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19th October 2022


Discernment

We live in an age of information bombardment & it is no different in the Church.
The internet is full of teaching & prophecies & new Christian books appear weekly.
How do we stay on the straight & narrow path that leads to life (Psalm 17:4, 25:4, 27:4).
Who are we going to listen to & learn from? We must practise discernment & we must deploy it well.
Discernment is the spiritual practise of hearing God & knowing His truth amid a noisy, busy & distracting world


Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit,
according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8


The Bible makes it clear that we do need to discern & that if we are not careful we can be led astray (2 Timothy 2:16-18).
If we are not heedful & constantly aware we can be ensnared by false teaching & false prophecy.
Not everyone who claims to declare God’s word is to be believed or trusted.
Some are using God’s word for personal gain & attention (1 Timothy 6:4-5).
There is God’s truth, worldly philosophies, human traditions & demonic deceit & lies.
We must be testing & weighing all we hear to discern & understand the truth of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
What do I need to do to discern God’s truth from that which is false, deceitful or lies?

Here are just a few thoughts to help & encourage us.

  • Does this put Jesus centre stage & give all the glory unto Him (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). Whose name is being exalted.
  • Does this align with Scripture (is it consistent with the immediate context of a passage & the whole counsel (Acts 20:27) of God).
  • Does this encourage, comfort & edify (1 Corinthians 14:3). Building up rather than tearing down.
  • Does this lead me closer to Jesus or draw me to follow after someone else.
  • Does this bring God’s peace to my heart (1 Corinthians 14:33; Isaiah 26:3-4). Clarity & certainty rather than confusion.
  • Does this bring freedom & is this truly free (Matthew 10:8). Or are there financial obligations attached.

These are a few useful questions to mull over in the testing & weighing process.
We are wise to discern ALL things & as we do so God will guide us.
The means we can employ in the discerning process are:

  • Time with God seeking His presence. Communion with Christ.
  • Reading, studying & meditating upon the word of God. Read the whole Bible regularly.
  • Prayer for God’s will & truth in our lives.
  • A healthy desire & appetite for God & His will, word & ways.
  • Constantly seeking the Spirit’s confirmation (John 16:13; Psalm 119:130) & guidance.
  • The renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1-2) by submitting unto God through Scripture & the Spirit.
  • Checking things out with others (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22).

These are spiritual disciplines & tools to help keep us on the narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 14:14).
As we seek to spiritually discern His truth & will the Lord will faithfully guide us.

For Reflection

  • Who have I trusted with God’s truth & why?
  • Which spiritual disciplines am I using in the discernment process?
  • Meditate upon the means & methods of spiritual discernment.

A song related to this theme:

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the truth of Your word,
Help me to discern it & implement it in my life.
Jesus thank you that You are my sure foundation & solid rock,
Help me to seek for & find You in everything I accept into & employ in my life.
Holy Spirit thank You that you are my helper, teacher, comforter & guide,
Lead me in the paths of righteousness & truth.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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