Spiritual Sensitivity; Hebrews 5:14
April 1, 2014

C. R. Oliver

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January 1, 2012

Spiritual Sensitivity
Hebrews 5:14

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.
           Evidently, exercising sensitivity to the things of the Spirit takes time and spiritual maturity to apprehend, according to Hebrews 5:14. In other words, spiritual sensitivity becomes a goal for the saint and although it takes time to learn, it is a worthwhile pursuit. I dare say, fewer and fewer are seeking this characteristic for their spiritual resume?. Mainly their reluctance is because spiritual sensitivity is not an instantaneous trait and requires learning and practice in discrimination, as well as discernment, in order to attain its abilities. Therefore, it is an absolute necessity for the saint to "study to show himself approved" in this merit as well.

Inclusion of spiritual sensitivity in this continued study of Throne Room Thinking is an integral part of claiming higher realms of authority and greater use of captured thoughts. It follows in sequence to the previous aspects of Divine perception, perspective and wisdom. As the student grows in understanding, he becomes aware that, "God beckons us to raise our standard of learning and calls us to think as He thinks and work as He works." We must "come UP" rather than continually calling for Him to "come down." Being seated in heavenly places is to be the norm, not the exception. An effort must be put forth, both in pulpit and pew, to come to a higher knowledge of Him who is "all in all." There is a piteous cry from saints for materials and messages that are of a deeper nature and increased understanding of the kingdom, but the door of spiritual sensitivity must be open, whereas, it has previously been shut.
2 Corinthians 6:11-13
O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
"Their senses exercised to discern" is what the scripture uses to describe the open door of the heart. It takes exercise to achieve this merit.

To what degree then is this trait learned, as opposed to having some innate capability? How long does the process take to master this field? What elements does one need in order to attain this qualification? What areas of application are required for these abilities? How necessary is it to acquire these skills in accordance to the hierarchy of Christian endeavors? What enhancement to the Christian walk does this ability offer?

Taking the last question first, let it be declared that skill in spiritual sensitivity affords the possessor an array of options open only to those given to the Spirit.
(Some others of these questions will be answered in this treatise while some will be answered by the employment of the task --- it becomes a "hands-on" skill as well as spiritual reprogramming.)
Not only does spiritual sensitivity have its own bank of knowledge, it has its own methods of deployment and its private reward for involvement. In other words, the initiate opens his/her being to a new set of values and priorities, each calling upon the other to draw one's spirit into a subscription to greater study and excellence. As a person immerses himself into the depths of this subject, the more he realizes how wonderful it is to know what he knows. In like manner, he introspects and cannot imagine a Christian being without this gift.

Spiritual sensitivity is an end time gift from God to His people. It is not an end to itself; however, those who possess an understanding of its worth find themselves drawn into the mental and spiritual health it provides. Erosion of mind has pervaded the Christian world until one stands in amazement when surveying the current Christian scene. Confusion, frustration and ignorance characterize the circus atmosphere known today as Charismatic Pentecost. Churches are struggling to meet the forces against them at a time when its members should be mature, not babies in their spirits.

Our Lord advises to step out and step up to the place described by Malachi.
Mal 3:16-18
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the LORD
And who meditate on His name.
17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts,
"On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him."
18 Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.
What? Do you mean to say those who called themselves "the people of God" could not discern righteousness and wickedness in Malachi's day? Neither could they recognize the servant of God versus one who did not serve Him? (Is this not the condition today?)

Review Malachi's choice in the word: Discern.
OT:7200 Hebrew: Discern
ra'ah (raw-aw'); a primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitive, intransitive and causative):
KJV - advise self, appear, approve, behold, certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, indeed, joyfully, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, surely, think, view, vision [envision].
Something rises up inside me when I hear a prophetic word I know is not of God. Something wells up inside me when I hear twisted Scripture from media or pulpit. Somehow my Spiritual sensitivity guides me when I meet certain "workers" and know to steer clear of their ministries and their message. What is that something? It is that higher, often unexplainable estate called discernment. Sometimes it comes as a cautioning voice inside me, sometimes as an uneasiness that makes me want to run. Sometimes it is a subtle discrimination that challenges my mind to think beyond the surface of what is presented and dig out the underlying meaning.
Isaiah said this would happen in the last days:

Isaiah 5:20
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter
The sensitive soul is awash today in a sea of unrighteousness, yet our God has not abandoned His ways. Nay, He who observes the fall of the smallest sparrow knows our dilemma! Look at His portrayal of the sensitive soul found in "righteous Lot."
2 Peter 2:7-11
Righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) - 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self- willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord
God knows our predicament. He knows our souls are being "tormented from day to day." But alas, if your soul is not disturbed, if it is not tormented daily by the unfolding transgressions of the national mind-then fall before the living God and ask Him to quicken your spirit. Someone somewhere needs to begin teaching in our seminaries and Bible schools spiritual sensitivity of the God kind! Yes, modern education has its sensitivity training sessions in order to reprogram the recipient in areas of race, islam, gender and protocol. Their end result is massive conformity and cultural correctness. The writer of Hebrews was not offering a "religious sensitivity class," he was manifesting a life style of Spirit learning to deliver the believer to the Mount Zion of His presence. It is difficult to teach calculus to first graders.

