8 Signs You May Have The Spiritual Gift of Discernment

The gift of discernment of spirits is the one spiritual gift that has continually presented the most difficulties and challenges to me personally.

In the early days of our ministry, my husband Malcolm (aka ‘the Hunk’) and I would often travel and stay in many places in Asia and throughout New Zealand. It seemed that no matter where we were, my intrepid husband could sail through any situation, but it was a different story for me.

  • Staying in a place in Asia where strange spirits were worshipped? I would encounter them in my dreams.
  • Ministering in a region or church where there were trials or strongholds? I felt them acutely.

We were often led to wage spiritual warfare or intercede through my sensitivity to the spiritual realm.

It took me many years to realize that my encounters with the spiritual realm were one of the signs that I had a gift of discerning of spirits.

Now, because of my journey, I like to share what I have learned with others.

What is the Gift of Discernment?

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good… to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits…All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Cor 12:7-11)

Discernment of spirits is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to some Christian believers. It is a Spirit-given ability to distinguish whether Divine, human or demonic origins are the source of what is presented—whether it be in an atmosphere, encounter, event, or prophetic message.

What are Some Signs You May Have the Gift of Discernment?

Following are some signs that you may have the spiritual gift of discernment, from my personal study, observation and experience. You may not identify with all of them, but if you do have the gift, you will recognise some of these in your life:

1. Desire for the Gift

As with other spiritual gifts, desire is often the first sign of a gift of discernment of spirits (1 Cor 14:1).

  • You may have a longing to see people set free from demonic bondage.
  • You may want to be more effective in prayer and spiritual warfare
  • You may have a desire for holiness
  • You may simply be curious about the spiritual realm.

2. Love for God’s Presence

One of the benefits and signs of having a gift of discernment of spirits is a heightened awareness of God’s Presence and anointing. A true discerner will have a passion for the un-grieved Presence of the Holy Spirit.

This is because—and I will continually reiterate this—the highest use of the gift of discernment is not to see what the enemy is doing, but to discern what the Spirit of God is doing.

3. Sensitivity to the Spiritual Atmosphere

You may be more sensitive to spiritual atmospheres than most other people. In the early stages of developing the gift, you may be affected adversely by the presence of any demonic activity in the environment around you.

The reality is that we live in a natural world and a spiritual world concurrently. In the Bible, when Jacob came across a group of angels, he named that place Mahanaim, meaning ‘double camp.’  (Gen 32:1-2)

Like Jacob realised, we also live in a double camp where there is constant spiritual activity, and discerners have spiritual senses that are attuned to this.

4. Feeling Different from Other People

Most people, even in church life, experience life through their natural senses. However, someone with an emerging gift of discernment of spirits can see and sense things that others do not see.

This ability can result in us feeling different, lonely or misunderstood at times, especially when starting out. It is vital that someone with a developing gift of discernment finds a safe place to journey with others who are similarly gifted and accountable in the life of their church.

5. Unusual Signs

It is not uncommon for someone who is gifted in discernment to experience unusual events or manifestations.

People who are incubating a discernment gift begin to see or feel things that others are not aware of. This may include unusual visions, dreams and sensations that alert them to what is happening in the spiritual realm.

6. Childhood or Pre-Salvation Signs

It is not uncommon to experience things relating to your gift even before becoming a Christian. Our creator-God prepares us for our calling and gifts from conception. Even when a talent or gift is misused, God can redeem it and anoint it for His use to serve Him and love and minister to others.

As a child I ‘saw’ things in the night and as a teenager was sensitive to the spiritual realm, sometimes encountering demonic spirits in my room or dreams. Later, as a fully committed Christian, God redeemed this spiritual sensitivity as a gift of discernment. I know Christians who have a gift of discernment who were drawn to New Age counterfeit gifts prior to becoming a Christian.

7. Ability to Know What Lies Behind a Person’s Words or Actions

Someone with a gift of discernment has the ability to see behind what a person is saying and presenting. You may know whether they are telling the truth or not. You may also recognise if someone is manifesting a demonic spirit and be able to identify what that spirit is.

If a prophetic or revelatory message is brought, a discerner can often tell whether it is anointed of the Spirit or from the speaker’s own heart.

This is not always the case, and as with other revelatory gifts such as prophecy, you will sometimes get it wrong or have incomplete discernment (1 Thess 5:19-21, 1 Cor 13:9-10)

8. Confirmation of the Discernment Gift by Others and Leaders

You may have the gift confirmed through a prophecy given to you. My gift of discernment was identified through prophecy twice (perhaps this was because I was reluctant to accept it!)

However, the bottom line of the presence of any gift is that it is recognised and acknowledged by leaders in the church and that it is useful for its purpose—which is to help build up the church and bring people closer to Jesus.

When you submit what you are seeing or sensing, your leaders confirm your accuracy and your gift begins to be recognised for its effectiveness.

Whenever a gift is used to criticise or tear down a church, person or leader, you know it is being misused, or is simply a person’s hurt, frustration or agenda masquerading as discernment.

Because these kinds of abuses are common and have brought disrepute to the gift of discernment, I will take some time over the next couple of posts to share how the gift of discernment can bring value to church life.

Unlocking the Gift of Discernment eBook

Revised and updated with more than 40% new material!

DISCERNMENT Front Cover SmallAvailable for purchase from the Enliven Ministries e-store.

The gift of discernment of spirits is a powerful weapon in times of spiritual warfare, and can be of great assistance when ministering freedom to individuals. And yet many who recognize they have signs of the gift of discernment, have difficulty knowing what to do with what they are feeling or sensing.

‘Unlocking The Gift Of Discernment’ incorporates wisdom from Enliven Blog as well as additional valuable material on how to be protected as a discerner in times of spiritual warfare.

To view ‘Unlocking The Gift Of Discernment’ in our e-store, click here

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Related Posts:

3 Levels of Discernment (and Signs of Each)

8 Ways To Grow Your Gift Of Discernment

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries—in the David McCracken Ministries family.

85 thoughts on “8 Signs You May Have The Spiritual Gift of Discernment

  1. Malcolm Calder

    Honey, this is so well written. From our life together I know how tuned you are in this specific gift. I trust that all who read this blog will be mightily encouraged to pursue the gift because (even though its tough at times)it holds one of the main keys to seeing people set free and serving God in our time!!
    Thanks for your great insight.

  2. Flora

    Appreciate this blog on the Gift of Discernment. I work in the mental health field & have been feeling a terrible sense of fear & rejection in the last few months regarding the drama that takes place with the clients on a daily basis. I recently had to take leave from work twice because of the terrible feeling. I felt refreshed both times & did not feel this terrible feeling of fear and rejection. As soon as I got to work I felt it again so strong, and always thought something was wrong with me. But I didn’t know where it was coming from & I had to ask myself if it was an evil spirit in the severe environment that I was in. I deal with the most severe cases of clients who suffer from schizophrenia & multiple mental illnesses. Today for the first time, I had peace and did not feel the terrible feeling at work although I still had to deal with severe attacks from clients influenced by the evil spirits. For the first time I was able to stand firm and establish my ground & not feel this terrible feeling that I had difficulty “shaking off.” I literally had to pray and ask the LORD what it was ’cause it was such a terrible feeling. I got a sense that it was a “spirit of fear & rejection.”

