Developing Discernment Series
Sunday Sermon 9.12.20
I find it totally fascinating that on the list of symptoms for Covid19 is the loss (sometimes permanent) of smell and taste. Vanderbilt University tells us that up to 80% of people who test positive for the virus have complaints of taste and smell loss.
That same study goes on to say, based on their evidence, those who suffer such loss will experience a milder onset of the virus, yet those without any loss of smell or taste “appear to have a worse disease course”. Hmmm.
We all remember that “taste and smell are separate senses with their own receptor organs, and yet, they are intimately entwined.” (Brainfacts.org) Those organs send different and separate signals and those signals will eventually converge and allow us to detect the flavors in foods.
“Just as sound is the perception of changes in air pressure and sight the perception of light, tastes and smells are the perception of chemicals in the air or in our food.” (Brainfacts.org)
Get that? Smells are the perception of things in the air… The spiritual implications are clear, here.
Hence, we have the phrase, often with our head shaking, no, “Something doesn’t smell right”, or “I smell a rat”, or “we’ve got to sniff this out”.
We are talking about developing discernment, with the emphasis today on our senses of taste and smell. In real life, having the ability and perception to sniff out the afore mentioned rat. Perceiving in the air around us that something just isn’t right, it smells rotten. We’ve got a bad taste in our mouth.
You’ve used those phrases, haven’t you? You have identified discernment. That urging to use that spiritual sense inside you, prompted by Holy Spirit to help lead you and guide you into all truth.
I’m not going off some spiritual deep end here, there’s plenty of biblical support for these truths about discernment. Check out these passages:
- 2 Cor. 2:14 – he spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere
- Job 6:30 – can my mouth not discern malice?
- Ps. 119:103 – your words are sweet to my taste
- SS 2:3 – the Lord touched my mouth
- Jer. 1:9 – the Lord put his words in my mouth
- 1 Cor. 12:10 – to another the distinguishing of spirits
- Hos. 14:9 – who is discerning, let him understand
Our spiritual smell and taste help us to distinguish good and evil. They work together to help us perceive the atmosphere around us, and get a taste for what is happening.
They pick up signals just as the nose and tongue pick up chemicals. Those signals then, are offered in prayer to the Lord, asking for his clarity, understanding and knowledge. And the Lord in his faithfulness will make clear what we are sensing.
Bottom line friends, allowing our senses to be awakened and alerted to spiritual things is nothing short of the New Testament pattern. Read the Book of Acts, pay attention to what the Holy Spirit did, said, and used people to do, say and reveal. Dreams, visions, wonders, healings, resurrections, miracles, earthquakes, bold explanations, stonings, beatings, trances, angelic visitations, riots, church growth, persecution, government interference, unquenchable faith, casting out demons, turning the world upside down.
I AM IN!! I WANT IT! There’s no more exciting way to live, than being in tune with the Father, and listening to his voice by means of Holy Spirit within us, and having His Word, the Bible as the foundation for everything we do, say, know, and follow.
The Apostle Paul tells us that there are many gifts that Holy Spirit gives, and one of them is – “the gift to discern what the spirit is speaking.” 1 Cor. 12:10 TPT
So my prayer for you echoes Paul’s, as found in Galatians 5:16 – “Walk by the Spirit…” and ” Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” 5:25 Let’s live in a place and way that we can discern the spirit speaking to us.
Discernment is needed everyday to help us distinguish between God, Satan and the world, and to warn others. We must train ourselves to walk in it and exercise it. Heb. 5:14
In my simplistic discernment, I find it simply amazing that even amid this Covid19 mess, the evil one is seeking to rob people of their sense of taste and their sense of smell. That is not coincidental nor are they unrelated symptoms. It is a spiritual signal that we need to be picking up on.
There are so many of those signals around us. Are you picking up on them?
How is your spiritual sense of taste and smell?
Go with God.