Developing discernment can be a crisis of faith all by itself.
Reader’s Note: * Some proper names have been changed.
Length: 1,750 words
Reading Time: 6 minutes
In a previous post, 8 Things that Increase Discernment (2021-06-25), we looked at the nature and importance of discernment, and how it enables wisdom, faith, trust, and certain elements of prosperity. In this post, I want to express what it is like to experience an increase in discernment.
In 2019-2020, I experienced a drastic increase in my spiritual discernment. Although readers might think this to be a good thing, in fact, this sudden information overload threw me into a quagmire of confusion.
This post will recount some of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences from this time, most of which is taken from my private journal. These passages are intended to convey some of the challenges and issues of confusion that arise from having a sudden increase in discernment, and are not intended to offer any rationally based doctrinal consistency.
I’ve been meeting Pastor Dan* about once a month for the past year. During our talks I’ve learned that discernment and wisdom go hand in hand, and based on James 1:5-8, he urged me to pray for more discernment. One of the first things God gave me was this verse about discernment.
“12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 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.”Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)
Seeing how I am a professor, this verse hit me in a raw place.
This week, I have noticed an increase in my spiritual discernment. It’s really hard to suddenly start sensing new things. One thing that is troubling me is the realization of how much I have missed out on in life as a result of not having any discernment. I no longer regret the things I used to regret, and instead, I have all these new regrets about things that I never imagined I would regret, many of which I didn’t have much control over. For instance, I regret not calling my Dad on his birthday earlier this year, even though he could not have taken my call anyway, because he was on vacation. Why do I regret this?
Lately I’ve been writing a post about sanctification and defilement (2020-11-15). I’ve been studying defilement for almost two years now, so I understand it fairly well, but I’m discovering that I don’t understand sanctification at all. I’m also struggling with understanding the basic concepts of adultery and marital fraud – I mean, everybody knows it’s a sin “because the Bible says so”, but why? How? Nobody can explain that. I know it’s related to sanctification and defilement, but it’s hard to see it clearly.
I mean, why does it appear so strongly to me, that Roosh’s life of fornication was a necessary part of a long messy process that eventually led to his salvation? How does this glorify God? How can sin result in sanctification? If anyone makes any kind of statement to this effect, or puts their finger on the fact that many ex-PUAs have turned to God, then they are, more or less, condemned as a lawless heretic and excommunicated from nice Churchian society. Meanwhile, the proponents of purity have renounced their faith, women in the church are secretly selling their V card to the highest SMV bidder, and the holy roller incels are singing in the corner, reciting their scriptures, and then they go home to drain their aching balls on MILF p0rn. And we call this church! It just seems so obvious that Roosh was headed in the right direction, although this notion flies in the face of my understanding of scripture. I can’t explain why, other than Roosh was creating a disturbance in The Force which drew a Cosmic reaction.
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29 But he replied, ‘I do not want to.’ Yet afterward he regretted it and went. 30 And the man came to his second son and said the same thing; and he replied, ‘I will, sir’; and yet he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.”Matthew 21:28-31 (NASB)
Applying this same question to myself, why do I feel so certain that if I had engaged in more sexual experimentation when I was younger, then my spiritual maturity, faith, and confidence would be so much stronger now than it is? If these things were a necessary part of “hitting bottom” and “finding God”, then why did I try so hard to avoid fornicating as much as I did? All my righteousness is but filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) This vexes me with regrets — not about wrongdoing, but about doing the right thing! This is too incredible! Maybe if I had the discernment back then that I have now, I would have willingly embraced the helpless state of my desire and ran that way. This troubles me, because I keep having the idea that my previous lack of discernment indicates that perhaps I am (or was?) not redeemed… or sanctified… or whatever. It’s waaay too confusing for me to take it all in.
I’ve been praying for discernment for a while, and during this time, I’m starting to sense some things from people. At first, the “information” I got from this increased discernment made me angry, and I wasn’t sure why. I prayed about this, and God told me that I’m having a crisis of faith. But I didn’t understand what the crisis is about. But as my discernment continued to improve, I started to get some impressions that seemed to “fit” together with other experiences I had, and I was able to form some vague conclusions, like an abstract version of inductive reasoning. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s like I am more aware of people’s spiritual constitution, and most of it is pretty ugly, although I cannot put my finger on why. It makes me not want to get very close to most people. But once in a while, I’ll meet a person who has a “halo”, for lack of a better description, and these people never fail to create a memorable impression on me. It is interesting to find that the people who have a “halo” don’t seem aware of it, and apparently they don’t subscribe to any sort of religious beliefs that would explain this. Some of them seem quite worldly according to my previous methods of estimation.
Pastor Dan* asked me what seems different since my discernment improved. I told him it’s a lot easier to read people. I used to think that Christians were not much different from non-Christians, because their behavior is really not that much different. Only a few “super-Christians” really display real Christ-likeness, and I’ve only met a few people like this in my entire life. But lately, my discernment has been revealing people’s desire. It strikes me as appearing like a “halo” in my impression. They seem to “glow” with passion and joyful enthusiasm. These people seem glorified and alive, while other people are kind of dead on the inside. As for the latter, their mind is working, their mouths are talking, but there’s nothing happening on a deeper level. Nothing can switch on the headlights of their souls. It’s like I’m living in a zombie world, like what is so popular in movies and video games lately. So far, I haven’t been able to connect these observations to faith or Christianity, but I am guessing this has something to do with their relationship to God.
I am also grieving about my marriage, because my wife appears to be one of the zombies on speed. It’s like she is very emotionally alive, but all her swooning antics don’t create any perturbation in “The Force”. I never noticed this about her before, and seeing her this way now makes me very disappointed with her, and with marriage in general. I’ve begun to think I made a very poor choice in a wife, adding yet another regret to my repertoire. But at the time we got married, I had the sense that God was urging me to choose her. Now I doubt this, and I really don’t know why I had this idea. Was it just my sexual desire, or ego fulfilment? I can’t really say now, because everything seems so different.
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”Mark 10:28-30 (NKJV); c.f. Matthew 19:29
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.”
As you can see from these excerpts, waking up to the awareness of a new spiritual dimension is a grand mal soul reset. This awareness creates a 5 dimensional frame with its own contexts and nuances through which all of life is viewed and is therefore experienced as a sublime yet grotesque reality. I always thought I understood these things, but after becoming acutely aware of certain metaphysical realities, I began to wonder how much of the spiritual aspect of reality I truly understood.
In my profession as a teacher, I often meet students who are afraid of asking a question because they are afraid to look stupid in front of their peers. Likewise, people who ask questions like, “What is sanctification?” or “Why is fornication a sin?”, may seem wholly ignorant or naïve on the surface. They might even seem like a troublemaker or a heretic. But on the other hand, if that person is experiencing a real time discernment of these matters, then it would be ignorant and naïve of us, even pharisaical, to scorn them to shame for their apparent stupidity. After all, they have a 5-D view, and may very well be on the threshold of the Kingdom.
- Σ Frame (Novaseeker): What is the Authority of the Bible, and why is this Important? (2020-11-12)
- Σ Frame (Scott): The 4 Big Lies of ‘Christian’ Therapeutic Moralistic Deism (2020-11-19)
- Σ Frame (Richard P): A Mystical Approach to Meta Reality (2021-03-19)
- Σ Frame (Jack): An Interview with American Pilgrim author Roosh Valizadeh (2021-03-31)
- Σ Frame (Jack): God’s Concept of Justice (2021-04-02)
- Σ Frame (Novaseeker): The Noetic Nose Knows (2021-09-06)