  3. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Flora, thank you for the comment. What you say is often so true for those of us who are discerners and sensitive to the spiritual realm.
    There are times when we are actually picking up on the spiritual atmosphere in an environment (such as fear) but we mistakenly think it is ourselves. It is so freeing when we realise that it isn’t us and we can step back and put up the shield of faith and counter it in prayer (Eph 6).
    I remember when Malcolm used to travel to Asia a lot and every time he came back from one country in particular he would be oppressed for weeks afterwards. Finally we realised it was the place he was visiting (where there had been genocide) and we learned to pray over him when he came out of that country.
    Another time we can be affected is when people close to us are oppressed and we can be affected by contact with them, we come away from encountering them and wonder why we feel flat. In those times we need to be mindful to pray too.
    You might find the series on spiritual warfare I wrote helpful, too. It starts here:

  4. Flora

    Hi Helen–Thank you for the feedbank. It was really enlightening for me and helpful. I will read the series on spiritual warfare. Thank you for making it availabe to me.

  5. Helen Calder Post author

    You are most welcome, Flora.
    I’m happy to share ideas and discuss questions on the blog anytime 🙂

  6. Pamela

    Thank you Helen, What a wonderful blog you wrote on us with the gift. There is just not enough taught on this gift let alone on how to use it. Many of us go through life with nobody to help us and like you said, we feel alone and different. I will be teaching about Spiritual Warfare next month and I will be addressing a lot of women who might not know that this is one of their gifts. I want to bring it to light so others might not feel as alone as I have.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Pamela, wonderful to hear from you.
      One of the challenges those of us with the gift of discernment face is that sense of aloneness you mention–like you, I know this from personal experience 🙂
      Keep an eye on the blog in the next few weeks as I am planning to get back on the subject of the gift of discernment and have a couple of posts planned, one on how to grow the gift and another on how to exercise the gift in terms of church life (especially in a warfare context). One of the biggest challenges discerners face is how to express what they are sensing or seeing to Christian leaders, and to others around them who may not have the gift but would benefit from its use!
      I pray your teaching on spiritual warfare this month bears much fruit.

      (P.S. Have just added the next post on 8 Ways To Grow Your Gift Of Discernment. You can find it here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/09/13/8-ways-to-grow-the-gift-of-discernment/

  7. Idah

    Dear Helen,

    Thank you for such an enlightening article.

    I wish to share my experience. As a child a developed a negative attitude towards my grandma little did I know it was for a reason. Years later after I finished uni and left my home country (Kenya) to work, I had vision of a huge snake while praying for her healing. I wasn’t a mature christian then so I did not understand what it meant. It was a year later, a prophecy confirmed that she was a witch. This was also confirmed to my born-again paternal cousins. Another thing I have noticed is that I get nauseated to the point of vomiting when I encounter evil in a person or place. This first happened when I was in uni. During my first date with a guy, I just could not finish the soda I had ordered. i run to the bathroom and vomited. Later I came to find out that he was a devil-workshipper with a mission to defile born-again girls.Also once it happened that I was sharing a house with a buddhist friend. The friend moved out then I moved into her room. My first night in the room, I began to feel and experience the rejection and loneliness in my buddhist friend’s life. I later found out she had gone thru pain.I have had other strange experiences and some of my christian friends tell me that that is not normal.

    God bless.


  8. Helen Calder Post author

    Dear Idah, thank you for sharing, yes sometimes we don’t understand our responses until we realise that there is something behind them. You may have already done so, but I would like to encourage you to find someone to help you pray through any effects that your grandma’s witchcraft may have had on your life. The nausea may be a sign that you could benefit from some prayer ministry in this area.
    It does sound as though you are gifted in discernment as you are aware of things in the spiritual realm, that others aren’t.
    How wonderful that you and your cousins have found faith in Jesus in spite of your grandmother’s beliefs and practices to the contrary! God is good 🙂

  9. Helen Calder Post author

    Here are some further thoughts that may help those of you who are negatively affected by discernment…i.e. something you have sense in the spiritual realm/atmosphere or around someone’s life leaves you with a feeling of oppression.

    The first base re responding to this situation is always faith-filled prayer in Jesus’ Name. Here are three types:
    preventive prayer, putting up the shield when you know you are entering a situation that may affect you
    dust-off prayer, praying when you leave a situation where you have discerned something or feel oppressed as a result of being with someone who is affected
    warfare prayer, when you discern demonic influence at work

    Another reason discernment may leave you feeling oppressed or with other feelings reflective of what you have discerned is that you have a gift of intercession, and need to actually release the burden of what you have discerned to God in prayer.

    Having another person agree with you in prayer may be helpful, especially when spiritual warfare is taking place.

    Finally, if all of these types of prayer are consistently unhelpful, it may be worthwhile seeking some personal ministry for yourself. Like I have in the past, you may have an ‘open doorway’ of unhealed hurts, generational oppression, and so on that needs to be closed (not a big deal—nothing too difficult for our Father to handle). Once identified, these can be very effectively dealt with in prayer ministry.

    Feel free to ask any further questions below.

  10. Wendy

    Wow! This is awesome! I know that God has graciously given me the gift of discernment. So many things that I have seen with my “spiritual eyes” I have been reluctant to share because I know not many would accept it or believe it-for example, Many times I am able to see demons in people through their eyes, also I’ll often engage in Spiritual warfare and i’ll experience a hazy environment-almost as if I’m stepping foot into the spiritual realm, I often feel the effects on my physical body as well-for example I have been ministering to some very troubled people lately and I feel an urge to interceed at random times of the day and when I do I often feel the haziness and sometimes even nauseous. As God cultivates this gift inside of me, I pray that He gives me the wisdom on how to use it. I have felt these things for about 10 years now and I recently have joined a deliverance team and I am witnessing how God wants me to use this gift and I’m pretty humbled yet blown away at God’s infinite power. God bless you all always and May God continue graciously using us for His glory amen.

  11. Sherri

    This was an awesome blog to read. I have questioned this gift for years. After reading this I feel as though I have it, and also know that I have used it wrong and sadly not to the full extent. I have been told I have it and encouraged in it, however it wasn’t until the other day when I asked a person who clearly has the gift and is quite prophetic to help me decipher whether my feeling on something was me or God. Her response was, to me, amazing, she agreed with what my feeling was but said it was not for me to fix anyone, that I needed to pray that the spirit would intervene and stop the lies. It seems so simple, but if I think I have information it never occurred to me to pray about it. She also said to me that although she believed what I had said to be true, she had to pray into what God’s original plan was, despite someone apparently throwing it away. I didn’t understand that until I read your blog, and I think she meant that she had to look for God’s plan not just what the enemy had taken away. WOW! It brings tears to my eyes.