Ezekiel was most sensitive to his cultural and spiritual surroundings. He was surrounded by the captives of Judah, whether prophet or pilgrim. Listen as he speaks:
Ezekiel 22:28 (He taught that it was necessary to discern between truth and error and be sensitive to the Spirit.)
8 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD had not spoken.
This scripture is for today! If ever untempered mortar is evident, it is so in the teachings from our government, our educational systems and our pulpits! Yet, those of my generation failed to mentor these "sons of error." A long time ago, our preachers and prophets knew the ways of the Lord. Our schools of prophets have now become schools for profit. Our culturally defined institutions, both educational and religious, have become dens of diversity attempting to obliterate the foundations laid by past generations of Statesmen.

Spiritual sensitivity is not always the ferreter of evil and darkness. Equally, it is the approver of that which is good and Godly. Whenever politician or pulpiteer speaks truth, the response is immediate and positive. The problem lies in the audience, for it is weaker and fewer. Spiritual sensitivity does not look at the audience, but it looks inwardly to the Spirit! Truth spoken by a liar is not commendable; the spiritually sensitive approve the truth and dismiss the liar.

What should we call this deep understanding of the unknown aspects of the Spiritual Dimension? What is it that causes one to race ahead of a speaker and just "know" you want to shout "YES!," because what is being spoken is clearly of God and what he or she is yet to reveal is pure and holy? Such rejoicing reaches ahead of what is being unveiled, so that one can embrace its intent even before others comprehend.

Hallelujah for both the positive and the negative aspects of having the "senses exercised."

If the body is to be perfected and brought to Bride status, there must be a concentration of interest in hearing the voice and prompting of the Spirit. The whole New Testament, yeah, the whole Bible is one gigantic teaching about how to exercise our senses.

The teachings of Jesus constantly incorporated a sensitivity learning format. The Sermon on the Mount and other direct occasions represented rote class discipline, while the miracles and interaction with the populous became "practicum." Because of this method, throughout Jesus' ministry, hundreds "parted company" until He queried the twelve with, "Will you leave also?" How intense is the curriculum of holiness?

Let us observe some of His ministry occasions.

Negatively, Jesus hammered the Pharisees about their issues with discernment, and eventually, He left them alone to perish in their sins.
Matthew 16:3, 4
Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them and departed.
Note His use of the Greek word "discern" in the above text:
diakrino (dee-ak-ree'-no); from NT:1223 and NT:2919; to separate thoroughly, i.e. (literally and reflexively) to withdraw from, or (by implication) oppose; figuratively, to discriminate (by implication, decide), or (reflexively) hesitate: KJV - contend, make (to) differ (-ence), discern, doubt, judge, be partial, stagger, waver.
Positively, both tenderness and understanding characterized Jesus' earthly ministry. Over time, His words and works leeched into the disciples and affected the early church. Born with the infusion of the Holy Spirit known as the "Comforter," the Disciples became the most sensitive people on earth. We, too, are in this learning process, as each generation of believers reads the Word and becomes aware of the guidance of the Spirit in all matters. We begin to care for others and anticipate their need. We seek out the lost, the fatherless and the widow and minister to them. We, too, share a common mission to evangelize and make disciples. We obtain the God Mind. The Master changes our outlook and our introspection.

Observe how Jesus treated the woman taken in adultery, the woman at the well, the lunatic, the lepers, the blind men, the crippled and halt, the tax collectors, the tenderness in Magdalene's expression of love and His sensitivity and timing toward the grieving of Lazarus' family. See Him lift the child from the funeral bier and see Him rush from The Transfiguration Mountain down to assist in the deliverance of a youth by the sea. Look at Him on the hillside with 5,000 hungry pilgrims as He met their need (sensitive to their bodies and minds).

The disciples of Jesus should be the most sensitive people on earth.

We should be Vigilant virgins who discern the signs of the times and changes in the spiritual atmosphere. We are not those who will be asleep with no oil when the Bridegroom arrives. We are not slumbering with the "folding of the hands" which brings poverty. No, we who are His are awake to that which surrounds us. We do call those things that are not into existence before they are needed.

