First and foremost…be a fruit inspector looking for true doctrine.

I like to think discernment starts with one’s self.  You do have to be right with God. Not just a believer but totally surrendered to Him. 24/7.  I also learned that Christians can be deceived.  How is it that Christians can be deceived? It is because they may not love the truth or that they are not familiar with the Word of God.

Self-examination is difficult but this must be first dealt with. If you will not discern what is wrong with your own life, then you will never be able to discern the spirit of another.

We are to test all teachings, prophecies, and prophets.  People who speak for the Lord… should bear the fruit of the spirit. The fruit is not just good works. Look for the fruit of true doctrine. If you only look at good works, then you may be open to deception because even non-Christians can do many good works.

Many have told me that they were misled because they got lazy and no longer checked what they were being taught by their leaders  or the books they were reading, against the Bible.  So this is imperative. 

Discernment is also one of the spiritual gifts. This spiritual gift of the Holy Spirit is the ability to distinguish between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, between holiness and evil.  It can be a sense you have about someone or the Holy Spirit will give you a warning about a situation or a person. 

I have had the experience of discernment especially when needed.  Not long ago when a so-called “prophet” began to criticize and persecute me, the Lord let me “sense” his spirit which was cruel and dark, and then let me “see” his hatred in a dream. It took awhile to shake-off this evil from me, but i have been praying for this man ever since.

As you walk with the Lord he will guide you through all things.  By his Word, you can test all things. As your relationship with the Lord deepens and matures so will your discernment because his Holy Spirit will bear witness to these things.

When you face a certain situation, pray about it  and ask the Lord to grant you discernment.  Spend time with Him in prayer and worship.

The Bible is the key to truth..Read it and read it again.. It is the manual for how to live. It comforts and ministers to you.  It is protection against deception, as all things are to be tested against the Bible.

It is essential in these times of spiritual deception that we ask the Lord for the spiritual gifts and put-on the spiritual armor of God.  The Word is both an offensive (sword) and defensive (armor) weapon.

II Corinthians 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and the left.

Ephesians 6:17 …and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

The purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as discernment is meant for the good of the body of Christ.  We are to use our gifts to edify and strengthen others.

I Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

So it is okay to want these gifts and to pray for them.  Just remember that the power of these gifts is not of yourself, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit.  Do not touch this power. The power is God’s glory… not man’s.

So to discern man’s truth against God’s truth:

Pray for the gift and guidance of the Holy Spirit and then compare what man says and does against the Word of God in the Bible. 


I like this prayer by A.W. Tozer:

“Lord, may I be one of those ‘whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost.’ Grant to me ‘the blessed gift of knowing.’ Then be pleased to use me for Your glory today.  Amen.”