    Since I was a child and not saved I used to hear someone calling me, all the time, I would literally say what to my mom and she would say I didn’t call you. Later when I was saved someone spoke over me, and said God says he has been calling you like with Samuel. Next big thing when I was a teen, I can’t say for sure now that it was Satan himself and not some demon, but at that time and even now I believe that Satan himself stood at my bedroom door, I was raised Catholic and really knew nothing about Satan, but I knew and know he stood there, I was so scared all night just waiting for what would come I even called my mom’s friend who I knew worked nightshift to sit on the phone with me, and I told him that Satan was standing at my door and yes he did think I was crazy. (my parents were away at the time).

    Growing up I would know things, like I was going to see someone I hadn’t seen in years, or similar items, I used to tell people I was psychic. Later when I was saved I rebuked that. Once as an adult visiting my mom, I slept in her bed, and woke up to being choked by a demonic force. I kept repeating in the name of Jesus be gone, and what seemed like forever it finally left. I called my husband scared to death telling him of the situation. If I feel irritated when someone speaks, like I just want to tell them to be quiet I usually believe its demonic, and in one such instance a person was prayed over at a womens conference and delivered from that torment and the original feeling I had towards her never returned.

    The problem is as you can probably tell, I’m not sure that I hear God’s good as much as the devil’s bad. I know there are sometimes when I believe I have an encouraging word to tell someone, but the other side seems to be more often. Anyways thanks for your words, I am going to start praying that I would be open to hear God all the time and know that not all things are for me to share at that moment. Thanks again I know this is ridiculously long.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there Sherri,
      well I can certainly identify with many of your experiences, I could have written this myself!
      So be affirmed in your gift and also in God’s call to develop and grow you to your fullest potential in your gifts, in your faith and in intimacy with Him. The feelings of uncertainty you have are so familiar to me too, one of the issues I had, was that I’d had so many negative experiences and demonic encounters, that it took a while to break through the lies [that the enemy was stronger than Jesus… when it came to me]. It can be helpful to identify these wrong beliefs, renounce and replace them with God’s truth, but it is most important to simply become more acquainted with Jesus, in intimacy and to catch the truth especially of God’s Father’s heart. I share some of my recent journey here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/09/05/no-longer-an-orphan-how-i-discovered-the-fathers-love/

  12. Veronica

    Wow! I just read through all the posts – I’m 40 now but can remember when I was younger, in my late teens and 20’s that I always thought I had a “sixth sense” about people and situations – only to come to understand that it was a gift of discernment. Growing up, I always lived in the same house – my parents house. My mother was a STRONG Christian but the atmosphere was EXTREMELY volatile – my dad was verbally abusive to her and really really abusive to me. My dreams were most of the time very dark that involved dark black ocean water or death or people possessed by evil spirits or even one common theme in my dreams that I’ve had as recently as last night: my mothers house, me trying to get out of it and an evil spirit doing things to try and keep me there – also, I would like to add on that I’ve felt something running over my back and covers slowly being pulled off me all while still sleep! I say all this to say that I’m realizing that my gift of discernment makes me not just sensitive to things in the unseen about people and situations, but also sensitive to happenings in the spiritual realm that many would just shrug off or not feel at all! My question is: why am I feeling things physically? Is there a reason? Also on a last note, ever since I was a kid, I’ve had many many occurances where I wanted to wake up and couldn’t move and felt like I was about to suffocate – I believe the medical field calls this sleep paralysis but I believe it to be a lot more than that! Even though I’ve had them all throughout my life, I’ve recently started having this occurance yet again – any insight?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Veronica,
      I do understand some of the things you have mentioned from my own experience, including the suffocation sensation during sleep, which I had as a teenager (I also believe had demonic elements to it).
      These kinds of experiences are common to those of us who have an enhanced awareness of the spiritual realm, such as through the gift of discernment, HOWEVER, I believe that our inheritance as Christians is freedom, including freedom from oppression, and that freedom includes our sleep. Check out verses such as, Psalm 4:8 ‘I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.’ Proverbs 3:24 ‘when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’
      My personal experience is that I have journeyed into freedom in this area–not instantly, but over a period of time as I received prayer ministry, and discovered areas in my life where there were ‘open doorways’ that needed to be dealt with through repentance, comprehending the truth of God’s Word, and so on, and also realised the freedom that was available to me. May I encourage you to pray about this, not accept the physical attacks or sleep disruptions, and seek ministry (sharing with a leader or mentor can be a good thing). Feel free to ask me any more specific questions too. Perhaps the recent re-occurance means that something is surfacing in order for you to enter a greater level of freedom. I love that about the heart and timing of God.

  13. Sy

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you very much for this very informative blog. Sometimes, I asked God why after going thru Holy Spirit baptism, I still don’t speak in tongues. My mentor also told me that maybe i didn’t receive the Holy Spirit. But God spoke to me through His word in 1 Cor. 12, that it is not the speaking in tongue that He entrusted in me, but the gift of Discernment. During my years of service to God with my church now, I’ve seen people from the very start when they decided to serve, that soon, or in the future they will fail. Or I can sense other people’s struggles or their motives. I also have the ability to know what lies behind a person’s word or actions. Sometimes, i jokingly tell my wife that I got this ability from reading a book on how to tell whether a person is lying or telling the truth. People say that I’m good at counseling and judgement and that I can easily detect what other’s thoughts and feelings even before they open up with me. It occurs many times in our church that I see people serving God with wrong motives or not pure and sincere heart, then see them in future will fail or backslide. It always happen that what I see is true. I failed to inform my leaders that I have this gift because of fear of being judged or being told that my information is only based on my own intuition and not from God. My knowledge with the word of God is not that deep and i’m afraid that they will say i am not credible because I don’t really know the whole story of the bible.

    Despite that, I believed that I have the gift of discernment and I am praying that God will guide me and show me the right approach of practicing this gift. And also praying that God will use me as a vessel in sharing this gift with other people. I know that I can do this effectively by establishing my faith through the word of God.

  14. Janet

    This is one gift I don’t think I have … I’m pretty dim about sensing things in the natural AND the spiritual! I will often come out of a meeting at work and others will talk about the bad vibe and I will have been completely clueless!

    I did relate though to a couple of your possible signs though. I have been known to feel the lonely thing especially at church. I want to talk about God and what He’s doing but sometimes it feels like all anybody else is interested in is what they bought last time they went to the shops!

    The other thing is that I sometimes dreamt (or maybe I was awake?) of demons at the foot of my bed, especially when I was a teenager. I would plead the blood of Jesus and although frightened, would eventually fall back to sleep.

