Monday, October 29, 2018

Discerning the Spirits

Good morning, friends. This is Halloween week. The holiday that began as All Saints Eve, a time to beware evil spirits is now a fun costume parade for kids who’ll get sick on candy by bedtime. But let this holiday be a reminder to all of us that evil spirits are nothing to celebrate. They are just as real and active as they ever have been, maybe more so. 

Yet never in the history of mankind have people been so ignorant of the evil spirits that surround us, not just at Halloween, but every moment of the day and night. I wish it were easy to discern the spirits, but even Christians can be fooled.

From the time the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, the Gospels tell of Him confronting demons and unclean spirits. These spirits were easy to discern since they possessed peoples’ bodies. But Satan is much more subtle than that, and those evil spirits that tempt and torment people today don’t come as ugly creatures with horns and claws. They are more often beautiful and friendly, their servants may be people we admire—the rich, the powerful. Influential people who control the media, entertainment, the government, the educational system, religions, even the Church.
When discerning good from evil, we can’t depend on our own knowledge. As Proverbs 3:5 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And lean not on your own understanding.”
Before we can measure anything, we must have a standard. One that never changes. The only measure I’ve ever found to meet that standard is the Bible. That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible and memorize verses.
There may come a time when the Bible is banned. It already is in many countries, and yes, it may also be banned here. I’m sure Satan is hard at work, trying to bring that about, because people who know the truth can’t be easily deceived.

Seek advice from mature Christians. Hebrews 5:13-14 explains: “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” This has nothing to do with chronological age, but rather those who have spent years studying the word and have been tried and tested by life’s experiences.

Finally, we must depend on the Holy Spirit within us. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
There is that word, discern, again. We have seemingly entered that time when many can’t discern good from evil. It is the time of the end when good is called evil and evil good. Only those grounded in the faith know the difference.


  1. Thanks for your reminder of our need to be able to discern. Halloween in my youth was truly a fun time and I can't remember any mention of evil. When my my husband and I were youth leaders our Halloween parties centered around dressing as Bible characters. And yes, evil is definitely gaining a stronghold in our world yoday.

  2. Elaine, thank you for this reminder about discerning spirits. Halloween is one holiday that is so focus on evil and more individuals are decorating for it than Christmas in our area. I personally do not participate in any way with halloween.