The art of discerning is comprised of two parts—keen insight combined with good judgment. Many believe that discernment is a gift and that certain people are more adept at discerning than others. However, discernment is much more than a gift it is an ability linked closely to wisdom. Therefore, as a person grows wiser spiritually, the ability to discern should also blossom.
The closer we walk with Jesus the better we are able to identify what is good versus what is harmful, what is best versus what is adequate—both in ourselves and for others. Discernment enables us to be like the chess player who sees five moves in advance. In essence, as we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us in the daily pursuit of serving God, He gives us insight into the five big W’s (who, what, where, when, why). Does this mean we always know what to do or what lies ahead—certainly not! Yet even in the fogbanks of life we are not lost for discernment also consists of faith. Impalpable circumstances should lead us to our knees in pursuit of God’s faultless leading!
Proverbs 16:21--Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning, and pleasant speech increases learning.
Philippians 1:9,10--And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ,
Discernment must always be exercised with humility. Just because we are privy to insight does not give us the right to speak—this is where judgment kicks in. Proverbs tells us even a fool is considered discerning if he knows when to keep silent (Pro.17:28). If we exercise sagacity we must also be sensitive to avoid becoming critical. There is no profit to be gained in finding fault in others but there is great honor in going before God’s throne on another’s behalf.
Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault finding.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)