    Earlier this year I dreamt a Christian friend of mine was the anti-Christ!!!! What the!!! I am wondering if perhaps it is a sign that she is not on the right track … she does have some different ideas … was God warning me perhaps?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Janet, it can certainly be easier sometimes for those who don’t have a discernment gift–as you say, others feel a bad vibe and you breeze through! As far as the loneliness thing, sounds as though you have a hunger for God that not everyone shares (the beauty of engaging with a prophetic/prayer community in a church is that prophetic people LOVE to talk about God and what He is doing…may be something to consider even if you don’t have a discernment gift, you may just love to pray!). I can identify with the demonic encounters as a teenager, if you haven’t been troubled since, that is a good thing. And the anti-Christ dream? Wow, haven’t heard that before 🙂 You may be right about the not being on the right track. Your dream life may be something to be alert about–perhaps more spiritual dreams may come!

  15. Janet

    Thanks Helen. Yes sometimes it is lonely when you hunger for God – wish it wasn’t so rare!

    I have heard from God in dreams before – the most significant being when He gave me the name “Footprints” for the Aussie Christian women’s magazine I was thinking of starting. He even gave me 3 reasons along with the name – how could I refuse!!!

  16. Chontae

    Hi Helen,

    Its me Chontae again WOW!!!!! Everything you wrote I was like thats me, Helen is writing about me. Every single point you wrote I have and still do experience on a daily basis. I underestimated the gift of discernment really because of a lack of knowledge and understanding I was so focused on prophetic by learning and studying prophetic it would help me (which it will) I just thought the things I experience in discernment were the prophetic gifting but its not. Thank you for showing me the difference in the operation of these two gifts.

    I feel so relieved having read this blog. Right off to find your other blogs on discernment.

    Chontae xo
    From New Zealand

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Chontae, that’s awesome!
      I’m putting all the blog info and more into an e-book on the gift of discernment soon, so keep an eye out for that too.
      Say hi to Kiwiland for me, I’m from Auckland and we lived in Tauranga before we moved to Melbourne. Where are you living?

  17. Chontae

    Hi Helen,

    Wow your from Auckland…Kiwiland says Hi back and asking when will you be back lol. I’m living in Palmerston North have been back here for 2 years we moved from Brisbane where we resided for 7 years. I was called back home by God (not having given my heart to the Lord yet) and now in the church he called me too. How Great is our God aye.

    Well I’ll be watching your Diary and seeing when your home next I feel a divine appointment will happen in this next coming year. Until then chat yah later 🙂

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Awesome 🙂 We used to travel that way regularly on our ministry trips through to the South Is!

  18. Kim

    I just wanted to say great site…ive been looking everywhere i do now know i have the gift of discernment by all your 8 points…i can sense evil in people there are times i have to get off the bus becuase of this i get a sick feeling im afraid of them, i can go to friends house and feel evil there i leave right away..i have been seeing hearing things since i was young never told anyone until now ..dreams also that i had when i was young are coming true in my life and my family’s life which i dare not tell them ..i actually thought i was going crazy until i know a girl who goes to school with me told me she believes i have this gift because she to has it she told me what i have told her it sounds like i have the same thing but she told me mine seems stronger than her’s ..the only person who can help me is GOD ..i want to find answers to my questions..this gift seems to becoming out stronger now and im older …and i know GOD has reasons for what he is doing and i know GOD will show me eventually what he wants me to do with this GIFT …

  19. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Kim,
    Yes, I understand what you have been through, it is not easy when you are sensing things that others are not aware of, and it helps when you can finally understand that what you have is a special ability.
    I believe God will heal you of the fear associated with some of the experiences that you have had.
    Romans 8:15 says,
    ‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’I pray that you will journey into greater freedom in this area, and know Him as the Father Who heals and loves you. You may find it helpful to find a safe place to receive prayer ministry.

  20. Corinne

    This is really useful. I think I have the gift of discerning of spirits. I have always ‘sensed’ God’s presence. For instance, even as an atheist, I knew that, when I prayed, there was someone listening because I could feel that there was. On the flip side of that, I have also always been able to sense the presence of demons. And they were on my back for a really long time before (negative thoughts) and heavy presence manifestations when I was an atheist. But it wasn’t until my friend heard about all this stuff that he suggested that I have that gift. And then, for some reason, the spiritual warfare increased tenfold. I could even ‘see’ them with my spiritual eye. They wouldn’t leave me alone. I can sense them around everywhere and I’ve stopped sensing God’s presence. It’s like he’s testing me. At any rate, I feel really alone, because my family thinks I’m being deceived or that this is occult influence. I’ve always had this, even after I went to a deliverance counsellor. And I don’t know. I’m really afraid that I’m wrong in some way, but there’s no one, other than my friend, who can confirm any of this. Except me, when I read all of this. It ALL sounds like me. And I don’t know where to go to get advice, or to find help. This is the first time I’ve ever registered that I may have this, and I feel like a newbie. I don’t know what to do with it or what its significance is…


    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Corinne,
      Yes, it does sound as though you have an ability in the area of discernment. May I reassure you that you are NOT in any way strange because of the things you have experienced. But God’s gifts are not given to separate us from Him or torment us. I suggest taking a two-fold approach, learning what you can about the gift of discernment, and continuing to seek God for freedom from fear. Sometimes there are ‘open doorways’ in our lives that need closing. I think I may have discussed this in the comments above. I recommend prayer ministry, but I know that not everyone has access to safe prayer ministry–this is freedom (deliverance) prayer in an environment that is secure and accountable to godly Christian leadership. Corinne, you are a precious daughter of God and I pray you find the help and encouragement that you need to move forward.

  21. Chontae

    Hi Helen, Just needing a bit of help I have been having dreams for the last month maybe more where mostly every night I sense a change in the atmosphere either a spirit has entered into my room that causes my spirit to go into a deep prayer of intercession coming against it and in every dream I call out to Jesus and peace falls on me. I know I am in my room because I can see myself clearly but sleeping so I must be dreaming right. The other night the same thing happened my spirit antenna was up a felt a change in the atmosphere I called out to Jesus and peace fell on me but this time I decided to stay in this place which felt like the spirit realm or could have been enemy camp not sure but it runs parallel with the physical plane. As I said I stayed for a bit to see what was in this place it was like I turned off my physical eyes and started using my spiritual eyes to see and what I saw was it was like I am looking at my roof in my bedroom but I can see a realm through it, it was full of spirits and darkness this realm runs parallel with ours….In the dream I felt like I was there to look and learn but not sure what I am looking for or mean’t learn and everytime I got scared I would call out to Jesus and peace fell on me. Do you have any thoughts on whats going on here I know I am definitely using my gift in discernment just unsure what I am doing. Thank you for your time Helen much love Chontae

