Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good… to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits…All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Cor 12:7-11)
growing up as a little girl, i used to wonder “how did she know I was thinking that.” she had this unique way to detect and identify things beneath the surface of my words. she always sensed that which was deeper. things beyond the words and actions. that “she” i’m referring to is momma. there were also days she would just give a hug and remind me that she was always there if i needed to talk or a shoulder to lean on. there are many things i have now grown to understand, admire, and appreciate about my mother. i was young and clueless then and there were things I couldn’t possibly understand. however, today i stand thankful for her prayers, patience, love, and the countless sacrifices. momma only wanted the best for me.
as we sit and pondered on this, I could’t help but think about the sacrifice Jesus made for us all. how he walked the earth reconciling the lost, casting out evil spirits, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and allowing deaf ears to hear. reading scripture, we come across numerous accounts where souls were liberated. what a journey. what a sacrifice. what a reward. as we sit on the outside and look in, we discover that Jesus saw beyond the wants of those he encountered and gave them what they needed. he desired that they be made whole.
we can all witness how he dealt so passionately and personally with the men and women we read about. the woman at the well. the woman caught in adultery. the man possessed with demons. the disciples who made a decision to follow him. just as i made reference to my mother, we can see a similar ability flowing through Jesus Christ. only his eyes can see deeper and his love reach so intimately into all of our being.
Hebrews 4:12 states, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
the gift of discerning of spirits is such a weighty gift, yet very rewarding. we, as believers, also share a certain measure of this gist. this is a gift only the Holy Spirit can give. a Spirit-given ability to distinguish a certain spirit at work, whether good or bad. most importantly, believers must understand that this gift entrusted to us is never to hinder or control others, but to edify and build up.
looking back, i can remember weeping and praying for others. being compelled to provide an encouraging word. all the while wondering what was happening. thinking i was the “weird” one in the bunch. i didn’t understand and often times thought i was going absolutely crazy. as i grew and matured, i began to understand this precious gift that had been entrusted to me. the moment i matured and grew to understand how this gift was to be used in the body of Christ, unforgettable experiences began to take place.
to embrace this gift is a beautiful thing. we are reminded and able to remind others that they are loved. God will never leave us to be stranded with no help. today, open your heart and mind. listen closely.
…be sensitive to the atmosphere around you.
…continue to long for God’s presence.
…keep striving graciously to see those in your sphere of influence walk in freedom.
…allow the Spirit to reveal the deeper matters happening around you.
may we never take lightly the gift that has been entrusted to us.
Latoya Tolbert is a country girl who made a promised to love herself back to life after different life transitions. She is a believer. A wife to an amazing husband. A mom to two beautiful girls. She loves serving others. Latoya enjoys capturing beautiful memories. Shopping for cute shoes — What girl doesn’t love shoes?! It is important to spend her life laughing more and helping others to see Jesus.
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