And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
- Philippians 1:9-10 ESV
All of our lives we are told “make good choices,” “take the high road,” “evaluate pros and cons,” and “aim high,” but how are we to know a positive decision from one that could be harmful? Discernment.
Babies will put anything into their mouths, toddlers will run into a street, preschoolers use scissors for the first time (remember someone who cut their bangs?) and young children stay up at night only to be grumpy when they haven’t had enough sleep.
As a young child it is vital for an older, more mature person to be in their lives, to direct the choices they make and to help them make better ones as they get older. A new believer may listen to any preacher or teacher and not be able to identify if their words are true to the Scriptures.
When we choose to follow Jesus Christ, there is an expectation that we grow and learn His ways. Our faith must not be stagnant because each and every day we are faced with decisions to make.
Ephesians 4:14 asserts that the gift of discernment is available to believers, “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” It is a difficult verse to hear because it says we are being deceived by our ideology/teaching, people, and Satan. Yikes!!
There is Good News, though. Our hope to combat this immaturity in order to make “good” decisions is found in Christ alone! He has provided the tools that help us grow and develop discerning minds.
First, we must submit to God the Father. Let’s look at the example Jesus set for us.
In John 5:30 Jesus does not ignore the fact that He has a will of His own, yet He is committed to honoring the Father above it. The most important thing we can learn is that Jesus was always postured to obey. With humility and a desire to do God’s work, Jesus heard the voice of His Father and put His will first. Discerning minds hear God’s still, small voice and respond accordingly.
Second, God gives us His Word to know the Truth. As we read and apply the Word to our lives, we exercise our spiritual senses and develop discernment. We become the mature ones that teach and lead the “babies.”
Through studying and learning the Bible we once again are brought to the point of making a decision......only this time we are not oblivious to the Truth, so we must choose who will we follow.
I believe God will reveal Himself to us as He sees that we are ready to handle it. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”(Hebrews 5:14)
1. Do I desire to discover the will of the Father in order to become a discerning person?
2. Am I willing to set down my humanly rights in order to follow God’s plan?
3. Am I maturing in my faith and learning discernment so that I can lead others to Him?
Lord God, thank You for Your Word and how it teaches me to know You better. My desire is to obey You and to use the gift of discernment to make choices that glorify You. I don’t always do this well, but today I choose to grow and learn more about You so I can mature in my faith. It’s in Jesus name I pray! Amen!
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Want to know more about the spiritual gift of Discernment? Check out this RESOURCE from Shepherds of the Lost.