In my many years of Spiritual Coaching and Counseling, I have frequently noticed one thing missing from most of the people I have worked with. Tragically, the absence of this Spiritual tool, causes people to make poor choices and experience unnecessary pain. The tool I am referring to is discernment.
Paul the Apostle wrote:
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT)
Many people I meet apparently think that discernment is kind of like Christian voodoo or a gut feeling. Fortunately God has made it much more simple and reliable. Here are five methods every Christian can use to perform the task of proper Discernment:
A simple but often overlooked method of discernment is to simply check the Bible to see what God says about it. If God’s Word has already stated a position, then prayer is superfluous. God is not double-minded. In the Old Testament He calls Himself the Lord that does not change. (Mal 3:6.) A New Testament author writes, “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb 13:8.) I am glad that God’s Word is a solid anchor from which we can live our lives. We have all known leaders that demonstrate the inadequacies of capriciousness.
When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He promised a comforter that would teach us all truth (Jn 16:3.) We need to learn to hear the voice of God. The Bible tells us, if we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25.) It is wonderful that you have accepted God and He lives inside of you. Now, let Him live out of you.
When discerning a situation or a person, we can tell a lot from what their life yields. If a tree produces Apples, we call it an Apple tree. If it produces Oranges, we call it an Orange tree. Well if an opportunity only produces damage and destruction, it’s not good fruit. If a person is always producing evil (as defined in God’s Word) then they are evil. It’s a lot simpler than we try to make it sometimes.
King Solomon spoke at length about the importance of attaining wisdom. Wisdom begins after knowledge becomes understanding. Knowing how a seed grows is a great thing, but doesn’t mean you understand how to best make it grow. Once you understand how to best make it grow wisdom kicks in to discern whether or not growing the seed is a good thing or not.
Like everything else in life, experience is important to long term success. When the other methods are sufficiently applied, experience will increase knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It should be easier to see the second time around.
Father, Thank You so much for all my readers. I pray that You will bless them and help them to discern all the issues and people in their lives. In Jesus Name, Amen!