve discerned it. But once you get skilled with the things of God, you’ll get that thing that you need to get. But you’ll leave that person whole.

False discernment will cause you to destroy the person instead of trying to destroy the enemy. There’s no love found in false discernment. When we become critical of others, it blurs our spiritual discernment.

If I am a critical person, if I am critical of everybody else, then my discernment will be false. Because my discernment will come from other peoples’, “Heard it through the grapevine.” I’m going to let that soak in for a minute. Hello.

False discernment also sees the outside of the person or the circumstance, and pretends to know what’s going on on the inside. That’s the key word, “pretend.” See, because you think that you know what’s going on with somebody doesn’t make you super spiritual.

Because if you do know what’s going on with somebody, to make you super spiritual, that means that you have taken that thing to prayer. And you begin to stand in the gape and make up the hedge.

In John seven and verse twenty-four, it says, “Do not judge from the outer appearance. But judge with righteous judgment or discernment.” I need insight that comes from the Spirit of God.

Now look at your neighbor tonight. Now say, “Neighbor, I may not know you. But the Spirit of God knows you. And whatever concerns you, He’s going to perfect it. So you may not be perfect yet. But one day you will be. But in the process, I’m going to let Him work that work. And I’m going to be patient until that you are formed unto the image of Christ. In the Name of Jesus.”

Come on, give God some praise. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

I need Godly motives, to be able to see beyond the natural. What is my motive for trying to see? In order to really see it, my motive has got to be Godly.

Sometimes people just want to see so they can turn around and go the other way. “I’m going to study this person for a little while.” And then when they find a flaw, they don’t want nothing to do with you no more. Aren’t you glad that God is not like man?

Real discernment has Godly motives. It has to have the love of God.

Saints of God, whenever you come into a house of God... Let me say this to you. You may not know the preacher, the pastor, or whoever is speaking. But you need to come with the spirit of love. You need to say, “Lord, use them for Your glory.” And if God ain’t using them, God is going to show you, “That ain’t Me.” Because it’s going to operate by love.

It won’t bust through the door saying, “Let me see. I’m coming to see. Because I know there’s something wrong.” That’s not how real discernment works. It works by love.

God is calling us to another place of maturity. Stop judging your brothers and sisters so harshly. I’ve always said it. The same measure you mete is going to met back to you. Discern their heart, what’s really in their heart, what’s really in their heart. But discern with the spirit of love.

And when God... You ask God to show you. When you say, “Lord, show me,” let Him look at your motive. And let Him be able to say, “He wants to, she wants to see, because they want to pray for My people. They don’t just want to see so they can cast them down and throw them away.”

See, the gift of the prophet... He’ll cause us to root out some things. But at the end of all of that, He’ll cause us to build and to plant. See, He’s not going to tear you down and not build you up. He’s not going to cut you down (That’s not the kind of God that you serve) and leave you there to bleed.

He might let you think about it for a little while. But then He’s going to build you back up again. Because He’s a God of love. He’s a God of love. He’s a God of love. He’s a God of love.

Now, some of our love has began to wax cold. Now begin to let that ice melt. Let it melt. Let it melt. Because you and I want God to use us. But He can use a cold heart. He want that heart on fire. He wants that heart on fire.

If your love is cold, and as soon as you walk into the presence of people, immediately you start to judge them, then you need to be delivered tonight.

Every head bowed, every eye closed...

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