09 April, 2013
Gifts of Discernment and Wisdom
I have received emails asking me the difference between the gift of Discernment and Wisdom and read those who actually do not have the gift of discernment but trying very hard to conjure it up. So, I have decided to Blog about it and I am taking part of an answer I sent to a sister in Christ in response to her email. So, if you are reading this post you know who you are.
The gift of wisdom gives you insight into God’s purpose and will and shows you how to resolve the everyday problem for you and for other people. It goes without saying that you are resolving them according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and God’s will. Mind you Solomon squandered it and solved problems apart from God as he followed after other gods. However, we can have wisdom without the gift of discernment, because the gift of discernment goes further, but we cannot have the gift of discernment without wisdom
Consists of what people calls word of knowledge, it also comprises distinguishing amongst spirits etc. While some people separate them, the Holy Spirit taught me they are one in the same because what we are doing is seeing through others with the very eyes of the Holy Spirit. As we grow in the Lord and walk with Him daily, the gift keeps growing as well. We have insight into the purpose and the will of God about us and other people. We can see their motives, sometimes even their thoughts etc. We really have insight on people and things that only God would know.
What makes this gift hard to live with is that you can have a friend who is very happy about an assignment for example. He or she is over the moon thinking that he is going to serve the Lord in some capacity. While he or she is over the moon with joy, you cannot tell your friend that this is actually dead works. Yet, you cannot lie and say “well I am happy for you” Another example is that you are not a leader, yet you can see all the pastor is doing wrong like being out of God’s will, totally not walking in the Spirit and the preaching does not have God in it, etc. Yet, you are forced to say nothing except praying for this pastor, you are to find the strength to keep on going there until God calls you out.
I knew a Church where the leaders got into a major conflict, yet God showed me what He was trying to achieve through this conflict in each group and it did not work because both groups were disobedient and their ego got the best of them. Even today, I am still in pain for these leaders doing Christianity with their ego right in the middle of it. Yet, I am supposed to keep it all for myself. With all my heart, sometimes I wish I could shut if off just for a little while just to be me.
God gave me my gift of discernment since I was a baby in the faith. Imagine being in the Church and God seemed to take away everyone, as if they disappeared, all of the sudden He singled out one of the leaders and point out things this person would never want anyone in the Church to know. (Believe it or not he is a nice guy) When He kept insisting on showing me week after week, my question to Him was “why you keep showing me that?” I did not have intimacy with God, nor did I know how to converse with the Holy Spirit. He gradually taught me and He also gave me proof that it was Him by forcing me to go to someone one a Sunday after service and told this person this is what God told me to pray for you. There were five other mature Christians there, and we were all in a circle. Everyone could not believe what they were hearing because they knew the man on a personal level and they asked me how I knew these things about him. I just replied like an idiot, “I don’t know, God just told me” and I laughed.
After I was in the wilderness for a few years with the Lord, He was breaking my stiff neck and changes me on the inside to transform me, one day, the Holy Spirit told me that He had given me the gift of discernment. What was strange to me was the fact that He waited so long to confirm that He had given to me the gift of discernment, yet He told me about my gift of Wisdom when I was approximately seven years in my walk with Him. I realized what He was doing all this time was training me to know how to use the gift of discernment and also testing me to see if I could be trusted with the gift.
I have never researched the gift up until approximately two years ago. I did it because I wanted to understand something God was not telling me which was “why me?” I am not a leader and I am no one. – A few weeks after I started researching the gift, I could not get any answers at all and I was a little bit discouraged. Then suddenly, during my quiet time with Him one morning, the Holy Spirit made clear why, by telling me about my ministry and made it clear that my gift was mainly for my ministry. Guess what my ministry is? Working with people He puts in my path, people that have been in the church for a long time but never made it to truly become Christians. These people have lots of bible knowledge, they participate in Church services, Bible study etc. They are nice and very often intelligent and extremely educated people that we interact with day in day out yet they have never gone one step forward with God in their heart.
In my ministry I found it is extremely important that I know whether this person has ever received Salvation through an encounter with God or this person has had an encounter with God but is plainly disobedient with a stubborn heart with dull conscience, etc. Both types are difficult to work with, both type do not want to hear it.
I find that He also blocks people that He does not want me to see. Sometimes He blocks someone He wants to use in my life, someone like a leader, and then unblock them once He finished using them. I find it strange that some people are trying so hard to have the gift, because, when He showed me how I was going to be hated, misunderstood, misjudged etc because of my ministry, I sobbed like a baby for hours and asked Him to take it away. But, I got over it, knowing that it is not about me but about my God and I am not above my Master.
