Discernment is a form of spiritual reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is a process where something is disassembled and examined in detail to discover the engineering process involved in the manufacture of the product.
Competing markets do this with new products to determine how a competitor was able to create something like an advanced smartphone or appliance. In military conflict when an advanced enemy weapon is captured on a battlefield, it is reverse engineered to discover the technologies used to create the weapon.
In matters of the Spirit, not all revelation is a complete picture of what is taking place. Some revelation is like a process of reverse engineering. It begins by looking honestly at what is taking place in our lives and within the culture and then walking that understanding backward in time to discover who or what is producing a desired outcome in the present.
I hear a lot of voices decrying our current situation in both the culture and the Church, but I see few reverse engineering our present reality to discover what brought us to this place. In this process of spiritual reverse engineering, we need to ask questions like “Who or what is the source of this?” Where is this taking us/me?” Who is benefiting from this decision?” These are the questions of the spiritual engineers who will help us navigate through this season with greater clarity and understanding of what is unfolding.
We need to be listening for prophetic voices that sound like spiritual engineers who can reverse engineer our current situation and help us unpack the mechanics of what has led us to this point in history. Their language will not sound poetic or devotional. They will have a technical tone that may not appeal to ears that have been groomed to accept the status quo without an honest examination of the factors that brought us to this point in time.
“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” (Matthew 11:15).