Today’s blog features a guest writer, missionary Jonathan Brenneman, who is also a blogger and author. In this article he shares some of his experiences learning about spiritual gifts, and an encounter he had with an angel during this process.
It seems I have experienced the most impartation just by being around people who are exercising various gifts of the Spirit, seeing the gifts in action, and thanking God for them. Somehow, it seemed that this grace rubbed off on me and the same thing started to happen in my life.
When I first became involved in healing the sick, I spent many hours reading testimonies of healing. Sometimes I would read testimonies for three hours until I was either laughing or crying. It is important to thank God for the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and to focus on the goodness of God that is revealed through those manifestations. That is the main point! There is a principle that whatever we thank God for tends to increase. We value what we are thankful for.
We should always thank God for whatever the Holy Spirit is doing. When our focus is on the work of the Holy Spirit, we are walking in faith. We grow strong in faith as we give thanks to God. When we are around other people who are exercising a specific spiritual gift, we can see how it blesses people and we begin to focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing in that area.
The Discernment Of Spirits
This was how the gift of discernment of spirits began to operate in my life. The gift of discernment of spirits allows us to sense, in some way, what is happening in the spiritual realm. This is often related to seeing how the Lord uses angels to minister to people. It can also show us when a demon is interfering in a person’s life, so that the demon can be rebuked and dealt with. This gift is the ability to see or feel spiritual things.
I met a young guy whose eyes had been opened to see angels. Some of what he said sounded a little strange, but I could see how it was blessing and encouraging people. It made me desire this gift in a greater way.
While he was speaking, I looked at the other side of the building and with my naked eye I saw a 40 foot long rainbow across the wall. Ten minutes later, this guy said that he saw a rainbow-colored angel in a certain place, and it was there to strengthen and encourage people to remember God’s promises. He asked people who felt discouraged to go and sit in the place where he saw this angel. As the people were sitting there, I again saw all the colors of the rainbow flash across the head of a man sitting there. God was working to encourage him.
That was the only time I saw something like this with my natural eyesight, but I became aware of the presence of angels in other ways. I would feel a wind blowing on part of my body which showed me where someone had a sickness or injury. People began to see angels around me or in my house. People I prayed for would feel a hand on their bodies even though I was not touching them, and they would be healed.
If you have never experienced the gift of discernment of spirits, you may easily wonder “What’s the point?” When I saw this gift in operation I understood how it encourages people and causes us to thank God for what he is doing. It can help us discern what God is doing so that we can pray in agreement with his will. It can show us when an evil spirit is harassing someone so that we can rebuke it. Seeing the gifts in operation helps us to understand and value what the Lord is doing through them.
Jonathan Brenneman is a missionary in a fairly dangerous part of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a blog called Go To Heaven Now, and is the author of multiple books–“Power and Love Sandwich” and “I Am Persuaded.” His book trilogy titled Go To Heaven Now is expected to be out in the future. Jonathan’s blog shares an honest and up-front perspective on his walk of faith, including both the struggles and victories as a missionary sharing the power and love of Jesus in his city.