One of the reasons I do not like talking about this gift of mine is because once people realize what you can do, they stay away from you. When it comes to leaders, if they do not stay away, they try to minimize it. Some actually think you are a total idiot for thinking you have the gift. One of the pastors who treated me that way had no idea that God showed me exactly where he was at. Because of that, this pastor has been constantly in my prayer for God to open up his heart and stop practicing Christianity with a “to do list” and also for him to learn to walk in the Spirit. Sadly, they do not realize the need to act in a certain way should tell you where you are at with God. It does not matter how much you love God and you are slowly growing, it simply means that you are still in the same frame of mind like Adam and Eve when they hid from God. It also means you have never gone forward just as you are and stand naked in front of God’s light.
Naked here does not mean without clothes but rather without our excuses, pretences, ego, pride, sin, double-mindedness, disobedient heart, lack of commitment, the lies we live and we tell Him, our stiff necks, etc. Yet, being able to stand naked in front of God and learning to live in the light of God is a major part of Salvation. God wants to restore us right here, right now and put us in the same relationship He had with Adam & Eve before the fall. Contrary to public’s opinion, this relationship is not when we die.
As I mentioned in my book Apprehended & Apprehending when God teaches us righteous judgment, we will find that we are our first customer, simply because we cannot judge people with righteous judgement for one single tree in their eyes if we have not learned to see the forest in our own eyes. In the same way if we cannot live in oneness with Him, if we cannot learn to live righteous lives moment by moment then the gift of discernment could become a curse instead of blessings. I say blessings here because God calls it such. Sometimes, as you live it out, it could be such a heavy gift that you ask yourself why is this a blessing?
In fact I asked God the same question when He was pressing me to go to someone. Since this is a long time friend that I did not want to lose and I knew my insistence would cause me to lose the friendship. The Holy Spirit answered me “I want you to go to this person because I do not want to hear ‘I did not know’ I could then turn and say to this person that I sent my servant to you” – It is funny how I realized that day, knowing that you are God’s servant is one thing, but having Him called you His servant is another thing. All of the sudden my question disappeared, I knew I could not dispute it anymore and I spent hours trying to process the fact that He called me His servant. I ended up going to my friend, and yes the friendship is now almost non existent.
The truth is people do not like feeling they are on display about their shortcomings. I still remember how I hated it. Every time I have to put someone on display, I am very mindful of that and every single time I see myself how I used to hate it and how it made me feel. But in equipping me for my ministry, He gave me boldness to do it with no regard for myself. It always comes down to “choosing myself or choosing Christ” or “displease men to please Christ” I would rather people hates me right now than having to face God’s wagging finger later.
Some of you want to know how I would feel if I was judged in the same way? Well, my answer to you is that I am going through it day in and day out with other people. When other people do it, I do not care and I will let God be the judge between me and them. Most of the time while they judge me, they have no idea that God shows me the spirit in them. Through my training for my ministry, God has taught me to keep a sober mind and remain alert, because in the same way He can show me someone else business, He could also turn around and do the same to me at any time. My duty is to learn to live in the light of God as He is in the light. As long as I am in the light as He is in the light, then I have nothing to worry about. I make sure I am at peace with the fact that other people can see that I am a true work in progress in Christ. I am certainly not sinless, nor that I have arrived.
We are perpetual students in the hands of God. It is also for that reason that God made sure that I mustered the courage though the Holy Spirit and His grace, to appear before Him just as I was. I no longer need to hide like Adam & Eve did. I passed that stage with Him. For those of you who are still hiding from God, when He calls you, if feels like a strong and distasteful medicine. You dread going and you want to prolong the hiding as much as you can. In my case the Holy Spirit made it clear that I had to go and go by myself because He could not do it for me. Once you face God, you find it’s finished. He is your dad what did you expect?
I also found out, we cannot claim to live righteous lives when we are still hiding from God. These two definitely cannot be separated. The need to hide so we are not found out by others simply says that we have not exercised enough faith to go to God. Once you appear naked in front of God, you find that you have become the most transparent person and the fear of being found out is gone. God actually takes the fear away from you. All that is left to do is to live a righteous life in Him. And no, righteous here does not mean you do not have sin.
I hope I was able to shed some lights for all your questions. I know I have gone deeper in answering what is the difference between wisdom and discernment but there are too many people who are under the impression they can seek the gift but not the giver. Some have hardly taken two steps with Him then they want the gift, to be able to discern the spirits to what end? I don’t know. Could it be that I know but it would be better to talk about it in another post?
I like Pastor MacArhtur, and he has a good post on the gift of discernment and wisdom which I found a few months ago by accident. But, this particular post of his has not exhausted the gift of discernment as I have learned directly from the Holy Spirit, but it is worth reading.