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Chontae, that doesn’t sound like very comfortable sleep! I don’t know the background or potential reasons for what could be taking place, but here is what I would do if it was happening to me. I would pray some spiritual warfare prayer and comand any demonic interference with the sleep to cease (I usually get my husband to pray with me in these situations). I believe discernment and intercession from the Holy Spirit has clarity and that from the enemy is cloudy, and also the Bible says that with Him our sleep is ‘sweet.’ Hope this makes sense 🙂

  22. Chontae

    Thank you Helen,

    So I sat this morning with the Holy Spirit and was reminded of our senior Pastor who has prophesied over me that I will go into the depths of the spiritual realm places unknown to man and take back what was stolen a truth in this realm that was given to my forefathers but lost due to deception and misuse of the gift and so I was wondering if this maybe what he is talking about. I have always been able to go to this place since I was a child and do this but not for this long time of a period it normally will only be a couple of times in a week. This is how my sleep life has always been but as I have grown and matured in Christ I now know how to find such peace in this spiritual realm where there is so much spiritual noise I also have learn’t how to call out to Jesus when I feel a bit scared there. Lately I have been able to walk around in this place and see more because I feel safe knowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit are there with me. I have been in spiritual warefare before in this place but the Holy Spirit intercedes every time and then I feel safe to carry on what ever it is that I am looking for…..I know I am looking for something I am just not sure what…..But will keep praying into it as you say.

    Thank you so much Helen for all your help I appreciate this very much.

    Much Love

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Chontae, I am sure the Spirit will give you wisdom as you continue to wait on Him. Perhaps also share with your pastor what is going on, in light of his word for you too. Have a blessed week xo

  23. terry morgan

    i feel like i have the gift.i will tell you some of the things and tell me what you think.my brother ask me to come over to his house i said ok i went over there we was talking outside and then we went in.after i went in a strong feeling came over me and i started to say i am just going to go home.but i look over the feeling later that night some things happen between me and him i ended up going to jail.i can read people.thats just some of the things.tell me what you think

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Terry, I cannot tell from your comments whether or not you have a spiritual gift, but it is possible that what you felt was a warning that you should have paid attention to at the time.
      May I encourage you to read the Bible, especially the New Testament and find out more about a life with God. You can find passages about spiritual gifts in particular in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14.
      God’s gifts are good, and given to help us help, love and lead people to Jesus. For many of us in the journey we experience difficulties and a ‘dark’ side before we really discover God’s goodness and purpose for our lives, and that is certainly true of having an ability to sense what is happening in the spiritual realm. Terry, I pray you receive God’s blessing into your life in a powerful way as you look to Him.

  24. Asia Davidson

    I just found out that I have a gift of discernment. I already knew I was a Seer of God and I wondered what Gifts God had given me. Well I am 20 years old and I have loved God since I can remember but it wasn’t until the age 20 that I gave God the other 50% of my heart. Well of course the evil spirits knew about the anointing on my life and they have been attacking me with the spirit of fear, they wanted me to fear them becaue they feared God’s power in me. I could feel them surrounding me at times, and I would get attacks in my sleep for a week and i would just laugh, but one night they brought the big dogs on me and The Holy Spirit saved me when I said one name…JESUS!!!. Glad to say that after about a month I have learned How to fight back with the Word of God. God was preparing e for this and you know what, I read the scriptures but did not full understand what I was suppose to do with that information, until now. This spiritual warfare had been something else, and sometimes I think I’m just not in the mood for these attacks. It has been tough. I did not like the fear, and anything else the enemy was doing to attack me. It just let me know that I am a threat to them and but God’s word is sharper than a 2 edge sword! After the battle was won, I could sense peace, my faith has grown and i am stronger through Christ who strengthens me. And I am down for God and I will fear not for He is with me and He has given us authority over the power of the enemy in Jesus Name!!!

  25. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi there Asia, thank you so much for leaving a note. Wow- it does sound as though you have a battle.
    It is good that you are learning to stand and overcome, I believe that it is part of our inheritance as believers that we should live in faith and victory and not experience a constant battle in this area. May you be richly blessed as you grow in God, in faith, and in your gifts.

    1. Asia Davidson

      Thamk you very much! I have cried my eyes out 2-3 times already and
      I love it when God touches me just to let me know he is there and he cares. I have experienced the Holy laughter, also known as the Joy of the LORD and it’s amazing. I am knowing my authority and i can walk through my home fearless because i know God did not give me the spirit of fear but, but power, love and a sound mind!!!

  26. Elizabeh

    My goodnes this was such an eye opener for me. Since a child I experience a lot of rejection and feeling alone. I can relate to seeing as a child. I could see into the Spirit realm and hear. The experiences have very and into teen and adulthood, I was able to sense the spirit behind a person some not desirable. In my present place of worship I also get those feelings inside during prior to Sunday service, or prior to an event. Whats suppose to be a happy occation turned into me wantling to walk out and leave. I experienced also during service once three scents while worshiping as I felt a wind blown in my face. followed by three smells that being frankensence, fresh baked bread, and then a sweet cinnomin (sp?) roll, ending with me opening my eyes looking around to find where they were coming from, then I saw a light white bringht shoot up straight up out the scantuary. Is this part of discernment? It’s kind of lonely when I feel odd and different. I don’t know really what we are to do with these experiences. Wanted to know what your thoughts about these things, and seeing also in the street (demonic persons) that I know appeared or walked under the influence. Can someone see our gifting in the world? Just wonder because of such experience I had, I saw a woman about 8 feet to 9 feet pale and walking through traffic towards me, I had an errie feeling, then I “felt two hands cover my ears” as I was with my toddler, and a sense to quickly turn around, so I did and I turned about a minute after and she or it was gone. Mind you all traffic sound ceased as I saw this, then when I turned around , I was able to hear again, the trains, and traffic, Is this also discernment, it can be scary sometimes but not happening on a frequent basis. Thank you.

    God bless, Elizabeth. Very bless someones sharing this because Lord knows, I have been seeking answers.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there Elizabeth, I understand it can be a real trial when you experience things that others do not, especially when they are disturbing. Have a read through the discussions in the comments above, I believe you will find some helpful insights. I believe that being involved in a church community on a committed basis is essential. Have you ever received prayer ministry and gone through a process to check that you are free from any influences other than the Holy Spirit that could be affecting your discernment?

  27. Mel

    Hi there,

    I tend to see what lies behind peoples words and actions and find it difficult to know when to address it and when to just leave it. I am also learning to recognise when it is God revealing something to me or when its just me jumping to conclusions. He has confirmed some things for me to show me that this is something he’s given me. But I have never seen anything in the spiritual realm although I have had a strong desire to see people being set free! Work in progress i guess. 🙂

    Point 3 at the top stood out to me, regarding the hightened sensitivity to the atmosphere around you and I wanted to share an encounter here to possibly get some insight.

    my husband and I had a strange encounter once.
    It was after a worship service, most people had already left the meeting room when I noticed my husband hunched over with his eyes closed. He ended up on his knees because he could no longer stand. He just seemed to be overwhelmed by the glory of God and he ended up in laughter and weeping.

