Lent Day 14 — Discernment
“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?” 1 Kings 3:9
Discernment - the ability to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; the act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; to recognize or identify as separate and distinct; to detect with senses other than vision (an inner witness)
Considering the gifts God has given to each of us as He wills, to empower and equip us to minister truth as His ambassadors to the world, and also to live overcoming lives in the midst of a culture devoid of true wisdom and understanding, a world ruled by sin and death, the gift of discernment is vital to nearly all the others to operate in the manner consistent with God’s intended purpose.
I remember when I was growing up I’d often hear people say this or that person had “mother-wit.” I later came to understand that they meant the person had discernment. They possessed insight and a sense of clear-eyed judgment even at a young age. They seemed to know things instinctively that others only learned from years of experience facing the harsh realities of life.
If there was ever a time in the history of mankind when we need true Godly discernment it is now. Bombarded with all kinds of information and opinions, the steady stream of so called “news” 24-7 and commentary, with little that is reasonable or salient and most is just ever increasingly off the wall and outrageous; indoctrination and disinformation portrayed as entertainment, comedy that becomes interpreted as truth, tragedy that is no more than fantasy for maximum emotional effect, and all of this without any regard for God’s eventual and ultimate judgment to come against such things, we might be tempted to think, is there any hope that things will ever get back to some semblance of reasonableness and civility, if they ever were?
First, the world isn’t as bad as some would portray it to be and the culture isn’t as completely corrupt and lawless as some would portray it to be. The church, the Body of Christ is still here, and that means God, Jesus and the Holy Sprit is still dwelling in the hearts of His Church.
In order to see through the smoke screens and hear the message in the midst of the noise we need discernment. In order to know beyond the surface of things to understand and perceive the true intent of the messengers we need discernment. In order to divide rightly the truth from the lie, and to know the right from the wrong, we need discernment.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Likewise, we need discernment to rightly understand and apply even the Words of the Bible. The Holy Spirit gives us that discernment when we study the Word and when we seek to establish all that we receive by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Those witnesses may be direct references by other writers in the Old and New Testaments, or by other teachers of the Word or ministers of the Gospel, by even historical accounts of the time or by revelation through a prophetic word of wisdom or knowledge. Discernment directs us always toward the truth and God is never at odds with Himself or His Word.
Discernment is important also in the everyday decisions and choices we make moment by moment because seemingly insignificant small choices can have far reaching consequences for good or for evil.
So we pray for discernment
“Father, Lord and God, today we pray for discernment, for the ability to choose wisely and to know the heart of a matter even before we see it. We pray for insight to know the true motives of those who would try to persuade us to one course of action or another. Help us to hear Your voice in the midst of all the noise around us and to follow you only. Lord, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand all matters that pertain to life and Godliness and keep us from saying or doing things that will bring hurt or destruction to others or harm to our love ones, our family and friends, our selves or our resources.
Thank You, Father, for the wisdom that comes from above and the discernment to apply that wisdom motivated by love and guided by the Holy Spirit so that we may bring glory to You in all that we do. In the blessed and Holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.”