Can you believe that almost another month has gone by. Where does time go? It seems that time is moving at an increased pace and with it comes an avalanche of things to do and information to process! I felt to encourage you in the area of discernment. I personally desire to have an ever-increasing ability to discern what is from God and perhaps what is initiated from the soul or worse from the devil.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word, “discernment “as follows; the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure: skill in discerning. 2: an act of perceiving or discerning something.
The bible encourages us in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Also, out of the book of Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. There are so many different, “portrayed,” truths out today and with all the fake news in the media what is a person to believe.? There is a lot of fake news in the church as well, theology and teaching that simply is not from God even though it is depicted as from God. How is a person to tell what is from the Lord and not?
How does a person grow in the area of discernment? I believe that scripture clearly gives us the answer that in reading God’s Word we see that the Holy Spirit, God, renews us. The reason I say the Holy Spirit is required is because this word “renewal” in Romans 12:2 is only used one other place in all the Greek Bible, namely, Titus 3:5 where Paul says this: “[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” There’s the word “renewal” which we’ve seen is so necessary in our lives. It is renewal “of the Holy Spirit.” In our lives that cannot come from will power but from God’s power impacting our lives. The Spirit renews the mind. It is first and decisively his work! We are radically dependent on Him.
We have the scriptures to bring all ideals, thoughts, beliefs and teachings, to be able to test them against the truth found in scripture. In Colossians 2:8 we read, 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. As we fill our lives with the Word of God and surround our lives with people who speak the truth, as well as develop a worship of Jesus Christ into our lives, we sensitize our spirits to recognizing truth when we hear, see, read, and watch others living truth. Take a look at Proverbs 2:1-5; My son, if you receive My words and treasure up My commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
I’m wanting to encourage all of us to be lovers of truth and taking things and measure them up against the Word of God. I’m encouraging all of us to be vigilant and aware that we are living in days where we cannot afford not to have an intentional submission of our lives to the reading of the word of God in relationship not out of religious obligation. We are to be joyful, full of life, speaking life to those around us and enjoying the days we have on earth! We are to be those looking for solutions and not grumbling and complaining about issues and problems, but bright in our spirits knowing God wants us to pray and declare His word into the situations and see them changed for His glory!
We are living in exciting days! The Word of God being preached to people groups who have never heard the gospel or had the written word in their specific language. It is now stated that every known written language will have the written word available to them by 2030! However, it is also increasingly apparent that many are not basing teaching and training on the Truth of God’s word. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So, it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
God gave us the ability to reason which is a helpful capability. Why not ask some questions about what potentially is the source behind what is being delivered or even lived? A great question might be to ask, if the source of this God or something else? Does the result of this action or belief lead me closer to Jesus and deeper in love with God and people or further away? What is the fruit of this? Does it produce Jesus or more of me which we would call humanism. Does this lead me toward a man or women more than focusing on Jesus being central in my life? Does this have any eternal benefit or is it an eternal distraction, Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Motives are an important key in recognizing the source of a subject or topic being applied. We can look at everyday things we are allowing into our lives and not just those things in a blatant spiritual category, but what we are listening to in music, watching in movies or TV, as well as how we are interacting with our communities that are influencing our lifestyles as Christians.
Let’s be such people of relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that we eat His written word like bread. That we base our lives upon His commandments and lifestyle available in the power of the Holy Ghost which we entitle Kingdom lifestyle. We need not be fearful or so gloomy so that we cannot laugh and show real joy! However, let’s be desiring to increase in Godly discernment. We need to be prayerful for one another and allowing the Lord to bring us into a maturity in the faith where we are able to distinguish good from evil. Reading in Hebrews 5:14 we see our goal, but solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.