September 4, 2009

Discernment Obeys God

Written by Boyd Bailey

Discernment Obeys God… “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” Proverbs 28:7

Discernment is able to see things as they are and determine what God expects. It’s discernment that keeps college students from following the crowd into an embarrassing situation. It’s discernment that allows a leader to understand the urgent need of a situation and call for action. It’s discerning nations that comprehend the dire consequences of no common sense and loathing the Lord. “They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!” (Deuteronomy 32:28-29).

Discernment is needed to protect us from ourselves and others. For example, you may have a financial decision you are weighing as a family. Your spouse is hesitant because of the risk and you are confident of a best-case scenario. What is the downside of waiting and taking a more conservative approach to managing cash? The check in his or her spirit may be the Lord’s protection. Invite advice and you will become wiser, “A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool” (Proverbs 17:10).

Remember there are educated fools and self-educated sages. A wealthy person may be smart in the world and ignorant of the Lord, while a poor person may be ignorant by the world’s standards but perceptive in God’s ways. “A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him” (Proverbs 28:11). Do not discriminate against discerning voices from unlikely places. Strangers, enemies and subordinates may all carry a certain amount of clarity in what’s the wise thing to do.

So seek to discern God’s way and obey. Like Joseph, your discernment may open doors of incredible influence, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you” (Genesis 41:39). Discernment is a gift from God for God. It is a directive from the Spirit of God. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:13). Do I prayerfully discern God’s best and then obey?

Related Readings: Psalm 119:125; Hosea 14:9; Romans 12:16; Philippians 1:10

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