    It started to build up as he started to roll on the floor, almost like he was wrestling with something. He made a reference to an angel sitting on his back which seemed to amuse him. He seemed to try and stand and fight it, he was also quoting scriptures and continually said “seek me”. Altogether, for a bystander (me) it all looked quite odd. At one stage I got freaked out and called in one of our trusted friends, who didn’t quite know what to do either. Neither of us knew what to make of the situation.

    I had seen people who were demon possessed/manifesting roll around on the floor. But not someone who is quoting scripture. We started praying for him praying for him to be “released”, but at the same time somehow questioning whether we were doing the right thing.

    At one point he was also marching around declaring victory like a soldier in a very loud voice that I have never heard him use before.

    All this went on for about 2-3 hours. I began feeling quiet anxious during the whole thing and even afterwards. But at the same time I wanted to stay.

    The whole thing ended with us starting to worship, he ended up getting up with a look on his face like “what happened”.

    I felt like i was in a state of shock after this experience, I did not sleep the whole night (we were at a camp) and just kept thinking about what happened. The guys were in another cabin so we could not even discuss it. That feeling of anxiety still had not left me, infact it lingered on for a few days. It got to the point where I would feel afraid to get into the presence of God with my husband out of fear that the same thing that happened before would happen again.

    I started praying and asking God to help me with this and he reminded me about people in the bible who were in “shock” after encountering God’s glory in an unusual way Eg: Ezikiel, daniel etc. And I figured that my physical body could not make sense of what had happened. But i wondered why no one else had a reaction like I did..

    The anxiety has left but I’m just wondering if anyone has had any similar experiences.

    1. Asia Davidson

      Hi Mel,
      I had an encounter with God one night. God told my Mom to pray with me, she really didn’t feel like it cause we were tired. But an evangelist was at this church and we were so skeptical that we didn’t get in line to have er lay hands on us and we missed out big time!!!! So we asked God to forgive us ad my mom began to speak in tongues and I remember thinking. ” great she gets to speak in tongues and I get to listen”, well I began to just listen and I started to laugh a lil. Even as a small child, when err certain people would pray with me I would feel this power in my belly and it would cone out as a laugh but I just ignored it. Well I got to laughing, laughing so hard I almost fell off the couch! This lasted for hours, my Mom even began to speak in a different tongue than her usual! It was amazing experiencing the joy of the LORD. And every now and then I experience and most of the time I don’t fight it. Instead of speaking in tongues I choose to laugh. Cause I love it. I guess not everyone has it, but ou don’t hear many people talking about it. Some people even think it’s demonic, what since does that make? Praise God then get a demon? I don’t think so. But I have also heard of people feeling like they have been struck with lightening during an encounter with God! Angels are here to minister to us so an Angel probably was sitting on your Husband’s back. Angelic visitation comes with the gift of discernig of spirits! How cool is that!?!?!!

  28. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Mel,
    I can certainly empathise with your sense of shock during and after your husband’s spiritual encounter.
    I wrote about an encounter that left me stunned in this post: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/03/02/when-god-shows-up-how-will-you-respond/
    There have been many times when I have needed to be reminded of the scripture in Luke 11:11-13 about God giving good gifts to His children when we are asking Him for His Spirit, to trust Him to protect us and give us Himself.
    Your anxiety was natural. Sometimes the package is not what we expect… and we need to be discerning, if it is of the Spirit, to trust God, and look for the fruit.

  29. Elizabeth

    Blessing to you Helen!
    I felt compelled to take some notes down on paper for myself, when I read your aspects of the eight signs of the Spiritual Gift of Discernment and I have experienced and can relate to six of them. I have a question and an experience that I’d love your feed-back on. First the question: Does the gift of discernment include hearing in the spirit, as well as seeing, sensing and knowing?? I have been able to “see in the Spirit” for about 12 months now (I see angels regularly at church and in my home, or a white glow around people filled with the Holy Spirit) but I was the only one who heard the most pure, perfect angelic singing voice after the funeral service of my grandmother years ago, when I was only 18. I asked people afterwards, “who was that beautiful voice I heard singing that hymn?” and no-one else had heard it.
    Secondly: At my sister-in-law’s funeral this year (she died at 53 of cancer and was a non-believer in God), I had another seeing in the Spirit, but this time, instead of it being an awesome and up-lifting experience as it usually is for me, I saw a black wing swoop around in the corner of the chapel of the funeral home during the service. This was unusual for me and I still am not completely sure what this meant. Do you have any insights??
    With many thanks, Elizabeth

  30. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Your experiences sound as though they are a great blessing.
    Yes, sometimes the Holy Spirit can open our ears to hear something in the spiritual realm, like the angelic song you heard. This can be for various reasons, to bless us as His children, give us a greater revelation of Him, glorify Him, etc… so not necessarily just for discernment.
    To tell whether something relates to a discernment, check on the fruit of it. If the fruit of a supernatural experience is that you have an insight into whether something is sourced in heavenly, (of God) demonic, or human origins–and that insight is empowering to you or to others, then it is a gift of discernment.
    Re the black wing – this may be a demonic presence (especially as you didn’t sense a Godly anointing with it). An insight like this could be an alert to pray.

  31. carol

    Praise god, I found people like me! I have all 8 and am still learning, as I get older now I am feeling ick (demonic) off of other people, I could write a book! God even allowed my 1st husband to visit me and 3 friends after he died, but I always felt like the outcast, like something was wrong with me until I got the holy ghost and could speak in tongues, I even was sleeping and it was like I was dreaming but I lifted my head crawled off the bed and faced a demon and fire came out of my mouth at it, it hunkered down and flew out the window! I see angels all the time and god litterly talks to me in my mind! He tells me things to tell other people, 2 people I prayed over were healed.

  32. Helen Calder Post author

    Re the comment about not wanting to develop the gift of discernment – we need to be able to distinguish between what is a genuine gift of the Holy Spirit (which is GOOD) and an ability to see in the spiritual realm which is sourced in other things – e.g. generational doorways, opening ourselves up through New Age involvement, etc.
    My question is, which one of these are you referring to? And if you want to block a gift of the Holy Spirit – why?
    Yes we can and sometimes do block the expression of the holy Spirit in our lives – but to do so deliberately is to quench the Holy Spirit.
    1 Thess 5:19-22 says, ‘Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.’
    The post series starting here may help: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/10/18/11-signs-that-your-prophetic-gift-is-being-held-back/

  33. Daniel

    I really enjoyed this article. I know i have this gift, every point u mentioned spoke directly to me and even when i was little i saw and heard things that i passed off as “ghosts”. Ive expierinced many things since but i dont know if through ignorance or neglect to the gifts, of discerng and prophecy, if ive shut them off or what. I havent fuctioned in these gifts in a long time and i so desperatly desire to function in them again. I know the Spirit doesnt take them back and I too have had prophetic words spoken to me about operating in these gifts, but i cant seem to get them stirred up. HELP! Shalom!

