A Sensitivity to Discern
- Date: October 15, 2005
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."(Acts 16:18)
- From Living in the Miraculous
"The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this she did many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her" (Acts16:16-18). Look at the sensitivity of the Apostle Paul, discerning the difference between the right doctrine and the right spirit. Many things propagated today sound good, but the spirit is for personal gain. If we can hear and listen, we can discern the spirit. That which we have received by grace, that which we possess now, we can lose if we entertain the spirit of the age. Are we as zealous today for the things of God as we were when we were first illuminated in them? Can we tell the difference between hearing something good and discerning the spirit behind it?
This woman was saying the right things--"These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation"--but not embracing salvation; she was demon-possessed. Paul, discerning that distinction, turned and spoke--not to the girl--to the spirit, and said, "Come out of her." As we're looking at the Book of Acts, what stands out is this anointing, the power and authority of the name of Jesus, the kingdom conflict, and how as believers these signs should follow us: healing the sick, casting out devils. How aware are you of the demonic hosts around you that you're facing on a daily basis? How capable are you of seeing the spirit behind those that are trying to manipulate you by saying what you want to hear? When is the last time you were used in breaking the bondage in somebody's life, and maybe even recognizing it in your own life?
The proper doctrine is what the seven sons of Sceva involved themselves in. They came up to that demon and said, "In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches, come out."
And the demon responded, "Jesus we know, Paul we know, but who are you?"
Who are you? Do the hosts of darkness know who you are? Is your name written in the heavens? Are we a people known to be ambassadors and representatives of the kingdom of God? Do the principalities and powers respond to us as they did to our Master, "Why have you come to torment us before our time?" Is your life a torment to people? I'm not talking about our personalities. Does your presence bring the spiritual hypocrisy out in people as you discern the spirit in those things? You see, when we're around people, they talk about God, but they don't know God. We need to be ready to speak at different times to oppose that spirit by which they are speaking. You may cast out a devil, or you may just confront them and say, "You don't even know the God I'm talking about. Where's the fruit? Where's the obedience? Where is the cross in your life that would cause you to be counted one with Him?"
We've seen demonic activity. We see it in the lives of serial killers, pedophiles, drug addicts, but it is just as much in the lives of those who are bound by covetousness on Madison Avenue. They're wearing $3,000 suits and they're demon-possessed--liars, cheats, slanderers. Tragically they're in the pulpit, making merchandise at the house of God. We need to be aware that not everything that we hear that sounds good is of God, and not everything that sounds like sound doctrine is coming from an ambassador of God. It might be the right doctrine but from the wrong messenger.