(1 Kings 3:11)1NIV New International Version Translations – “So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”
The heart of the question is what skills people need to recognize God’s Will for their lives when they live in Satan’s world, which is full of temptation and deceit. Is there a checklist or a set of guidelines that could serve to protect ourselves and our families as we deal with a dangerous world out of control? The word “discern” and its appropriate derivatives all come from the Greek word anakrino, meaning “to distinguish by diligent search and examination.” We especially use the word when seeking wisdom regarding a difficult question or challenge. King Solomon was known for his power of discernment, making many wise decisions and moral judgments (1 Kings 3:9, 11).
Our task should always begin by seeking God’s Truth. The word “seek” is an action verb. It takes effort, it takes time, it takes research, it takes prayers, and it takes the Holy Spirit to clear our reasoning and provide the revelation necessary to make good choices. None of this is obvious in a corrupt world. A discerning person will begin by acknowledging the value of God’s Word: “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.” (Proverbs 8:8-9). To exercise care and love one another, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9). Paul simply states that we must be able to determine what is “evil” and what is “good.”
There are a few good habits to develop that can guide someone through the process:
Prayer – God expects us to ask Him to reveal answers to us. Have a conversation with God. Ask God for wisdom. Amazing the undeserved gifts He grants.
Allocate Enough Time – The best habit one can have is to regularly make time for God. Sometimes, it is nothing more than silence. Make a habit of reading the Scriptures. God wrote down what we need to get through this world. It ought to be your favorite thing to do!
Never Stop Learning – Studying God’s Word isn’t a one-time task. To change your heart, to open your mind to the Revelation of the Holy Spirit, and to sharpen your reasoning is a journey; it takes a lifetime. There is a world of gifted authors, commentaries, and study material. Use them. “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
Take Time for Group Study – “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Yes, read the Bible but reading and studying are two different things. Attend group studies where you can ask questions, seek out how others have overcome worldly challenges, and listen to alternative opinions. Yours, you know, could be wrong!
Check Your Sources – Remember that the Internet contains more errors than truths. Why? Because everything that is published on it stays on it, whether it is right or wrong. No one denomination or theologian has a perfect record either. History proves that! Discernment requires that you keep your eyes open and trust only overwhelming evidence. “Look for the Fruit.” God’s Will for your life will always produce fruit for the Kingdom of God and lead you to Jesus!
Discern God’s Voice in Others – “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26) There is no greater skill that one can acquire than to hear and see God’s wisdom through others. Look for the fruit that is being produced. It requires a selfless form of observation and a humble heart to perfect. Mentors in the faith are important and will help those who hunger to discern God’s Will for their lives.
Serve Others – Seeking God’s Will isn’t just an intellectual exercise. To fully understand scriptural truths is a lifelong journey. But head knowledge is of marginal value to the kingdom of God. He expects us to first understand it, then put it in our hearts, and then spread it out in the community He’s placed us in. And if Jesus isn’t close somewhere, go back and start again!
Worship God – Take time to thank God for what He is doing in your life. We have a benevolent Creator. People need to act like it!
- You must believe that God is Real and has shared His Truth with us. Thus, the challenge is in our vision and intellect, not our God’s trustworthiness.
- You must believe that God has placed in you a moral conscience, which exists as part of the Natural Laws of our very Universe. It is the roadmap through the good and evil in our world.
- You must believe that God has already established the necessary first principles for humanity. Examples of these are God’s Law, science, government, education, politics, and economics. Our job on this earth is to discover them using common sense (discernment).
- And lastly, you must trust that human reason and heavenly revelation will work together. Each one fortifies the other. For humankind can discern little without the aid of the Holy Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 2:14-16) – “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
- Where is your best source for detailed information about God?
- Ideas to Explore: Bible, Bible plus Commentaries, Internet, Reading books, Church.
- What do you do to make sure what you see in a book or on the Internet is true?
- Ideas to Explore: Find alternative sources; talk with people you trust.
- Why do you think the media is not trusted anymore?
- Ideas to Explore: Their agenda is against God. It is all about ratings and money.
- Why do we allow our children to be exposed to the sins of the world in school but not expose them to the Bible?
- Ideas to Explore: Where do you think the idea of no God in schools came from? How has that helped/hurt our society? How would you fix it?
For more information, you can check Lostpine’s Study on What is God’s Truth by clicking HERE.
For more information on recognizing God’s Truth, you can check Lostpine’s Study Can You Spot It When You See It? by clicking HERE.
- 1NIV New International Version Translations