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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)

TITLE: Fit for Duty
By Dee Washington


I understand the pain, the tests, the necessity of, and the responsibility of the gift of discerning spirits. I have that gift.

It is a supernatural task from God “to distinguish the chaff from the wheat and to divide the manifestations of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit," according to A.W. Tozer. If the person who possesses the gift walks by his Holy Spirit, God has empowered them to perform those duties and, in fact, he expects a faithful execution of the duties of that gift. As with all the gifts, the gifted will be tested and tried to assure they are honed to perfection, and are functioning with spiritual integrity in utilizing the gifts.

The voices of evil rush about in the heart of normal and natural occurrences and, it is Satan’s duty to “…go[ing] here and there, checking things out (Job 2:1 MSG).” He and his lookouts have always done their jobs well.

“Evil” is usually thought of as wicked, revolting, malicious, or out of the norm for Christianity. It is considered contrary to, opposing, or refuting goodness. Evil is expected to be obvious sin – breaking one of the 10 commandments, or acting within the list of carnal sins Paul catalogs in Chapter 5 of Galatians. But Eve was, and mankind still is, duped by evil that was not obvious - deception.

Deception can be a form of godliness, and it shows up in the false light of fraudulent goodness, and imitation wisdom. It presents as normal Christianity, but in reality is malicious - ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing; and right at the heart of a natural environment, evil is loudly and with many voices, going to and fro as assigned. Evil doing what evil does - working iniquity; tricking some with feigned humility and kind words which are without the Spirit of God or his testimony (revelation already given), by those who don’t really agree with the doctrine of Jesus Christ, but think “we can stay, and stay hidden; as long as we are careful not to offend the Christians, we’re safe.”

For this reason, “My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God…(1 John 4:1 MSG)” Even in a Christian setting, the loud voices of evil can be perceived and distinguished as they rush to and fro. The one with the gift of discerning spirits must do a safety-check; inspect everything; give it a once-over; and then re-examine anything concerning God. See if it lines up - if it is from the devil, the desires of man, the world, or if it is of God’s Truth. And like A.W. Tozer says of white cells in a healthy blood system, “they pounce upon dead and toxic matter and carry it out to the drain.”

But we must be ready for the resulting warfare – persecution; the criticizing critique, disparaging nitpicking, and the most damaging accusation, “you’re crazy!” Nevertheless, in spite of the evil railing, we are to faithfully perform the responsibilities to distinguish evil - God’s eyes are also inspecting those who are gifted; “search[ing] the heart and examin[ing] the mind…” he says, “… I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be (Jer. 17:10)."

God watches to see if the gifted ones will function as planned on his behalf; he will, test, try, prove and reprove, observe and examine us to see if we checkout. I want to be sure that in my natural and normal Christian life, wherever his Name is at stake, that I am fit for duty and not just “in it to win it!” And that I am able to say with assurance, "But he knows where I am and what I've done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I'll pass the test with honors (Job 23:10 MSG).”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca06/17/11
Discernment is a spiritual gift we all need to exercise. True, some have more than others, but we can all grow in it. You made a number of good points with your article. Thanks.
Bonnie Bowden 06/17/11
I have never been gifted with discernment. It is a constant struggle for me to discern what is just apart from what is clearly spelled out in the scriptures.

Thank you for sharing about your gift.
Jan Ackerson 06/20/11
This entry is well laid out and written with great care.

My only suggestion is to look for ways to make your entries more readable, less dry and academic. Perhaps sharing a specific instance where your gift of discernment made a big impact on someone's life. Readers are drawn to reading about actual people and events.

Your admonitions to believers are well-received. Very good article.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/23/11
You made some great points and backed them up with scripture. One of the craftiest lies the devil gets people to believe is that he doesn't exist and there is no hell. Your article reminded me of a sermon my minister gave on that point. I'm not sure if it's directly on topic but I can see the subtle ways it might frt. You definitely gave me a lot to think about.