This is the last post of a three-part series to bring you ways you can increase your discernment – Part One is here and Part Two here. It’s an appendix in the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith and have supplemented it in some cases with my own opinion from my experience – which you’ll find in italics.
Before I close out this series I need to go back and clarify two issues from Part Two.
In #5 in which Mr. Smith says “Do not seek signs, wonders, and spiritual experiences.” I stand by what I said originally but want to clarify: I absolutely believe that God still speaks in signs, wonders, and spiritual experiences. God will use anything and anyone to get His message across. For me, He has used people, songs, birds, and even secular books to solidify a point. My faith has been built on His Word and the spiritual experiences He’s given to me. What I want to stress is to be careful in interpreting any sign, wonder, or spiritual experience you encounter.
I’ve known people who have become so fixated on a sign that they stop looking to Jesus Himself. I’ve had friends tell me that they asked for a sign and then God said “this” in a cloud but the next morning He said “that” in the waves of the ocean. Our God is not a God of confusion. Just like the issues I have with Jesus Calling, He is and was and always will be – unchangeable. As much as we should test the spirits – test the signs you think you see. This is why we need to continually grow our discernment.
Secondly, I stated under point #7 that I don’t believe angels are spirits. A dear friend pointed out that in Hebrews 1:14 when the author is comparing Jesus to angels he says:
“Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?”
That also reminded me that all demons were originally angels fallen from God’s grace. So I stand corrected. Angels are spirits too. Somewhere along the line I guess I just made an internal decision that angels (good) spirits (bad) and that vernacular leaked out into the blog. I should be more careful! Mea culpa.
Now – on to the last example to heighten your discernment:
9. Gird up the loins of your mind. Take every thought captive for Christ. Fight the good fight. Contend for the faith. Let God’s truth continually preserve you.
- Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 1:13
- … since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
- Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses. ~ 1 Timothy 6:12
- Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. ~ Jude 1:3
- Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name. ~ Psalm 86:11
- Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me; Your constant love and truth will always guard me. ~ Psalm 40:11
Take every thought captive for Christ. Guarding your mind is so vitally important! When I read the book Another Jesus Calling I was overcome by compassion for my friends and other Christians who have been reading (and loving) Jesus Calling … a book I believe is not at all from Jesus. Within one day I heard Ms. Young was releasing another new version and my heart sank. How many Christians (fans and/or followers) are being held in the grip of this spirit who is speaking for Jesus?
Please be wary about anything that comes into your mind that is not of God or godly. Learn to see it and oust it before it starts working on you.
I was listening to a talk by Jenn Johnson (Bethel Church) recently and she reminded me about viewing everything with a Kingdom perspective and to not let yourself get mired down in the negativity that has become our society these days. She’s right and it’s a word we all need to hear time and time again.
Step away, because you are set apart!
In His Love,