Monday, August 14, 2017
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I’m often asked about spiritual gifts. Most want a simple answer. There isn’t one. Of course, there are the spiritual gifts that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. These get the most focus, especially from Pentecostals. But there are other spiritual gifts. Romans 12:6 speaks of spiritual gifts, but places them in a broader category, including preaching, ministering, exhorting etc. Hebrews 2: 4 speaks of gifts of the Holy Spirit, but doesn’t necessarily reference the ones cited by Paul.

My personal favorite, and the one I feel that God has most gifted me with, is “discerning of spirits” (KJV) or “distinguishing between spirits” (NIV), mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10. There are several ways to look at this gift. First, it obviously refers to the detection of demons. But it also can be broadened to include insights about human behavior, the “spirit” in which an individual operates. (Often this is an awareness of a person’s spiritual fruit or lack thereof.) Sometimes I discern spirits visually, by looking at a person, and at other times with a God-given, intuitive sense. I’ve not always been as good at this as I am now. Age, maturity, and a lot of experience has helped to refine the operation of this gift. It doesn’t function with a 100% certainty, and I don’t feel It working through me all the time. But as with anything, practice makes, if not perfect, better accuracy.

Let me be clear. The discerning of spirits is not guesswork, suspicion, curiosity, or mere behavioral insight. It goes beyond natural “horse-sense” to a realm of prophetic insight. And anyone walking in this gift must be careful to avoid being judgmental, since discernment can too easily be confused with prejudice or private opinions. Nevertheless, it is something that can be strongly felt and judiciously utilized. In this age of perverted, demonic evil all around us, it may the one gift Christians need most!

To those who feel called to deliverance, especially students and alumni of our International School of exorcism, I recommend this gift as one to be earnestly desired (1 Corinthians 12:31). Seek it, cultivate it, and subject it to peer review (accountability to spiritual authority). Humbly ask the Lord for wisdom on how best to let it operate in your life, not for your own edification, but for the sake of setting free the captives of Satan.

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An encouraging word: REJOICE!
Yesterday was one of those days when I didn’t feel much like praising the Lord; probably a combination of fatigue and stress. Then I remembered the words of Phil 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! “No way,” my emotions said. Then I remembered the several times that I’ve visited Paul’s prison in Rome. It was just a hole carved out of rock, leading to small room not much bigger than most bathrooms today. It was solid stone on every side. Cold. Damp. Dark. Beyond miserable. If Paul could take pen in hand and, in those circumstances, and tell the Philippians to always rejoice, perhaps I too could praise the Lord for just this one day. The results were amazing. Try it.

Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did® (Luke 4:18).  You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online

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