June 9, 2004

Discernment in our Times

Our discernment in these last days has to be sharpened with the Sword of the Spirit - The Word of God. We will be betrayed, we will be led astray from the light and living way if we do not apply God given discernment in these last days.

Picture it in this way - if we have not learned of it and utilized it, like anything else in life, it is useless to us.

Hebrews 5;14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The Heart Factor

We gain discernment through an understanding heart - understanding and knowledge comes through truth- the word of God.

Solomon said to God: Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?


Our uncertainty can get us into a lot of trouble. I speak from experience. Uncertainty over something can be so disastrous at times. I've known of many tragedies that have happened, all because spur of the moment decisions were made that turned out bad in the end. It can always be seen as a weakness. There will be times we're all uncertain, yes, but discernment from God is used so that we can know the truth from a lie.

Have you been betrayed and handed a bill of goods at the hand of another?

How did it make you feel when you found out it was all a charade? You felt stupid, right? I know that I have. I can hear myself saying "How could I have been SO stupid."
It was a simple lack of discerning the truth from a lie.

To use discernment given by God, we are to discern or to detect by means of the spirit.

Not just any spirit though, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us discernment.

And if we have not been born again, we cannot have discernment

Here are a few Bible passages in which discernment is spoken of:

Deuteronomy 32;28 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them.

Psalms 119;125 I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

Proverbs 3;21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;

Proverbs 17;24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

and from Jesus we hear Luke 12;56 "[Ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

There is also a gift of the Holy Spirit called the DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

In 1 Corinthians 12, when Paul is listing the Spiritual Gifts, discerning of spirits is one of them

1 Corinthians 12;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

In the bible we read where Paul turned around and rebuked an evil spirit- the spirit of divination, out of a girl (damsel) that had followed him around the town of Phillipi, a region of Macedonia.

How did Paul do this? He had been given the gift of discerning of spirits through the Holy Spirit

Acts 16;16

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying;

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation".

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved (disturbed), turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the court unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, "These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city",

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans,

What really had happened here? The men who threw Paul and Silas into prison were really troubled because God through Paul and Silas had freed the woman that was possessed and now these crooked business men could not USE her anymore to make money!

They were furious.

God spoke in Leviticus about spiritual possession:

Leviticus 20;27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.

This woman was saying the Right thing, but the spirit driving her speech was from Satan.

She had been possessed by the Spirit of Divination.

How could that be? Satan many times will mix lies with the truth. Paul's spirit was troubled because of this woman, yet she was speaking the truth. This story in the bible should convince us of one thing right off the bat- that there are many inside the church and outside of it that say "many truths, yet their spirit just may not be right. We cannot simply rely on words, they are cheap. We need discernment. We need to use not the senses that are not physical, but rather the senses which are spiritually given.

There are a world full of people who are walking around thinking everything is fine with them and God when really it's not. They do not have any sense of the spiritual-it means nothing to them.

Didn't Jesus say that in that day that many would come to him saying, "Lord, I cast out devils in your name, preached, healed the sick in your name"?

What does he then say to the many who are deceived within themselves? "Depart from me you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you! We can lie to others, but never is the truth kept from God. Ultimately, nothing can be hidden from him.

The Holy Spirit from God inside of Paul discerned or SAW the Evil Spirit from Satan inside this girl.

Why is discernment in these last days important?

Because in evil days and good days alike, the choices we make in life affect us as well as others. We must have an understanding heart along with wisdom which we could use to counteract the foolishness and wickedness we see playing out and going on all around us.

If we have no truth-we will trust in lies. Discernment is priceless- just as wisdom is. Without being able to tell a truth from a lie, the light from darkness

a charade from reality, truth from fiction,
No, if we do not possess this quality of discernment, we are on a dark path, a rough road - on a slippery slope.
Here is a simple comparison of what God approves of and what the majority of society approves of- see the clash?

Can you discern these?

God says "Have no respect of persons" Society says "Rub elbows with the affluent in this world- those who could line your pockets"

God says "Feed the Hungry, clothe the naked" Society says "Give to all men freely??? NO, but we will give you help-At a price"

God says "Owe no man anything, except to love him" Society says "The massive debts that you acquire can be ignored"

God says "Thou shalt not kill" Society says "Sure, there have been casualties since the war, but it is worth the cost- this is the war on terror!"

God says "Thou shalt not lie" Society says "Lying is feasible when it serves a good enough purpose".

God says "Thou shalt not spill innocent blood:

Society says "These innocent deaths occur in war...What can we say?

May we in these last days ask God for wisdom instead of riches, knowledge instead of fame, truth instead of what we want to believe about ourselves and others.

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