Updated: Aug 16, 2021
We live in a time where there are so many voices speaking into our lives; the opinions of the world, the lies of the enemy, and the Truth that comes from the Spirit. Each of these voices are vying for our attention, so it’s important that we recognize which one we are tuning in to. Which voice takes precedence in your life? And how can you know the difference between them?
The answer is: Through discernment!
What is discernment?
Discernment is different from the gift of discerning of spirits. It is the ability to recognize right from wrong and separate between good and evil. Discernment isn't only evaluating the accuracy of our words; it's examining the integrity of our heart. Jesus challenged his disciples by saying, "You don't know what spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:55)
Paul also writes to the Philippian church, “And this I pray, that your love may overflow 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.” (Philippians 1:9-10 NASB)
God given discernment creates the capacity to clearly see the truth of our situation and the belief systems we encounter every day. As we follow in God’s ways, He enlightens us through the lens of His truth. Every believer needs discernment to be able to live in truth.
What discernment is NOT:
Discernment does NOT find fault or criticize others.
Discernment is NOT being suspicious about others.
Discernment is NOT reading someone’s mind.
Discernment does NOT judge others.
Criticism, suspicion, and judgement are birthed from our own past experiences, from our prejudices and faulty belief system and therefore do not align with the Spirit of Truth. If you are questioning whether you are basing your perceptions off your own thoughts and feelings or filtering them through truth, you can ask yourself:
Am I finding fault in others?
Am I suspicious of the actions or intent of others?
Do I believe the best in people?
Am I judging others?
How do we grow our level of discernment?
Scripture tells us that we are called to, “…examine everything carefully; hold firmly to that which is good, abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB)
When we discern, we are using our spiritual senses to make choices that line up with God’s word. Discernment is not always clear, and often comes as a "gut" feeling. Ultimately, the more in tune we are to God’s voice and His Word, the more we can move with Him and live in discernment. Building a Biblical foundation becomes our plumb line which aligns our senses to differentiate between a word from God, from ourselves, or the enemy.
Hebrews 4:12 says: “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.”
Where does discernment come from?
We need supernatural discernment because it comes from outside of ourselves, from the unlimited source of the Holy Spirit. It is founded in love and given by the Spirit of Truth.
Bob Hazlett said: “We carry the atmosphere of Heaven within us. We don't have to operate in and speak from the spirit of the day. We have the breath that brought order to chaos. We have the wind that awakens light. We have the spirit that spoke Heaven into substance. That is what Spirit we are from!"
Ultimately, we need the Spirit to guide us in the truth and in the power of discernment. Scripture points to this. John 16:13 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes to see the miracle-wonders hidden in your word. My life on earth is so brief, so tutor me in the ways of your wisdom (to know).”
Discernment is the eyes to see beyond what is being said, into the realm of what the Spirit is doing. Wisdom is required to know how to respond. The Holy Spirit wants to give us ability to see AND to know, not just guess at how He’s moving.
There is Victory in Discernment
We can have victory today through the Spirit as He guides us in discernment in all areas of our lives.
Learn more and grow your discernment today through one-on-one mentoring. We are here to help you grow and cultivate a deeper relationship with God, your identity in Christ, and an awareness of God’s call in your life.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 NASB)
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