Discernment ~ Protection against error

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Everything in life has a counterfeit, made to look exactly like the original. But what looks right is not necessarily right, and what sounds good isn’t always good. A good idea is not equal to a God idea. Deceivers are experts at what they do, and they prey on gullible people who do not invest the time and effort to investigate the authenticity of what they see and hear.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

This month we look into the word discernment. The English word discernment comes via Old French from Latin discernere, from dis– ‘apart’ + cernere ‘to separate’. (Oxford Dictionary) It means to recognize or perceive differences; to see or understand the difference between two concepts. In short, it means to separate the chaff from the wheat.

To discern is to perceive the difference between right and wrong, wise and foolish, true and false, good and best, and it covers every area of life. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” is a well-known – but unfortunately true – saying, even among Christians. Far too many believers take the devil’s bait because it was well packaged, eloquently presented, toxic lyrics carried by good music, the book beautifully printed, the person who shared it sounded so religious. Not everything that comes with a “Thus sayeth the Lord” is really from God, which is why the Bible says prophecy must be judged. The list of factors that influence our decision making can be very long.

The sad part of it all is that the consequences are all the same, whether you stepped into it willingly or by accident. Ignorance of the truth is no excuse! As a matter of fact, our greatest enemy is not the devil, but our own ignorance. The devil can’t deceive you if you know and understand the truth, which is why he loves to keep Christians away from their Bibles. Don’t ever forget the words of Jesus:

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32

The truth shall make you free! Your faith is futile if it is anchored in anything else than the truth. The line between faith and foolishness is very thin!

To get to know that liberating truth, you must abide in the Word. It means to dwell there. If you dwell in the Word, it will dwell in you, feed your faith, open the eyes of your understanding and help you to discern accurately. The Word of God itself is a discerner!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Discernment is the skill of the diligent student, while the lazy Christian depends on his feelings and the opinion of others. The one who digs deep receives revelation from the Lord that illuminates his thinking.

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:13-14

Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly. Proverbs 15:21

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.
Proverbs 27:12

In our busy world there is very little time for in-depth Bible study. It is often moved further down the list of priorities, even delegated to the pastor’s message on a Sunday. But considering the cost of walking into a trap of the devil, it should be the highest priority in any believer’s life. Ignorant Christianity is never an option! Confirm what you hear and see by filtering it through the Word. Study. Investigate. Compare. Weigh. Consider. Judge. Pray. Discern before you decide to believe. The Word is the standard by which we measure everything in life.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Deception is an art perfected by the devil himself. He is the great master counterfeiter of all times with a look-alike of everything that God has given us. He knows your weakness and vulnerabilities. Discernment is activated spiritual surveillance that alerts you to his tricks; it is a spiritual insurance policy paid for by dedicated time spent in the Word. You can’t afford to go without it!

My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Proverbs 2:1-8

Stay alert while our world is falling apart; we are almost there!

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