As mentioned last week just because we are able to perceive spiritual things, does not necessarily means that we are able to discern them. The ability to be able to discern spiritual truth is a gift of God, that only the Holy Spirit gives to us. Spiritual discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit; and the gift cannot function in a believer, who is not filled with the Holy Spirit, and walks in the daily commitment to speak in tongues.
A carnal minded believer may mistakenly take spiritual perception for spiritual discernment. He will do this because, his carnal mind has not been renewed with the word of God (Romans 12:2). And in many instances such a believer is yet to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is by the Spirit of God in us that, that we are able to put to death the works of our carnal mind or the flesh (Romans 8:13).
It is also not everyone who claims to have the discernment of spirits, who are actually filled with the Holy Spirit. Some have mistaken what they are perceiving in their spirit man, for the gift of the discernment of spirits, while they are yet to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
There are many instances when I had personally watched believers, who had often based their spiritual perception, as the premise for spiritual warfare. We need to be very careful with this; because it makes us vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. I had personally observed that such Christians often end up with various spiritual issues, just because they have not been able, to properly identify their real enemy in spiritual warfare. They do often struggle in differentiating spiritual perception from the gift of the discernment of spirits.
The scriptures says that we do not fight against the flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Our spiritual warfare is always in the spirit. The enemy that we are fighting against in spiritual warfare is in the spirit.
The flesh must never be given the ability to prosper through our spiritual perception. It is unwise and really foolish for any Christian, to be kicking the air without actually hitting any target of the enemy in spiritual warfare. It is the devil who really wants us to believe that, we are involved in a warfare against him in the flesh. He does this because he doesn’t want us to face up with him in the spiritual realm; where he knows we do have plenty of advantages over him to be victorious.
In as much as we need to be careful in using spiritual perception as the basis for spiritual warfare; we need to understand however that, it is also possible for us to have a carnal discernment of situations, which often mistakenly originates from spiritual perception. Such discernments often originates from a flawed knowledge of the word of God, and not as a gift of the Holy Spirit. But in no way is it the gift of the discernment of spirits. The evil one knows how to use Bible scriptures, in advancing his own agenda against any believer who may fall for his deceptions.
He tried it unsuccessfully with Jesus, while He was being tempted in the wilderness. If he did it with Jesus, he will surely try it on any believer in His name. But we need to remember however that, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, so as to be tempted of the devil (Luke 4:1&2). He never went through any of those temptations, because of something that He perceived in His spirit man. The temptations of Jesus were all in the spirit; and Jesus was in the spirit as He resisted the enemy. When we resist the evil one, we do it in the spirit, because that is where our victory is.

THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS LEAD AND GUIDE US INTO SPIRITUAL TRUTHS

The Holy Spirit will always lead us where we will have His protection. When we move outside of His shadow of protection, we will be vulnerable to be attacked by the enemy (Psalms 91). The ability of a believer to pray in the Holy Spirit, is a supernatural ability given to the believer in Christ to converse in the spirit with God, in order for that believer to be able to walk in constant victory. When we are not making use of the tools already given to us by God to walk in victory, then we will have ourselves to blame.
Our ability to perceive and also discern spiritual truths, always opens us up into the realm of the spirit. We are able to identify what motivates people to behave in certain ways; in order for us to be able to minister effectively to them, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The gift of prophecy (as an example) flows in this way, as we allow the gift of the discernment of spirits, to function through us. We are able to declare with the gift of prophecy the eternal purpose of God, concerning what is being discerned into lives or into situations, that are being presented to us through the gift of the discernment of spirits.
This is very important for those who are involved in the Ministry of deliverance; because we don’t minister complete and total deliverance to people, just on the basis of spiritual perception. The gift of the discernment of spirits is there to help us, in getting to the bottom of every spiritual issue, so that we may be able to deal with them.
I had personally often seen believers, who will spend long hours praying, in the process of ministering deliverance to people. This does not necessarily means that, the Holy Spirit does not often lead us into praying for a long time. There are many times that He will lead us in this way. But oftentimes when deliverance is being ministered through prayer and intercession in this way, they are only perceiving the spirit that is being dealt with; but they do lack the proper spiritual discernment about what is being perceived.
This happens mostly because those believers, have not been spending enough time in their prayer closets with God, before attempting to minister deliverance to people outside of their prayer closet. The Holy Spirit will always give us spiritual discernment into all things, when we learn to trust and rely on His guidance to us from the prayer closet. When we ask for His wisdom in all situations, He will give it to us.

SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION AND THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT FLOWS FROM OUR PRAYER CLOSETS

There are several Church congregations that are suffering, under the influence of demonic activities today, just because the leadership within those Churches will often hinder the move of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of the discernment of spirits amongst them.  God wants to move in their midst, but the Holy Spirit is being resisted. Religious tradition and carnality or the struggles in the flesh, are the biggest hindrances to the move of God today amongst believers. But it is the ignorant Church members who often suffer most as a result of this.
On the other hand it is those who are truly committed to the ministry of prayer and intercession within those Churches, who are properly positioned by God to help such congregations. They are in a very noble calling of God, as they pray and intercede to usher into their midst, the move of the Holy Spirit in bringing the much needed revival to change their world.
Therefore for the Christians who are caught in between such a situation, there is the need to understand that God has placed them there, for the purpose of praying and interceding in the spirit for the leadership of such congregation. God has given them the noble calling of praying and interceding for the move of the Holy Spirit amongst them. It is not the time for such believers to move on or move out of such congregations. But it is the time for them to stand and fight the good fight of faith, in the manifestation of the love of God, and usher in the revival or spiritual reawakening within that body of Christ.
The ability of such a believer to be able to develop a strong spirit, while praying and interceding is crucial for the move of God within such congregations. But the ability to walk in the love of God, is the key for the manifestation of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit knows what we do not know, and He alone can do what we cannot do. But the love of God (agape) is what enables us to be able to flow in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, without being hindered by the enemy or in our flesh. As long as we are keeping ourselves in the love of God, the Holy Spirit will always lead and guide us.
Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth about the best way, by which the gifts of the Holy Spirit can flow easily in their midst. He began at the end of his discuss on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, by writing:
“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬
There are other greater gifts of the Holy Spirit, apart from the nine gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) that he had earlier on mentioned. The most excellent way that he is talking about here, is in our ability to keep ourselves in the love of God. He explained more about  this in details in the next chapter (1 Corinthians 13). He wrote:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The ability to speak in an unknown or unlearned language is highlighted for us here. When we are speaking in the language of men, apart from a language that we have prior knowledge of, then it is for the edification of the listeners, who do understand that language. But to us it is unknown, because our mind does not understand what we are saying.
There are also times when we do also speak in the language of angels. This is normally meant for our own edification before God. Our spirit man needs to be edified, so that the gifts of the Holy Spirit can function and flow through our lives effectively. When we do this, then we are also speaking secrets for the understanding of the angels of God, from our spirit man. In such cases our mind is unfruitful, but the spirit man is being edified or charged up before God.
The word “edification” in Greek language here, is the same word that we often use in English language, with the reference to charging up a car battery. Being able to speak in both the unlearned languages of men and the language of the angels of God, is a great spiritual advantage over the devil and his demons in the realm of the spirit.
It is therefore great to be able to speak in tongues, but if our lives is not bringing forth the fruit of love, it will be of no use, even though we are being charged up.
This is something that most Charismatics need to watch out for, because it is possible to speak in tongues, but if the love of God is not being manifested through us, we will be treading on a dangerous territory. This will only make us to be like a wild horse which is so full of energy, but does lack the ability to be able to annex the energy in the right direction, so as to get positive results with it. The gifts of the Holy Spirit operates better where there is (agape) love.
The love of God produces the humility and gentleness in the spirit, for us to be able to function effectively with the gifts of the Spirit.
Paul told the Ephesians:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The love of God will always manifest humility, gentleness and patience in us. We need these Christ like qualities in us, to be able to flow continually in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit functions and flows easily, where the love of God is manifested in humility of heart, gentleness and patience.
That’s why Paul continued in explaining what the Christian love is all about in character. He wrote:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Our ability to walk in the love of God will never fail us, because walking in love never fails.
I had often been in many congregations where the believers are walking in love. The gifts of the Holy Spirit flows easily in their midst. I have seen what the ability of a believer to walk practically in love, can do in bringing the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I do know from personal experiences that, God can and will always do great things amongst believers who are walking in love. The ability of believers to walk in love is a very powerful weapon in spiritual warfare.
The ability to keep ourselves in the love of God, as we hold on to our confession of faith in the unity of the body of Christ, is crucial to our spiritual breakthrough as we pray. Love opens the Church up for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And by walking in love, are those gifts of the Holy Spirit able to sustain the body of Christ in any move of God. This is why it is important for the intercessor to keep him/her self in the love of God always, and in the unity of the body of Christ.
I do remember a particular underground Church that I once visited. New believers often gets filled in the Holy Spirit, as they fellowship in love with other believers in their midst. The manifestation of the love of God gets so contagious, as the new believers mingles in fellowship with others.
No one prayed for them to be filled in the Holy Spirit, neither were they ever taught about the necessity to be filled with the Spirit. But by fellowshipping and just praying with other believers in this congregation, they were able to draw from the anointing of love amongst them.
David said:
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭133:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Where the love of God is present, the anointing and the gifts of the Holy Spirit begins to flow freely. It flows like the anointing described here by David. Where love glows, the gifts of the Holy Spirit flows.

