Learning to Discern

As believers in a fallen word, we are involved in fighting the good fight of faith, every single day. Each circumstance we face demands a response from us, and our response pretty much determines the end result. Either we face the challenge with godly discernment, following the leading of the Holy Spirit within us, which will pave the way for victory and success. Or, we face the challenge with a reaction based on our emotions, of shock and hurt, fear or anger, or sometimes, just plain fatigue. This kind of reaction never brings the desired result, instead, it just heaps on more trouble, making the problem far more complicated than when it began. That's why being able to discern God's wisdom in every circumstance, over and above our warring emotions is key!

Now since godly discernment is being able to perceive and understand God's perfect will concerning a situation, we should probably pay attention to sharpening that spiritual skill as our choice weapon of combat in our fight of faith.

The Bible often refers to our spirit man needing good, disciplined training and exercise. In fact, it clearly states that without it, we simply won't get to the place where our spirit man is strong or dominant enough to take and keep control over our human nature. In other words, we really have to train our spiritual senses to dominate our emotions, especially when the going gets tough and our feelings can easily spiral out of control, confusing us to the point where we don't know what God's will is in the matter anymore.

Hebrews 5:14 says we can train our senses to discern between good and evil. What it means is that we can train our senses to perceive and understand what is good (of God) and what is evil (of the enemy) as easily as if it was second nature to us.

How do we go about training our senses to do this? Through spiritual exercise!

You see, anyone who wants to get into good spiritual shape has to be diligent to exercise himself spiritually. This is why the apostle Paul told Timothy, in 1 Timothy 4:7, to exercise himself unto godliness.

The word "exercise" is the Greek word gumnos, and is literally translated naked. You see, Paul was describing how the athletes of that time used to train naked, having nothing around their bodies that would hinder them or trip them up while they were training.

Paul was telling Timothy that to become spiritually fit and skilled in discernment, he had to strip himself of all mentalities and thought process that would hinder his growth and development in the Lord.

Paul knew that if Timothy stripped wrong attitudes from his life and approached challenges with the right attitude: The hardships he faced wouldn't hurt him but rather would assist in developing him and making him stronger.
The only way we can strip ourselves of incorrect thought processes and attitudes is by habitually meditating on the Word of God! We have to renew our minds to think God's thoughts and have His perspectives - instead of our own.

When Paul said, "...exercise thyself rather unto godliness." The word "godliness" is the Greek word that describes piety, godliness, or a radical, fanatical devotion. In other words, Paul was telling Timothy, "Don't do just the average that others would do and get an average result. Put your whole heart and soul into developing yourself to the maximum level."

By purposefully, wholeheartedly, and habitually meditating on the Word of God, praying in the Spirit, and spending time fellowshipping with the Lord, we train our senses to discern what is of God and what is not. We become so familiar with what God's heart and thoughts are that we easily hear and recognise the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Let's not put this 'resolution' off any longer! Daily spiritual exercise in the word of God will bring our lives into submission to the Spirit and have our senses trained and in fine tune to the voice of God. This way we will be able to clearly hear His wisdom, over and above any other voice of reason or confusion. And when we pay attention to that wisdom, peace and joy flood our hearts and minds, giving us the assurance we need to go ahead and act on that wisdom and obey what it tells us to do. Choosing God's wisdom above all other reasoning always positions us for success and victory, because its supernatural power will cause every natural obstacle to fall in line with the will of God.

Make the choice today to step into this spiritual training program, where our senses will be fine-tuned and skilled to discern God's wisdom all the time!

ANDR´ AND JENNY ROEBERT are the senior pastors and co-founders of River Ministries situated in East London, South Africa, incorporating various ministries, each geared to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the nations of this world.

For more info visit: myriver.com