We become like the artist who is sensitive to the qualities of light and darkness and to changes in coloration--while being aware of the variances made by adding one color or another. Artists observe the quantity and shading of each ingredient entering their work. With brush and knife, he or she shapes a void into a being. That too is our endeavor!

Like the musician, who feels the notes and creates a mood through eye and ear that stirs the souls of men and sets the stage for emotion, so ought we to be.

Like the technician who discerns the sounds of a perfect running engine and acknowledges the power of lever and gauge, he or she adjusts before the clatter and repairs before the event.

Like the commander of an aircraft is sensitive to climate, temperature, wind, altitude, load and the general behavior of a good running craft, so, we who work on the ship of state should define our times rather than sail into oblivion.

We, however, often take for granted the gradients that make up life. How we react to culture, economics, government and social behavior tests our values and determination. We, who practice the art of sense exercise, know it comprises our structure under the armor of light!

Modified considerations, changed attitudes and direction, as well as a thousand other adjustments, go into the making of the Christian. Paul said it best, "I become all things to all people that I might win some." Such a statement could only be issued from a heart who modeled for us the "Spirit-led life." He stood before kings and declared, "I would to God that you would be one of us too." It was his words that powered mission enterprises for thousands of years. "I would gladly make myself anathema in order that my people Israel come to know Him," could only be expressed by the most sensitive of souls. (Marching into Hell for a heavenly cause was more than a cliché in Cervantes' Don Quixote.)

Our Lord is spiritually sensitive. He enters the scenes of life in perfect timing, and His investments are always right. We need to imitate Him. There are situations in our lives, families, churches, businesses that require spiritual sensitivity. We need to know when to enter and when to exit.

Revelation's candlestick dilemma arose from the sensitivity of our Lord to the subtle changes in the behavior of His churches. Does anyone think that has changed? Cannot the same issues be mirrored in churches and fellowships across the world? Can we not see them? Painfully sensitive were His remarks to the seven churches. Addressing the majority of early Christendom through the pastors, Jesus showed the millenniums which were to follow that not one generation ... nay, not a dozen years had passed since He ascended and there they were---with Jezebels, lost love, waning light and seats of satan. Now those centuries have come and gone-- how much greater is to be our evaluation by the Judge of the ages? My God, how important that church leadership, along with the pew masters, be sensitive to the values of their constituents and turn the rudder back toward Christ.

Spiritual atmospheres have changed and the masses stand both confused and amazed at the acceleration of decay and desensitizing that is taking place. Mass media has shown so many scenes of murder and intrigue that children have become oblivious to another's pain. They are desensitized. Adultery and fornication have become standard fare, along with the acceptance of gay frolicking. Hard work, saving, honesty, integrity and those foundations of the Protestant ethic now lie in shambles as ridicule of religion and morals become the norm. Sensitive souls understand their times. They appraise from a different rule. Sensitivity has been associated with weakness and reluctance of involvement, NOT SO. Being sensitive to business requires reaching in and changing things before the numbers start failing. Being spiritually sensitive requires action as well. Charging into the fray may well be demanded in order to turn the tide. There is a time to "step in."
1 Peter 4:7-11
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
I attended recently a missionary conference. The moderator invited a brother and his wife from Colombia to come to the front and said he felt they needed prayer and related his field of work as deep in the Amazon among indigenous people. Instantly, the Spirit said, "Get to know him." I obeyed and arranged for him to visit my home. How blessed we were to have them in our house-we felt privileged. Then the Lord said, "Ask if he has a pressing need." He did. A great love for each passed between us during their stay. How wonderful is our life as we are sensitive to the leadership of the Spirit.

In that same meeting, on the same day, we all gathered in the church hall for lunch. The Spirit directed us to sit at an empty table about midway and wait for Him to send the ones we were to know. Two of the most beautiful couples came to sit beside us; they were total strangers. Softly we inquired of their activities (One was from Indian work in Mexico and the other from Tanzania). Both these couples enriched our lives by their testimonies, and we were able to pledge assistance to them.

Additional Study:
1. Chapter 3 of Micah: description of those who lost their ability to discern.

2. John, the revelator, was the most sensitive spirit among the Disciples. He reveals much about this within his script found in:

1 John 2:18-27

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25 And this is the promise that He has promised us - eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

3. Are we sensitive in the realms that really count? Consider these areas.
Reading the face of God.
          Yielding to or insulting the Holy Spirit
                    Welcoming the Brethren
                              Sin/righteousness consciousness

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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