1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another, the distinguishing of spirits.

The Bible reveals four areas relating to the subject of “spirit.” The first is the Holy Spirit, for whom this devotional is dedicated. Next, the human spirit, which becomes regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit when one repents and is converted. The third is angels, who are called ministering spirits. The fourth is demonic spirits, who are associated with the realm of darkness.

In the Gospels, these spirits of darkness are referred to in a number of ways. They are called devils, evil spirits, and unclean spirits. The gift of discernment, translated in the NASB as “distinguishing of spirits,” is a gift the Holy Spirit gives so the body of Christ knows with what realm of the spirit world it is dealing. This is a necessary gift in helping to bring freedom to those bound by evil spirits. It is also beneficial to help an individual find God’s eternal purpose for their lives as they learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Because of the influence of the occult in society, both in Bible days and in ours, the problem of spirits is a real issue. Many people come to Jesus, but have not received ministry regarding their past, when evil spirits attached to their lives. The early church understood the spiritual battle in which they were engaged and ministered “deliverance” from evil or unclean spirits so that the new believers could walk in freedom in their new faith in Christ.

The gift of discernment is a powerful tool that the Holy Spirit wants to impart to willing believers. It can be used to discern spiritual realms in the corporate gathering, in times of ministry to an individual, and in our personal walk with the Lord. God wants us to know how the enemy is battling against our success in Christ. The Bible is clear about our warfare not being with flesh and blood. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Ask the Holy Spirit today to heighten your discernment of the enemy’s territories. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show you the battle in which you are engaged. Ask for discernment as you minister to others. Father, I thank You for Your Word that tells of our spiritual battles. Cause me to be discerning as I fight the good fight of faith.