Discernment is a very powerful tool in Christianity; and understanding discernment is vital for every Christian believer. It is important for the Christian believer to discern using the Word of God; for it is very possible for one to discern using ones own sense of discernment – which many will refer to as a good feeling. The problem with this kind of feeling is that although you may seem right on several occasions, it is almost always influenced by demonic forces; as demonic forces prey off on human error. Many will wonder if it is demonic forces, why will devil then guide us along things which will work to our advantage. These things seemingly works to our advantage, but where satan has joy is that this is short lived; and short lived glory is not God’s plan for the Christian.
Many think of satan as this extremely evil being; and although that is true, he does not portray himself to that statues. He is the master of disguise; and deception is his game play. So many Christians are being deceived by the devices and schemes of satan; and when we depend on our own discernment, we will fall short. Looking into the lives of Christians today, we can see this been evident as many of us been deceived by the master and not being guided by the Master. Satan is a very able being, yet he is a defeat foe; however he is still master of deception and busy deceiving the world at large.
Know that devil can also give spiritual vision. See the account of Jesus during His 40 days and 40 nights of fasting in the wilderness. Satan came to Jesus and tempted Him with all sorts of temptations. Lastly, satan presented the kingdoms of the world to Jesus. Let’s see this from Matthew 4:8-9; “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
How did this happen; how could Jesus see all the kingdoms of the world while standing in the wilderness. The Lord said something similar to Abraham in Genesis 22:17-18; “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
Abraham looked into the spirit realm and saw what God was showing him; he received this promise in the spirit and the light of the Word of God which sees beyond the physical realm and time. Vision comes from two places; Heaven or hell. It either comes from God or devil; and although many are open to the fact that God gives vision, many are in disbelief that satan can give vision. This is very real; and as we saw in Matthew 4, if satan tried to show Jesus a vision in trying to deceive Him, how much more will he not try and deceive us with twisted vision…
Although no one can teach anyone discernment except the Spirit of the Lord; we can have a good understanding through the Word of God how we can receive good Godly discernment. We will take a look at some verses in scripture to render a good understanding on how one can develop the right discernment.
Proverbs 15:21 says; “Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight.”
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 righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them
These verses let’s us know that good discernment comes through knowledge on the Word of God. That’s why we over stress how vital it is for every Christian to diligently study the Word.
Philippians 1:9-10 says; “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.” Paul here shows us that basis of discerned starts at love and knowledge. Without love we cannot practice the commandments Jesus gave us; and therefore we will fall short of correctly discern what is good and what is evil.
To the children of Israel, the Lord said: “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean” (Lev.10:9-10). The way we carry ourselves and what we get ourselves involved with has an effect on our discernment. It is vital that we keep ourselves in the ways of the Lord.
Living in a material world, we easily have a distorted discernment; like the Lord warns Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Samuel would not of heard the leading of the Lord if he had to looked at the outward appearance. This happens many times to us; because things seemingly don’t make sense, we quick to reject the ideas.
Isaiah 11:3 gives the perfect rendering of discernment by saying: “And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear.” Good discernment comes by the Word of God and lines perfectly with the love of God; for if we say we love God, we will do His commandments and walk in discernment.
Proverbs 28:7 says; “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.” We are to show ourselves approved by walking in the laws set before us in the Word of God.
The single verse in scripture that proves that discernment comes by knowledge of the Word is found in Romans 12:2, saying: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” And furthermore reinforced by Hebrews 5:14 saying “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
Lastly, king David understood this when he said to the Lord: “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments” (Ps.119:66).
I find many believers asking me to teach them discernment; and this is not possible. One has to learn to study the Word of God, have a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and most of all, become a doer of the Word. The Spirit of God will lead you along side to exercise good discernment. Therefore, in getting, get the Word of God in your spirit and do all you can to hold fast thereof.
Teaching by Evng./Pst. Rudi Ferreira