Discernment. I am convinced that every Christian needs to learn this essential skill. I don’t believe that it is just for the few, I believe it is something that every Christian who wants the fullness of God needs. Without discernment, how does one know for themselves what is of God and what is not?
This is one of the greatest things my counselor taught me, how to find Jesus in the midst of the ‘noise’. Learning discernment was life transforming and helped remove the barriers that were preventing intimacy with God.
Before I was healed, my mind was filled with conflicting thoughts, voices, and pictures. I struggled to know what reality was. At times my head would be noisy with depressive or frightening thoughts. Some voices stated rules which I needed to live by to be ‘safe’, others were taunts often accompanied with visions of horror or statements of my unworthiness. In the myriad of these voices was God’s voice, but I was so confused I didn’t have the skills to work out which one was His. At times I would see visions that would fit God’s scripture, or hear Jesus asking me to come to His love. Most of the time I would reject these moments, thinking, “Why would anybody love me?” Or “Why would God talk to me?” Or I would do the opposite and think myself powerful because I heard His voice. It was very confusing. As I journeyed in healing, my understanding of who God was and His beautiful love increased. With this, so did my ability to discern between God, my own voice and the voice of the enemy. Knowing God’s truth was transforming; it revealed and destroyed the influence the enemy had on my life.
One time I was driving home from a counseling session. I was troubled by what had come to light in that session; in the spirit I could see a demon attached to me. I was discussing this with God and I wanted some understanding about it. I wanted to challenge its existence in my life. While I was thinking these thoughts, I heard God ask me to pull over. Not being sure about what he meant I kept driving. The voice was then accompanied by a strong urge to pull over and turn the car left down a side street. This time I did. At the next intersection I heard Him say, go right and then left. I asked God “Where are you taking me?” He replied, “To a place where we can talk and worship”. I turned a few more corners upon His suggestions, until I saw ahead of me two churches sitting opposite each other on an ordinary suburban street. I then heard him say for me to rest between the churches. So I turned onto the street and parked between the two churches. While sitting there I felt compelled to sing and praise God. I had music on in the car and started to sing to it and praise God. The car filled with this beautiful light and the thick presence of God. I felt like I was in a ‘church’ with live music playing in my car. I could hear angels singing. Admittedly I felt kind of strange having my hands lifted high in car on the side of the road singing and praising God. However, it flowed naturally and with no effort. God drew my attention to the ground between the two churches and he spoke the words “this is my ground, the soil is my soil”. At the completion of this sentence it all finished and I started for home. What was God saying, that the street was somehow holy? No.
My lesson didn’t finish by the side of the road. While I was driving home I started to speak out the words, “This is Jesus’ ground”. I wasn’t referring to the ground between the churches I was referring to the ground of my heart. As I was speaking I felt something touch a place in my heart; upon its touch I felt pain, and a deep longing. The thing started to speak, saying that I couldn’t give it up because I longed for it. It spoke how I needed the pleasure it provided. It then touched other places of my heart and I felt the same painful longing coupled with a tempting need. It continued stating that I couldn’t overcome; I never had. Doubt at God’s ability sprang into my mind. This happened over and over again on my journey home. Being fed up with the taunts I spoke to it declaring Jesus as my lover; the who fulfills the deep longings of my heart. Upon stating these words I heard Jesus say to me “Give up control of these places of your heart to me.”
What I learnt from this experience still lives with me today. In fact all of my experiences with the demonic have taught me that the demonic only dwell in darkness. God being light means that it is impossible for the demonic to live on His soil. My declaration that my heart was Jesus’ ground was a statement of faith, not an actual reality. The demon demonstrated this by touching the areas of my heart where it had influence. However, I believe this statement of faith activated change. These words allowed Jesus’ light into my heart, revealing the presence of the enemy and its deceitful influence. When I spoke God’s truth, declaring Jesus as my lover and all that I needed, the enemy’s taunts fell silent. I liken it to there being a shift from the enemies hand to God’s. But this was only the beginning. True victory came as I obeyed Jesus’ word to surrender to Him control of the broken areas of my heart. I had to replace the enemy’s presence in my heart with Jesus’ presence. When I did this, I found freedom from the enemy.
Whatever is not in Jesus’ light is vulnerable to the enemy. Unforgiveness, bitterness, sin, or harm from this damaged world can be havens for the enemy’s influence. This is why I believe it is important to bring our hearts before God to be examined; Why it is imperative that we practice obedience to God’s will and take steps of faith; Why we must choose the road of humility and dependence on God. Doing this is not about following a list of rules, or us looking good and being liked by others. It is about our salvation. When we dwell in the light of God we are dwelling in His protection. In this protection we find intimacy with Him, restoration and our true purpose.
I have avoided approaching this subject for fear that people would think that you have to go looking for demons in every area of yourself and others. I want to assure you, not once did I go looking for demons! I always looked for Jesus. It was in the intimacy of His presence that demons were revealed and dealt with. I don’t believe in methods or magic formulas. I do believe in the power of Jesus and His truth. If there is anything I want a person to hear from my post today, it is that the answer is Jesus. That is why it is so important that you know Him and His written word, the bible. If you don’t know God and His word, then you don’t know His truth and the power of His truth. In the bible you find ways to discern and combat the enemy. It talks about the importance of the Holy Spirit. You can discover truths about the position we have gained through Christ. It is not possible to bind or cast out the enemy without knowing the power of Jesus’ name. Without Jesus’ presence, there is nothing to replace the presence of the enemy.
The enemy provided me a destructive solution to my problem. Jesus was the solution to my problem. He is the one who filled my void. It was Jesus who revealed the true condition of my heart. That is, the lies that were binding me; my hurt, anger, and unforgiveness; and the destructive hold of the demonic. It was speaking out Jesus’ truth that destroyed the influence of the enemy. It was in my surrender to Jesus that I found freedom.