  34. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Daniel, I’ve written a series of posts about overcoming blockages in the gifts, you can find the first one here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/10/18/11-signs-that-your-prophetic-gift-is-being-held-back/

    Hope that helps – also I have written an article about how to activate your prophetic gift and many of the points also apply to discernment. It’s here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2012/06/05/how-to-activate-your-prophetic-gift/

    Hope these help 🙂

  35. A

    I don’t want to develop this gift, whether or not it is discernment…because it feels as if I am mostly able to feel demonic spirits. One or two in particular I believe…yet don’t want to believe…are following me even when I left home to go to college. I came across this website because I was looking for answers. I would be okay if I was feeling the Holy Spirit, which I think I do because I have been praying for lost souls everyday since my first encounter with these demonic entities. Yet I feel incredibly alone. This may sound selfish or maybe even a little childish, but I just want to be a normal college student…free from the torment of the spiritual world.

  36. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi again, so sorry to hear of the situation you have been facing.
    What you have been experiencing is certainly not a ‘gift from God’. (God is good and His gifts are good – this includes discernment Matt 7:11) It sounds like what you are experiencing is demonic harrassment – and this is something that as Christians we do not have to put up with.
    Are you involved with a church or faith group? It would be good to find someone who you can share with and who can pray with you and help you take a stand. In times like this we need each other. Also, you need to exercise the authority you have in Jesus’ Name. My articles on spiritual warfare may be helpful for you, here is the category to look through: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/category/spiritual-warfare/
    I pray you find grace and strength, and are fully able to enter into the freedom that Jesus has purchased for you on the cross.

  37. Marian

    I believe I have the gift of discernment, but I have not yet started to fully operate in it as it has not been confirmed by anyone other than family members. Even as a young girl, and before I was born-again, I could sense things about people, like I could tell their real intentions even if they seemed to be really nice outwardly. I remember when one of my cousins introduced us to her fiance, I immediately sensed he was not a good person, even though he claimed to be a godly man, and I told my mum about it. A few months after they got married, he beat my cousin almost to the point of death and he has been abusive to her ever since. At first I thought it was like a “6th sense” or intuition, but after I was born again I realised that it was from the Holy Spirit.

    When I was a teenager, I used to have terrifying experiences where I would sense a dark presence in my bedroom which would sit on my chest, or pull my bedclothes tight or touch me. This went away for a while, but would come back from time to time, and once I even saw the demon that was there. It was like I was looking through a mirror, I could see myself lying on the bed and the demon was saying something into my ear. I tried to speak out loud, but couldnt, so in my head I kept repeating “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” and it disappeared.
    I also sometimes get this sense of deep foreboding, and a warning in my spirit that something bad is about to happen. Sometimes i can “hear” what the thing is, sometimes not, but I usually pray when I get that feeling. Sometimes, its almost like I hear a voice, not audibly, but quite clearly telling me something about a person or a situation that I couldn’t possibly know on my own, and it is later confirmed.

    I want to understand the purpose for this gift and develop, but I’m not sure how to go about it. Do you think I have this gift and what should I do?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Marian, it does sound as though you are gifted in the area of discernment, perhaps in the beginning stages. The main thing to test in terms of a gift of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of it, in other words, are there outcomes from your discernment that are helping and protecting people, benefiting the church, and so on. And perhaps that is something for you to pray about – how does God want to use your discernment to bring glory to Him and help to others? The context for the gift of discernment in the Bible (New Testament) is church life, so I encourage you to explore that whole area of being in a faith community, having the protection of leadership, sharing your journey with safe people and discovering how discernment operates in church life, as well as your life in general. I’ve written some posts that may help (see links on the above article) and also the booklet Unlocking the Gift off Discernment, which has more information.

  38. Bozley

    I feel I may have this gift also. I can feel things different when I’m around someone that I just met. As though if they are from light, grey or even dark. Not by appreance, but by spirit. I have seen an apparition before, in the form of a demon, disfigured and covered face wearing my sweater. A very large man shape standing at my door in the middle of the night. I awoke sat up and starred at him and demanded him to leave by the blood of Jesus. I yelled at him and was not even afraid. He turned slowley and dissapeared into the wall and left, never to return. My dog that past away frequents me on my bed. I can feel him jump up, walk towards me and plop next to me, just as he did for 9 years that he was alive. He was a large dog do I know I’m not imagining this. I feel his presence but have never seen him. I once was dating an athiest (really dumb but thought I could bring him to God which I do believe I brought him from some of his darkness) anyway, while sleeping at him home, 2 demons started laughing and then one would wisper wierd noises. I could not see them but knew they were present and the room became very cold. I put my hand on my bf and orded them to leave and never return and told them in the name of Jeasus you are to flee from this home and leave this man to rest. They left. I held my hand over my bf and prayed for his demons to be released. He awoke the next morning and said that was the best he had slept in months and that he always sleeps good when I’m with him and he never has his usual bad dreams. I just smiled and said, I know. Sometimes I will sense someone is about to walk out of my life and sure enough, it happens. Sometimes my phone rings and i know who it is before I even look at the caller ID. I also have a gift that people are drawn to me and open up to me with their entire life story and then they say, wow, I’ve never told anyone that. This has happend for many years with many people. Even people I’ve just met for the first time. I’ve been told when I come into a room I light it up with my smile. I give that compliment to God, as it is him that works through me. What are your suggestions that I do with these “gifts” if that is what they are?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there, Bozley, and thank you for leaving your note. I encourage you to read all the comments and my answers on this post, as you may receive some more help from them. The best answer I can give to your question is to encourage you to go carefully through my article on 8 ways to grow your gift of discernment, and especially at this part in your journey to focus on numbers 1-4. You can find the article here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/09/13/8-ways-to-grow-the-gift-of-discernment/

  39. Lisa

    Hi Helen,
    I came across your website looking for answers about the gift of prophesy and came across your article on “the gift of discernment. Is it possible to have 2 gifts? One of “discernment” and one of “prophesy”? As a child I could always sense things and as an adult I sense them more. I know when there is a demon around. I strongly sense when God’s presence is around. I too have had dreams when demons have visited me and then manifested and were holding me. I have learned how to address those situations with the name of Jesus and have learned how to take authority over it. My spirit is very sensitive to the spirit . I often have very strong urges to pray, like my spirit has picked up that for some unknown reason, i need to stop what I am doing and pray until I feel a release from the Lord. I also sometimes know things before they happen, like when someone is going to have a baby before they know. I have even had a dream that came true. I am really seeing God to find out what are my gifts and to become properly trained to use them for His glory . Any direction you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  40. david

