First one happened around 7 or so years ago. I was in Church. Then suddenly depressed. Out of nowhere. Sudden.
Second one happened this month. I was at work battling a sinus infection. But something else crept up on me. I’m Asthmatic so it’s not at all uncommon to wheeze from time to time but this was simple lack of breath. No wheeze. No cough. Inhaler didn’t work.
Both happenings were sudden. After the second happening died down to a close I learned that my wife, on the way to work, experienced a very stressful and frightening experience with an undercover police officer. She heard reports that the town North of us had a man impersonating a cop pulling people over. She thought this could be this person due to the circumstances so she called 911 to verify and while on the line she did pull over and the man, dressed in baggy pants and black jacket was yelling at her to slow down through her closed car window. 911 eventually did confirm he was a legit deputy. Needless to say it was very stressful for my wife and she cried because of it…all the while I had this shortness of breath episode out of nowhere.
During the first happening I told someone about it in the middle of experiencing it. Neither did I know anyone experiencing depression or feeling of hopelessness nor did I find out if anyone was. However the person who I told had a response that helped immensely and brought perspective:
Maybe those feelings or emotions aren’t yours…
Not mine! But I’m “feeling” them. Physically and soulishly and probably spiritually as well. It wasn’t just thoughts that I was having but a much deeper feeling. How could I be feeling something that isn’t mine or reacting emotionally by an outside influence not attached to me? Then this Scripture jumped out at me. Hebrews 5:14 says,
But the solid food is for the mature— the ones because of habit having their faculties trained for discernment of both good and evil.
- Food is Greek is trophē which means nourishment.
- Mature in Greek is teleios which means wanting nothing necessary to completeness, that which is perfect.
- Habit in Greek is a power acquired by custom, practice, use.
- Faculties trained in Greek is aisthētērion and gymnazō which together mean an organ of perception exercised naked (in a palaestra or school of athletics) (Yes naked) (Humility I believe).
- Discern in Greek is diakrisis which means a distinguishing, discerning, judging or judicial estimation or disputation.
- Good in Greek is kalos which means beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable.
- Bad in Greek is kakos which means of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be or troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful.
Whew… That has partially satisfied by Teacher Redemptive Gift lol. (see http://www.sandylandry.com/ for more on Redemptive Gifts)
Faculties trained to discern. Other translations say “senses trained” or “exercised.” I have a “sense” and it can be “trained.”
Have you ever felt something out of nowhere? A feeling foreign to your current mode of being? A sudden and possibly overwhelming shift in thinking or emotional state? Maybe a house produces it? Maybe a particular piece of land? Maybe a person?
Most emotions and feelings we experience, fight against, and/or fight for come from a build up. We are either building ourselves up on or experiencing joy, love, and peace etc or fighting against depression, fear, anger, etc. Usually our feelings or emotions are responses to external or internal stimuli. These feelings have been stockpiled so to speak over the days, months, years, and decades. Our usual responses. But what I’m talking about is the outside the norm type experiences.
Now there are several other factors that can elicit abnormal feelings and emotions. Sudden loss of a family member or friend, loss of job, divorce, side effects from new medication or nutritional supplements, even certain foods. Never shrug off feelings or emotions. They almost always point to something or someone. Cause and effect if you will. The key is finding out why. Why am I suddenly feeling differently? Was I feeling this before? What is gradual? Did it come headlong? What is the Spirit of God saying? What is your spirit saying (see 1 Cor. 2:11 and Prov. 20:27)?
So how do our senses discern the difference? And why?
First, the “Why” can be answered this way. Simply because. We are called to be sons of God and the Bride of Christ. Now we are first and foremost spirit and spiritual people. There is much, much more going on around us then we can see in the natural. It helps to know what is happening around us with our senses. One of the Gifts of the Spirit is discerning of spirits (plural).
“How” is another interesting notion. We have 5 main physical senses that our body uses: sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste. All of these are used in Scripture to describe our relationship to the Lord and His relationship to us (see Psa. 85:8, Psa. 34:8, Gen. 32:22-32, and 2 Cor. 2:15). We also use these senses to relate to the world.
Our soul has mind, will, and emotions in which we relate to God, He relates to us, and we relate to the world(see 1 Cor. 2:16, Jer 29:11, Jer. 31:3). Our soul is the life of God.
And our spirit has creativity, intuition, conscience, fellowship, light bearing, and more in which we relate to God, He relates to us…and we relate to the spiritual world (see Mark 2:8, 1 Cor. 2:11, John 4:24, Eph. 6:18, Rom. 8:16, Rom. 9:1).
We can utilize every aspect of who we are spirit, soul, and body to discern good and evil. We discern good all the time. There might be that someone who is just infectious with Joy. People can’t help but be filled with Joy when around them. Others might feel dirty, creeped out, and scared around another person or place…even when a person hasn’t opened their mouth, looked in their direction or the place has no affiliation with a person. Cemeteries tend to be a creepy place for some. Seminaries likewise.
Cold tends to be a feeling many feel from demonic or Alien Human Spirit presence in a house or person. Their hair stands on end (which can also happens with their jam comes on the radio so it can be good or bad). The feeling itself can be pretty neutral oftentimes. Discernment is key. I think the feelings are easy to come by but it’s the discernment that is attained via training our senses or the organ of perception as stated in the Greek. And how do we attain better discernment? Training and being led by the Spirit and our spirit. Our spirits know a whole lot more than our souls and bodies do. Our spirit is the light of God. It can illuminate what the soul and body cannot comprehend. 1 Cor. 2:14 says,
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised
When we remain in the soul/body context of the natural world the feelings of good and evil can be very vague and we can attach these feelings to ourselves unless we are able to spiritually appraise them and come to the conclusion that maybe theses feelings aren’t feelings or if they are then maybe they aren’t mine.
But why discern things that aren’t yours? God is pretty big on community and co-laboring. Togetherness. So when one person can’t do something then we can pick up the slack. Are you feeling a sudden feeling of suicide? Pray against it towards you and ask God, “Who is this for?” and if He gives a name then pray, rebuke, and release His perfect love.
Situational awareness as well. Now I am not a person who looks for every demon under every rock…however maybe under every other rock there may be some critters. We are not to be ignorant of who we are in Christ and who the enemy is around us. By situational awareness we can know the atmosphere we are in and what to look out for. You feel creeped out in that person’s house? Release and bless the house with God’s presence.
Discernment in inner healing and deliverance is a HUGE key to can unlock many doors which can prevent running around and trying to figure things out on our own.
For the sake of not belaboring this blog post, which I can tend to do, I will leave you with this. God is a feeler and we are feelers. Maybe you don’t feel as much and that’s is 100% OK. I’m sure there are some who would love to switch places with you many times lol. But for those who do feel and have been confused I hope this has helped. If you have more question please ask. For those who don’t feel but want to then ask God for His Bread and His Presence. First and foremost we want to discern Him and His Presence and His good above all.
Here is a new teaching by Arthur Burk about Developing Discernment, which I intend to consume soon. http://www.theslg.com/downloads/490-developing-discernment-download.html
Thanks for reading and please like and leave a comment on when you have discerned something good or evil. How did you know it was good or evil? What was the feeling you had?