THE INTERCESSOR AND LOVE

Oftentimes before revivals like this breaks out, the Holy Spirit will initiate a new thing amongst the believers, before moving an intercessor on into the next calling. After giving birth to a revival through prayer and intercession, the Holy Spirit will lead the intercessor into a new thing.
The hardship may be though right now, and persecution from fellow believers may even seem unbearable. But by keeping ourselves in the love of God, as we pray and intercede before God, are we able to stand at all.
We need to take note of these words by Paul, while in chains before Caesar. He was snubbed by many of his own, but yet was able to encourage others at Ephesus to keep the bond of peace in love, as they wait for the move and flow of the Holy Spirit among them.
He wrote to them:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The ability to develop a strong spirit as we face oppositions while praying and interceding, will keep us standing while others are falling for the deceptions of the enemy. Our ability to focus on what the scriptures says, rather than what people are saying, will sustain and uphold us inside of our spirit man.
The Bible says of Jesus:
“who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
The words of Jesus’ power are in the Word of God, that He received by revelation from His prayer closet. The prayer closet is where Jesus’ power source is released from – by hearing from the Father and speaking only what He says to Him as He prayed. And the power of His Word is what will uphold and sustain us, just as much as it sustained and upheld Jesus.
Jesus said:
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:49-50‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
When we are hearing and speaking only what God says to us, while walking in the love of God; then are we actually able to keep experiencing the flow of the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the Church. The gifts flows always where love glows. Love is the source of everything that God is. God is love (1 John 4:8). When we walk in love, we are walking in God and He will always manifest Himself in our midst as we do this.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN LOVE

I was recently preparing for a Bible seminar when the Lord told me:
“You are only able to perceive spiritual truth when you are in the spirit; but do not ever take spiritual perception for spiritual discernment”.
He then revealed to me three spiritual strongholds over the Churches that I was getting ready to visit. He showed me what was going to happen in those meetings. And then He taught and instructed me on how to confront each one of those strongholds. Most importantly He told me to keep myself in the love of God in dealing with the believers.
He told me: “Spiritual perception comes out of the depth of the word already sowed in your heart. You have the Word in you to be able to perceive spiritual truths. The Word will lead you into spiritual perception, while My Spirit will guide you into spiritual discernment”.
He told me that He wanted me to love everyone in those congregations with His love. Some of them (I later discovered) were really hard to love, because of certain things that had previously happened to them in life.
The Lord directed me to love them just as He had showed me His compassion.
He said: “My loving kindness is what covers their sins.” He then showed me how His love works, through the heart of every believer to save the sinner – by faith.
Then He finally told me: “Where My love glows, the gifts of the Holy Spirit flows”. The gifts flows always in manifested love. I went to those meetings and did exactly what He told me to do; and He did exactly what He said He would do.
Are you walking in love? Check your heart and begin to walk in forgiveness, towards other believers that had hurt you before. As love glows in your life, the Holy Spirit will pour of His gifts into you. Keep yourself in the love of God always.

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