In 1 Cor 12:10, Paul talks about the ‘discerning of spirits’ as one of the spiritual gifts. In Matt 24:23,24, Jesus says, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
In these last days, as every hour takes us closer to Jesus’ coming, how important it is to have the spirit of discernment to safeguard our souls from false prophets who make all attempts to deceive even the elect.
At this time, I was reminded of the ‘spirit of discernment’ that rested upon Jehoshaphat.
In 1 Kings 22, we read of King of Judah, Jehoshaphat, consenting with the king of Israel Ahab to fight against Syrians in order to take Ramoth in Gilead from their hands. At the request of Jehoshaphat, 400 prophets were brought before them to give God’s will in this matter. All these 400 prophets in one accord said that God would surely give them victory.
Jehoshaphat however discerned that the voice of these 400 prophets was not the voice of God. He says in v7 “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?”
At another instance, in 2 Kings 3, when three kings – King of Israel, Judah and Edom went against Mesha, the king of Moab, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. When they thought they would all perish, Jehoshaphat wanted to inquire the Lord.
When someone told that Elisha was there, Jehoshaphat could immediately discern the right spirit in him and he said (v12) – “The word of the Lord is with him.”
Each of us must pray that God will give us this gift of discerning of spirits so that we can save ourselves from being deceived by the words of false prophets and also be a blessing to many others.