We are taught about our natural senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch early in life.
The reasons are obvious; the five senses are receptors for picking up stimuli from our physical environment.
They allow us to sense our physical environment so that we can respond and adjust to it.
For instance, when the temperature is low in a room we feel the chills and make an adjustment by putting on additional clothing or we simply turn up the heater.
When we are in the bright sunlight we put on sunglasses so that the sharp rays of the sun do not blind us as we drive down the street.
We react to burnt toast through our sense of smell.
Our taste buds determine whether our food has the right amount of spices such as salt or pepper.
These physical senses have been given to us so that we can live and adapt comfortably in our natural environment.
There is also a need to adapt to another kind of environment, the supernatural.
Divinity desires us to pick up spiritual message through our spiritual senses.
Allow me to walk you through some of my personal experiences of sense perception encounters.
The Spiritual Sense of Sight The spiritual sense of sight is seeing things in the supernatural realm that you would normally not see with your physical eyes (See 2 Kings 6:17).
In my lifetime I have not seen angels but at certain times I do see "impressions", like pictures of images and symbols, when I close my eyes.
One time we had a guest speaker for a church service.
During a worship service I saw the backside of a penny, which is obviously a picture of the Lincoln Memorial.
I did not know what to do with this impression since I had not been trained with "impressions" so I left it alone.
During the service the preacher told the congregation he was attending a large gathering in Washington, D.
, and asked the church to keep him in prayer.
At this point I began to learn how God speaks; He was teaching me to discern His voice through the spiritual sense of sight.
Since then I have seen pictures as clear as if I was watching them on a plasma television.
People's faces come into view and most of the time they are indicators that I should pray for them.
These are visual impressions, an important aspect of sense perception.
The Spiritual Sense of Smell I am most sensitive to the spiritual sense of smell.
I was introduced to this sensing when I responded to a hospital call.
The mission was to visit a woman from our church that was hospitalized with a rare blood disorder so I took a friend with me.
I heard that she had unusual blood clots coming out of her pours, mouth and nose, and that I should not expect a good sight with my natural eyes.
When we arrived we found out they were not exaggerating.
After some light conversation I called for a moment of worship; focusing on the Divine and giving Him the adoration He deserves.
After a few moments into our worship session I sensed a spiritual breakthrough.
I then asked the Lord to reveal the problem.
Suddenly I caught the scent of a horrible smell; the smell of a dead carcass filled the room.
It was an odor that resembled the stench of death.
Immediately I verbalized what I was picking up through my spiritual sense of smell.
What I identified was a foul spirit; the spirit of death.
I then asked my partner to pray and release the fragrance and aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-16) into the room.
When we finished praying, I told them of my experience, we encouraged her and left the room.
Soon after our visit she began to get better and was eventually released from the hospital.
One evening she was allowed to give a short testimonial in front of the church.
She said, "When they prayed for me I saw a dark cloud over my bed flee.
" She was totally healed and given a new start in life.
Her deliverance came about when God revealed a spirit of death through my spiritual sense of smell.
When we identify a dark "spirit" we must combat it with the spirit of light.
In this case we fought a bad odor (an indication of a demonic presence) with the aroma of Christ (the aroma of life).
I was so excited that God had used my friend and me in this fashion.
After this first encounter with the spiritual sense of smell I began to experience many other impressions.
One time during a worship service I smelled alcohol as if someone opened a bottle and put it right under my nose.
The smell came and went but it was enough to capture my attention.
I looked around to see who was around me at the time and noticed a man whom I knew was going through a tough time in his marriage so I assumed that he began to drink to numb the pain of his separation.
I stepped over to him and asked, "Have you started to drink?" He immediately replied in the negative.
I believed him, but I was in shock and wondered what had happened to me.
A few moments later I looked behind me and noticed a man who I knew struggled in the past with alcohol.
I went to him and asked him if he had started to drink again.
He answered to the negative as well, but this time I knew that he was the one.
So I asked if I could pray for him.
I told him that the Lord wanted to heal his liver, so I took a few moments to pray for him.
Two days later, on a Tuesday morning, I received a call from the receptionist who said a man was waiting in the lobby to talk to me.
To my surprise, as the man walked into my office, I noticed he was the same man I prayed for.
As he came in, he closed the door and sat down.
Immediately tears streamed down his face and he blurted out, "I lied to the man of God, I fell off the wagon on Friday and I wanted to ask you for forgiveness.
I lied to you on Sunday.
" I immediately forgave him, prayed with him.
He left my office in tears.
A few weeks later he brought a document from his doctor to one our services showing that his liver was in excellent condition, just as if he had never drank a drop of liquor.
Since these two incidents my sense of smell became more distinct, identifying odors of alcohol, marijuana, and other foul orders identifying a demonic presence.
One time during a Sunday morning church service I smelled a horrible odor like putrefied oranges, very similar to sewage odor.
I remembered this smell because as a Correctional Officer in the California prison system the inmates would create a fermented drink they called "pruno.
" It was a combination of oranges, water and sugar, which they fermented undetected for several days.
When the process was complete the pruno had a nasty odor.
They would consume this drink and get drunk with it.
I wondered about this horrible smell for a moment and began to rebuke the foul spirit.
A short time later when the pastor began his homily, a lady in the audience got up and began to speak some vile things out loud.
She was prophesying doom to our church.
I, along with others, ran to the rear of the church to calm her down but she began to throw a major tantrum in front of everyone.
She resisted us so much that she dropped to the ground and started to kick like a child.
She was venting some pretty horrible things.
At first it appeared she was possessed by a demon.
Everyone in the service was distracted and turned around to see what was happening.
Since she was not going on her own freewill it took around six large men to drag her out of service.
By the time we took her out into the church foyer she had taken off her shirt and was naked.
She really had us all blushing.
When the medics arrived and whisked her away to get medical attention.
It was discovered later she had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
When her husband was interviewed he said, "She hears voices speaking to her all the time.
" The horrid and putrid smell was a spiritual form of detecting that a foul spirit was in the immediate area, and was preparing a major distraction during the church service.
Can you imagine yourself at your workplace or in a meeting and perceiving with your spiritual senses something from your environment? The purpose of sense perception is to become more proactive with what is being released from the "dark side.
" You will become a more effective team member and employee by cultivating sense perception.
In the next article, Sense Perception - Part III, I discuss the other three of the five spiritual senses.
Go to blog: http://latinotownhall.