God gives the gift of discerning spirits to some believers….I have heard a variety of stories from many who have it. Sometimes one sees contortions of facial features when an evil spirit is present. One person actually saw the face of a skeleton on someone. That vision of death on someone was observed by two people at the same time. Sometimes one hears the spirit speaking without the affected person being aware of it. Sometimes one sees a foreboding aura or shadow around a person. Sometimes one feels the hair rise on the neck or arms. Sometimes one feels a strong tightening in the core and a sense of caution. One may also smell the presence of an evil spirit. Several people have described to me that they have smelled smoke in association with the spirit of fear. One with this gift needs to remain firmly rooted and grounded in Christ or it can be disconcerting and cause one to pull away from an affected person. As one person noted in her story, the gift may be for the purpose of helping the believer avoid such affected people. Other times it is for the purpose of engaging in spiritual battle through prayer and fasting on behalf of the affected person. Sometimes one is called to actually engage with the affected person and confront the spirit.
In the same way, quite a few people have discernment of the Holy Spirit’s presence in others, as well. Many report seeing someone’s face bathed in light. There may a translucent inner lightness emanating from such bearers of the Spirit. There may be a glow around the head or entire person. One person described it to me “like the person had candles on her head when she walked into the room!” They may speak words that have profound meaning or power to an individual or to a group and be totally unaware of what they have spoken or its impact. One in the presence of such a person may feel a great peace or safety or be drawn to the bearer of the Spirit without knowing what it is that is so appealing. One may also have a firm impression that she is in the presence of Christ! Several people have described smelling the sweet fragrance of Christ present with them. The bearer of the Spirit may demonstrate supernatural physical strength (as in the case of some who have been present during accidents and carry out extraordinary acts of physical rescue of others.)
If you have a personal story of having witnessed the presence of an evil spirit or of knowing that you were in the presence of the Holy Spirit, share it!