Monday, October 6, 2014

Needing Discernment

“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.  Be as wary as snakes and harmless as doves.”  Matthew 10:16

I believe it is dangerous to embark in Muslim ministry without the ability to discern spirits or if we are not able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual discernment is given to us to warn us of deception, dangers, and impurity.  Discernment can protect us from being trapped in something which would turn problematic or binding. Satan tries to deceive us by certain people who come over as angels of light with sweet smooth words but who, in reality, have an agenda of working against the Truth found in Jesus Christ. We learn slowly because we are often naïve and guileless when it comes to dishonesty and evil. We are not on a cultural exchange program but engaged in a spiritual battle for truth and holiness in the heavenly realms.

Discernment helps us to know who is genuine and who is a deceiver. There have been a few women in my life whom I should have discerned earlier that they were either spying on me or wanting information about my contacts. Some I initially thought were seeking and open but in reality were strong zealous defenders of Islam. They were on an Islamic missionary mission.  We have been fooled by a few people claiming to become Christians only to discover there is another agenda in their minds. I’ll never forget the day a certain influential man was baptized. The whole congregation was on a spiritual high. But he was not genuine. He had even fooled the believer from Muslim background who came from his people group and baptized him.
Discernment helps to awaken us to danger. It was hard for me to  believe that a certain teenage guy was really dangerous. One day the police phoned to warn me about this fellow. Slowly I began to understand that I had to wake up to potential danger and harm. Eventually the fellow was arrested and put in jail. There have been others who are sexual predators or mentally ill. One night I had a strong premonition type of dream of a certain guy to stay away from him and his family. No longer do I just think these are dreams to ignore. God gives discernment in our dreams, too.  In some cases I have acted slowly while in other situations I have acted immediately because discernment is loud and clear.

Discernment helps us to catch the purity or evil of certain situations quickly before we are trapped. One time I was with a group of conservative Muslim women.  Belly dancing is a common past time for them. But suddenly I was pulled from my seat and asked to pretend I was a man and dance with them like that. Instantly I knew lewdness was about to be unleashed and I refused. Sometimes we get caught in situations where they engage in occultic arts. We can be so ignorant of those things we didn’t grow up with. Discernment from the Spirit whispers or shouts to us, “Be careful. Don’t get involved. Leave.”  Discernment keeps us going in ministry a long time and saves us much grief.

Dear heavenly Father, please give me more discernment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.