THE NEED FOR DISCERNMENT - The Warrior's Journey®


Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

Sgt. James Balestrini. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

Earlier this week an Ohio man received a flood of letters from a finance company, reminding him of his unpaid debt… 

Fear and Confusion

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment conduct a training patrol alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade on November 27, 2018 in Kenya, Africa. The training scenario was part of Operation Askari Storm, a multinational training exercise occurring in Kenya, Africa between U.S., British and other partner-nation forces. The training focuses on increasing the readiness and interoperability of the participating forces while placing them in tough, realistic scenarios against simulated near-peer adversaries.

…Dan Cain received a call from the Twinsburg Post Office.  They’d received an inordinate amount of letters addressed to him – all from College Avenue Student Loans – and requested that he come and get them.  How much mail was there?  There were 55,000 duplicate letters in 79 trays of 700 letters each.  Through some computer glitch – and a huge human oversight – this loan company sent 55,000 first class letters, at .55 cents each, all to the same person.   

College Avenue spent $30,250 alone on postage for this mistake, not to mention the reams of paper and cases of envelopes it wasted.  It’s possible that their mistake was more costly than if Mr. Cain had defaulted on his loan.  To add to the irony, every one of those duplicate letters reflected an incorrect “Amount Due,” since the loan company applied the wrong interest rate to his loan.  At the time of this report, Dan Cain was at a loss about what to do with the great heap of letters. 

Think about it.  An incredibly disproportionate number of reminders for a debt.  Each reminder distorts the truth of what is owed, being too high.  And the burden of these “reminders” is far too much to handle.  Does this remind you of anything? 

Conviction vs Condemnation

A U.S. Army Paratrooper dons his parachute while participating in Immediate Response 19 at Aviano Air Base, May 13, 2019. Exercise Immediate Response is a multinational exercise co-led by Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe. The logistics-focused exercise is designed to test and improve the ability to move forces and equipment rapidly from one location to another. The exercise will improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations.

How can we tell the difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the condemnation of the devil?  The conviction of the Holy Spirit sensitizes us to a wrong we’ve committed or an injury we’ve inflicted – so that we might make amends.  The other comes in like a flood and is completely disproportionate to our offense.   

And how can we discern the difference between the fear of the Lord and the terror that Satan uses to paralyze us?  One awakens us to a real danger in a timely way to keep us from trouble.  The other completely immobilizes us, blows the danger out of proportion, and – just like the condemnation – is totally disproportionate to the threat.  God is gentle in His dealings with us.  But Satan masses his attack. 

If you’re being overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt and condemnation, then recognize what’s happening.  You’re under a spiritual attack from the devil.  God reveals the wrong to us so that we’ll repent, ask His forgiveness, and – if possible – make restitution.  But Satan masses his attack – like hitting us with 55,000 letters.  

The same is true with the fear and dread that the devil sends our way.  Just like the condemnation, the fear is completely disproportionate to the threat or danger. 

Stand Guard!

Not all Christian believers will be targeted by the devil with these attacks.  Normally they only afflict more tender-hearted believers.  It’s proper for a Christian believer to have a tender heart – as their Lord does.  Tender-hearted believers will be far less prone to offend others.  They’ll also more readily discern the heavy burdens which other people bear.  Thus they can be far more effective in one-on-one ministry. 

But tender-hearted Christians must also be aware of their vulnerabilities.  They can become easy prey to people with abusive personalities, such as narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths.  Such people survive in life by draining tender-hearted people of all their emotional strength.  Then, after they’ve broken one kind soul, they move on to claim their next victim. 

Tender-hearted Christians are also vulnerable to satanic and demonic attacks – especially those that involve feelings of guilt and condemnation.  Therefore, believers must exercise discernment.  They must recognize the tactics that are used against them.  And they must always put their faith in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world (John 1:29), who fully satisfies God’s justice (Romans 3:25-26; 1 John 2:1-2), and whose blood keeps on cleansing us from every sin (1 John 1:7). 


Dear Father in heaven, please give me discernment and insight.  Help me to know my strengths, my vulnerabilities, as well as the enemy’s tactics.  When waves of condemnation and fear assail me, help me to cling to the unfailing promises of Your word and to fix my faith on Jesus Christ alone. Amen.


(Information from: 

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.