Was that spiritual experience really from God? Was that healing from God? Is that ‘prophetic word’ spoken into your life from the Holy Spirit? What is really happening in a church when there is deep disagreement among leaders or with a certain individual? Can you ever question a person with a ‘heavy anointing’? What is ‘true spirituality’? What is the spiritual gift of discernment and do possibly have that gift? These are important questions. To the degree that you cannot answer them, you are vulnerable to spiritual confusion or ruin, broken relationships, deep regrets and often emotional pain. Sometimes, deception is part of spiritual abuse.
In the Great Commission Jesus expects his disciples to obey everything He commanded, which includes practicing spiritual discernment so that we are not deceived (Matt. 28:20; 7:15-23; 24:24; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jer. 23:16). If we ever think we cannot be deceived, we are already deceived. The enemy of our souls is far more subtle and devious than we realize, with a few thousand years (or more!) of practice. However, he is no match for the Holy Spirit and the Presence of Jesus in our lives. I invite you to listen to my message on discernment from Matt. 7:15-23 where I begin with several examples of the need for discernment and end with ten Biblical principles of spiritual discernment so that with God’s grace and empowering you can avoid deception.