Hey everyone! My name is Marcus Yau and I’m also on Mike’s team this year as Project Manager. I’m excited to share about an experience with discernment and freedom with you all!
A bit about myself: I have never considered myself a “feeler” or had any idea of what discerning of spirits looked like. I did, however, know that I have always been very aware of my surroundings and people, more specifically, their body language/nuances such as posture, the way they sneeze, catching when people talk to themselves, different ways of laughter, things like that.
I’ve been around Mike for about 6 months now, being part of his Discerning Spirits class at BSSM and going on missions with him in April. In my time with him, a phrase I have heard often from people who hear his teaching is “you’re totally describing my whole life!” I always chuckle at that because it has become so common to hear and because I have never felt something described so powerfully enough to use that language.
Now, Mike and a few of us on his team were debriefing after one of his evening teaching sessions and a student was sharing her thoughts. Mike was trying to press through a bad agreement she had. He eventually asked for my thoughts and experience of her; this is where I had one of the greatest revelations about myself.
I began to share my observations of her interactions with our team and focused in on the way she laughs. Reluctantly, I continued to talk about how there are 2 distinctive “laughs” that she has - one that is full of life, energy, and genuine humor that lights up a room and the other laugh which I described as puny, weak, and fake. I wanted to have an authentic expression of her, which meant not laughing if something wasn’t funny to her, but also letting her genuine laughter fly because it brings such wonderful energy into the room.
Mike asked this person what she thought about my thoughts on her laugh. She confirmed, "Sometimes I laugh even when if I don't get the joke or if I don't think it's funny..."
My parents are Chinese and, if you know anything about Chinese culture, I was raised to be polite, respectful, and mindful of others. Sharing my “insight” on how my friend laughed was nearly unbearable because I felt I was violating politeness and respect by saying this. In the meantime, she was receiving what I was saying and eventually responded by validating my thoughts on her laughter. My observation of her laughter and the insight I learned about her from it was legitimate. What I felt was real! Despite being uncomfortable, I realized that speaking up about what I notice can bring freedom to people to come into the light and be themselves.
To make matters worse, another friend piped up and confirmed that I also had pointed out facial expressions she made, but that she wasn’t aware of what she was doing or that she was releasing something that I was sensing. “I’m totally weird and creepy for noticing these things, right?” I admitted to myself. Instead, the feedback was that it helped them both recover and choose to become present in the moment instead of pulling away.
Mike interjected and said something that surprised me about how I notice those little things. "What you're observing, the fact that you know those little things are connected to something greater, not everyone knows that stuff. It's your gift that interprets the nuances as insightful data to consider."
I felt God bring up multiple memories of times where I noticed something interesting in the way people moved or heard someone whisper something to themselves that I heard clearly. Honestly, they were just “weird” moments for me because I’ve always found myself noticing things about people that weren’t meant to exactly be public. Then the bomb dropped on me. Oh my gosh. That thing is the gift of discerning of spirits.
I couldn’t help but burst out laughing in the midst of talking about my experience to the group because I realized that I totally just had my “you’re totally describing my life moment” in front of everyone. I’M THAT PERSON! It’s so funny to me that something I felt so detached from was actually my experience, just in a different expression. There was so much freedom for me in that moment
Recognizing that this gift of discerning of spirits is active and alive in my life has changed my interactions with people and God for the better. I have a responsibility to use my gift for the good of others and to be a steward of the information that I get because of the gift to bring people closer to how God sees them.
I hope you all enjoyed this snapshot of my breakthrough and revelation of a spiritual gift in motion!
- Marcus Yau