by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday January 4, 2006
Acquiring Spiritual Discernment
Sadly, some Christians go through life without realizing two important facts about God: 1) He has a personal interest in our decisions, and 2) He offers us the ability to discern His will regarding those choices. However, spiritual discernment isn’t automatic. After receiving Christ, we don’t suddenly understand every complex theme and principle in Scripture.
Discernment must be diligently sought. Many people, believing their own wisdom is sufficient to guide them, never look for the Lord’s. But our human minds, while rational, are incapable of seeing the true nature of many situations and events. What is good may not always be best, and what is presented as truth is sometimes a lie. Pride in our own judgment hinders access to godly wisdom.
In contrast, recognizing our need for God’s Spirit and yielding to Him develops our insight. Besides illuminating biblical meaning, providing spiritual gifts, and sealing believers as children of God, the Holy Spirit provides discernment. This is why He is called the Spirit of Truth. Through Him, we have a direct link to God’s mind — He willingly reveals the next step God intends for us to take.
Much of the Holy Spirit’s discernment work is carried out through a believer’s understanding of Scripture. No matter how much we pray, we can’t be sure a choice is right unless we recognize a godly pattern. From Genesis to Revelation, the Father reveals His thoughts and principles so that we can live accordingly, gleaning wisdom for any situation from His words.