    i believe i have the gift of discernment, ill give some examples that led me to believe this ill start with old to new, well it all started when i started feeling the presence of the Lord very strong, wen i would go up during an alter call and they would pray over us… then i would feel His presence during worship.. praying in the spirit…. i just would feel him more and more, and then one time i was evangelising and two people out of all the people we evangilised to i felt a strong presence of the Lord i just thought the lord was saying help this guy tell him about me… another time i was walking home and there was this def kid crying i was walking by but i felt the strong presence of the lord, i thought it was the lord pulling me to him, i thought to myself what do i say he wont hear me so i just gave him an invitation to church.. next more recent i was watching tv and it showed the girl volunteering for the elderly, and the thought came to my head, i should volaunteer,, then again a really really strong presence of the lord… so i said said u want me to volunteer.. and the feeling got stronger… now yesterday i was job hunting, and i was pulling up to a place where i thought i had a chance for employment but as soon as i parked i had a gut feeling like no… so i thought to myself y? so i went anyway and it turned out the manager remebered me from another location where he had hired me but couldnt due to failure to pass backround check… now another time my sister broughth this movie called seance and it was demonic, and before we put it on i felt again the gut feelin like NO… but i watched some of it then turned it off because it seemed to be doing some sort of activity here at the house, thats another thing i believe the house we just moved into is haunted.. late at night i can sense evil spirits… sometimes to strong through my whole body… even one time i felt as if it was on top of me… so does this look as if i have the gift? and what can i do to fully manifest it.. and use it for the LOrds glory?

  41. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi David,
    Much of what you mention has to do with sensing the Holy Spirit’s Presence and His guidance. This is amazing, and I encourage you to cultivate this intimacy with Him.
    As far as sensing evil spirits, you may have a discernment gift, but remember the fulness of its operation is in its fruit (outcome). A spiritual gift should be used to bring glory to God and to help people. So ask, ‘What does God want to do in this situation?’ You are His agent!
    If there is an ungodly presence about you house, you can pray and command it to go. You may find it helpful to have another Christian agree with you in prayer – there is power in agreement. (read Matt 18:18-19)

  42. E

    Hi! I’m young and I think I have the gift of discernment. I will sense that a demon is watching me in a room or in the hallway. I can also sense if its angry because I get a bad feeling. I get dreams all the time about demons. One was were a demon was trying to hurt me and another was when it broke my arm. I also can sense if a person has good intentions of not.

    But how can I develop my gift? How can I use it on a daily basis?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there, thank you for leaving a note, you may find the other posts I have written are helpful in developing a gift of discernment, for example start here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/09/13/8-ways-to-grow-the-gift-of-discernment/

      Remember that a gift of discernment is given to strengthen and protect the church, and to have good, Godly fruit, like setting people free, breaking through in touch situations, overcoming in spiritual warfare, and so on. So this is what you can look for and expect if you have a gift. You can also expect your ability to see in the spiritual realm to sharpen your ability to sense God’s Presence with you – I encourage you to look back at previous comments, as many people have asked questions about discerning the demonic realm.

  43. Tina

    I have been told by a couple of people that I have this Gift of Discerning of the Spirits. I can sometimes feel an Evil Presence on people, I constantly have dreams of rebuking demons out of people and I never know who the people are in my dreams. I am never afraid in my dream but just forceful with making them leave. I dreamed of a little girl that was posessed and a month later my step daughter had to be prayed over to remove a evil spirit. Could my Dreams be a sign of be being like a person that would exercise demons out of somebody or is this just this particular gift? I have had lots more things happen but too much too type, lol. Thank you for reading this and for any information you might could share…

  44. Auguste Bernadice

    Hi , im so happy to stumble on this site , for whatever reason that is I don’t know but since I was a little boy I know I was spacial but could not understand it , for some people Im weird but I never let no one discourage me , even if would try to forget about it just possible.I have so many dreams that are so powerful it’s unbelievable.read this:one night in my sleep I was standing in a field but all of a sudden a wide wooden staircase appear infront of me but at bottom of the staircase stood a person with a long white one shoulder sleeve dress , in the dream the person look like both sex at same time but I knew right then that was an angel and he said to : follow me up the staircase if you dare and was like oh yeah ok I will follow you, no body challenges me and isay come on and we started walking up the stairs , we were so high up there we passed the clouds and we were still climbing up and I look down I see. Earth like a little marble very small and we finally reach the top of the stairs it was a wooden deck maybe 10 feet long by 8 feet wide then I ask him that’s it , that’s all , nothing else , that’s all you give me a wooden deck , but he kept saying you did it im so proud of you , I reply proud of what I was expected more than that but he kept saying you did it and im so proud of but I looked there were lots of grey clouds very thick and I had a feeling there were some type of architectures up there which were not visable enough to my eyes then I jumped out off the dream. this is just one of my dreams so can you please help me to be able to develop my gift efficiently with some guidance materials that you may have.

  45. philip

    Thanks for sharing this man. I think i do have this gifts. This gift runs in my family/relatives, if that would be a sign.
    About feeling the demonic presence – i often have encounters with them in my subconscious as only my spirit is awake..
    I have seen things, heard and felt them.

  46. Anonymous


    I realized I had the gift when I was in my early 20’s. As I have gotten older I have become more sensitive and can see death on animals and humans. I know when things are going to happen and have save lives on numerous occasions. I can listen when someone is talking to me and tell them what is going to happen. I have an overwhelming feeling that wont let me sleep or eat until I tell the person what I have to tell them good or bad.

    It is hard to tell someone you love that their parent or grandmother is going to die. I saw death in my dog face and prepared my children by telling them to spend as much with her as they could because she would not be with us. Long story short, she died two weeks later.

    I feel whatever the person is feeling who I need to give the information too. I cry and have this overwhelming feeling of not being at peace. I had to tell my family that my grandmother is going to die and I am glad everyone listened to me because all got to say goodbye and no one had unresolved feelings of guilt. I cried a week before I had to tell the family and I was strong the day of the funeral.

    I told my best friend that her mother was going to die and it was the most painful phone call I had to make. I have save my boyfriend’s best friend life. He is in Afghainstan and I told him that his best friend is distracted and given the fact that he is a good soldier he would risk his life for his friend.

    Please take him off patrol and didnt do it fast enough and his friend was injured but my boyfriend was not with him and he did make a full recovery. After that incident he was taken off patrol.

  47. Varenka

    Hi there

    Reading your story,gave me some hope and a sense that I am not alone.Like many others,I know I have something inside me from a very young age.I would like to explain all,but wants to know if you could contact me via mail as I need answers.Please


    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Varenka, Thanks for leaving the note.
      Unfortunately 🙁 I don’t have time to help people individually with their journey beyond the Q and A’s on the blog here. In fact, pretty much everything I know has been poured out in one way or another through the blog and the eBook. Have a read of the dozens of questions already left on the discernment posts here on the blog, and my answers to them. I also encourage you to take a look at the eBook, Unlocking the Gift of Discernment which does have some information that is extra to what I’ve written on the blog. Hope that helps, but if you have a burning question, do leave it here and I’ll endeavour to answer it.

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