I’m staring at these roses and making quite a spectacle. I hope some poor soul sitting here in Barnes and Noble is getting a kick out of watching me cross and uncross my eyes, frown, scowl, and repeat. I know there is a hidden image somewhere in there, but the more I rely on my own ability and allow myself to become frustrated, the less I can see what is apparent beneath the surface.
Still I know that there is something more that I’m not seeing, so I begin to lean on that knowledge, relax a bit, and believe that I am going to see something new. I tune out what my body and mind naturally want to do…I hand over my controlled efforts. Then, out of the blue (or red), there it is! I want to leap for joy when I finally see it…my heart seems to skip a beat!
If I had not known that there was an image embedded within these flowers, I would have never even looked for one. Similarly, the Holy Spirit offers us the gift of discerning spirits. Now don’t check out on me. This isn’t some kind of vague, head in the clouds concept.
Hebrews 5:14 says,
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Constant practice correlates to constant meditation on the Word, on calling scripture to mind and allowing God’s Spirit to speak through what has already been spoken. It is all about learning to recognize what is going on beneath the surface and praying from a standpoint of knowledge rather than wishful thinking. Praying against evil and claiming the goodness and truth written in the Word of God.
I put my faith in these verses from the book of John:
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.” (John 14: 27)
“When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13)
Peace of mind and heart. That’s the spirit I want! It is important to put a label on the spirits which are contrary to the Spirit of Christ alive in us. Hopelessness, dissatisfaction, depression, selfishness. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of the world because we have spent so much time being swayed to and fro at the whim of the enemy. So when we first start taking inventory of our spiritual health, these mangy, life oppressing spirits might initially appear to call the shots.
But our Heavenly Father spoke through Jesus saying,
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33
He has overcome so we can overcome. But it doesn’t all just fall into place without a fight. With practice, we can learn to recognize the warning signs of worldly spirits trying to sneak in and take hold of our lives. It is vital to keep pressing on in the midst of these dark clouds, to declare and act on God’s Word rather than everything else that vies for His position.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
It isn’t always easy to act in victory against the spirit of hopelessness when you are feeling….hopeless. It’s not easy to approach the Word of God passionately claiming abundant life when you are feeling completely dissatisfied. But don’t be deceived…these spirits leading to death have no power over the perfect Holy Spirit within us if we don’t allow them to.
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
The eyes of heaven see a different picture, and because of the faith He placed in me, I know there is more to every situation than meets the eye, the mind, and the human spirit. All praise be to Him who shares his wondrous eyes with me!
Title Inspiration: 1 Corinthians 5:7
Rebecca Ryan is a twenty four year old Birmingham native with a heart for music, nature and the written word. When it comes to life, she has decided to put the pen down and let the true author take over, as His story is the only one truly worth reading. To read more of Rebecca’s BoP Bio, click here.