for the Faith
Need for Spiritual Discernment
Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 8:00am
"For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection
of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still
more and more in real
knowledge and all
discernment, so that you may approve the things that are
excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of
Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which
comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
Have you ever asked yourself, How
do I know this is the right decision?
Often there’s no scripture that
addresses in detail the particular choice we need to make.
are some examples:
What kind of car to buy, ...
New?, Used?, for
The best investment
to make, ...
of our time,
Whether to work or
spend time with the family when overtime hours
Which job to accept, or
... what should be my
motivation to seek a new one in the first place?
Is it because I'm bored
in my current job? ...
Or, do I desire a more impressive
job title, or more
status, money, and perks?
What cost is
there to moving ... to my
spouse and kids, and extended
family, and to my church?
Should a Christian intentionally patronize a business, (e.g.
you shop there regularly) ...
supporting a company
that takes a public stand contrary to our Christian values?
Should we KNOWINGLY
be enablers of something
that goes directly against what God’s Word teaches?
How does this decision
effect my Christian witness and /
or advance HIS Kingdom?
Rather than specifying exhaustive rules that speak to every possible
situation in life, God’s Word contains principles and instructions to
guide our decision making.
That is not to say God hands us His Book and then leaves us alone. To
ensure that our feet remain on the right path,
He grants us spiritual
discernment—the capacity to judge between right and wrong, wise and
unwise, good and best.
We are commanded to “hate what
is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans
12:9). But, unless we have true discernment, how can we
determine what is “evil” and what is “good”?
In cultivating such discernment,
we’re inviting God to be intimately involved in all our decisions; there
is no matter too insignificant for His consideration and assistance. A
plan that is outside the Lord’s will—or even good decisions formulated
without consulting Him—can short-circuit His plan to give us His best.
discernment protects us from making decisions based on what looks good
or feels right. We are limited to five senses and our experience,
but God views our lives from a
vantage point of infinite knowledge.
Our instructor, the Holy Spirit (3rd person of the Holy Trinity),
teaches us the wisdom of God’s way and knows precisely how to apply it
to our unique circumstances. As we develop a habit of following His
promptings, our senses become trained to distinguish good from evil, and
we mature spiritually. Keep in mind though ... "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have
their senses trained to discern good and evil." (Hebrews
So, how does one increase
spiritual discernment? First, recognizing that
God is the only one who can
increase wisdom, pray for it (James
Philippians 1:9). Then,
knowing the wisdom to
distinguish good from evil comes by training and practice,
go to the Bible to learn the
truth, and, by meditation
on the Word, reinforce the truth.
When a bank hires an
employee, he is trained to recognize counterfeit bills. One
would think that the best way to recognize a counterfeit would be to
study various counterfeits. The problem is that new counterfeits are
being created every day. The
best way to recognize a counterfeit bill is to have an intimate
knowledge of the real thing. Having studied authentic bills, bank
cashiers are not fooled when a counterfeit comes along.
A knowledge of the true helps
them identify the false.
This is what Christians must
do to develop spiritual discernment. We must
know the authentic so
well that, when the false
appears, we can recognize it.
By knowing and obeying the Word of God, we will be “trained
by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” We will
know God’s character and will.
This is the heart of spiritual discernment –
being able to distinguish the
voice of the world from the voice of God, to have a sense that “this is
right” or “this is wrong.” Spiritual discernment fends off
temptation and allows us to “hate
what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans
Sources: Adapted in part from
Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB),
with links to the www.classic.biblegateway.com
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be
Call or email me if you have questions.
"Saint Pete", Sr.