Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. it is knowing the difference between right and almost right.C H Spurgeon
How do you judge a true believer? What evidence confirms that a man is a carrier of God’s glory?
The event in Acts 16 is actually happening around us these days. It is a biblical passage that shows the power of discernment. It is more common than we can fathom. There is a great desire for prophecy and miracles by many believers these days.
What is Discernment?
Discernment is the ability of a believer to have a sharp and sensitive ability to determine the difference between what is godly or ungodly. It is also the ability to know when a thought or an action is provoked by the Holy Spirit or flesh. Discernment also knows what God wants you to do per time. A discerning spirit is important for every believer. I believe this is a compulsory ability we should all have.
Discernment is the fruit of a regular and constant fellowship with God. It’s just like a parent and their child. The more relationship they both have, the better they understand each other. If a child stays far away from his parent, he may never know their likes and dislikes though they are family.
Types of discernment
There are two types of discernment and they are:
- Gift of discernment
- Spiritual discernment
Gift of discernment
The gift of discernment is one of the spiritual gifts mentioned by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. This ability to discern is given as a gift by the Holy Spirit.
This kind of discernment is developed by constant fellowship and following of the Holy Spirit. It is formed by having a true relationship with God and following his will.
How to develop a discerning Spirit
- Regular and constant quiet time with the Holy Spirit. Having a regular fellowship with the Holy Spirit helps to strengthen our spiritual minds. We become more acquainted with God and we learn to hear his voice more.
- Waiting on God and Patience. To develop a sharp discerning spirit patience and waiting on God is very important. Decisions made in haste can sometimes be very fatal.
- Meditate and read the scripture. The scripture contains instructions and guidance about what the will of God is for us. Regular and constant study of the world makes it easy to understand and determine what is godly and ungodly.
- Worship: Worship is a very great way to discern and build a discerning spirit. God dwells in the worship; he speaks to his children in the place of worship. When next you need to make decisions, try worship.
- Always keep a clear mind. When we have a clear mind it is easy to hear God and discern his will.
From this blog
- Spiritual Gifts in the bible
- Waiting on God
- How to have a great quiet time
- Genesis 14: Abraham rescues Lot
Biblical Example of Discernment
A lot of believers are so hungry for wealth and power. They want to become rich at any cost. Wolfs in sheep’s clothing have seen this desire, and they have decided to make use of that opportunity to mislead people and rob them of their money. Longsuffering, hope and faith have become foolishness for a lot of people. God definitely moves in mysterious ways, and his ways cannot be fathomed by the human mind.Beautiful Roses Nigeria
Elijah was someone who had worked with God numerous times. God had done many miracles through him. There is a time God sent down fire while Elijah called out to God. This particular encounter Elijah had with God was quite different. This encounter of Elijah with God shows that God is not always in the strong wind or fire; he sometimes comes in a still, small voice. The earthquake may shake the whole earth, but it doesn’t necessarily mean God is there. 1 kings 19:11-13
- Paul in Acts of the Apostles chapter 16
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
In this particular chapter of the Bible, the damsel followed Paul and Silas shouting that they are the sons of God; she even encouraged everyone to believe them. She prophesied, and people usually came to her to hear what she had to say concerning their future. Her masters were making huge money off her.
Paul, being inclined of the Holy Spirit, could discern that she was possessed by the devil. He rebuked the devil in her, and instantly the demonic spirit left her. Her masters became angry. They weren’t happy with her freedom. They were unhappy because their source of revenue had just been taken away.
This situation explains what we have today in Christianity. A lot of Christians are drawn to places by the physical evidence they see. They want miracles and prophesy. They don’t want to pray or fast themselves; they want a quick leading and miracle to happen in their lives.
Miracles are not always evidence of God’s power. God is an author of miracles, signs and wonders, but I can assure you that he isn’t the performer of all miracles you see. It is more important to test every spirit and make sure they are genuine and pure. The more of God you know, the more your spiritual ability to discern and understand where God truly is and where he isn’t. The ability to discern by the Holy Spirit is crucial, and it doesn’t come cheap.
Benefits of Discernment
- differentiate between good and evil
- fulfil purpose
- Do the will of God
- simplifies the steps to resist temptations
- rekindles confidence in God
Discernment Bible Verses
- Philippians 1 :9-10; And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
- 1 Samuel 16:7; But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks [b]at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart
- 1 Chronicles 12:32; Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.
- Hosea 14:9; “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”
A true believer will be able to discern and understand the move of God when he is has a genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit. You can only know where God is and how he’s moving if you understand his methods. The more you walk and know him, the sharper your ability to discern.
The power of God is still very much around. God is still moving in his might and in the fullness of the glory. I am a living example of what God can do in a place of hopelessness. Please, don’t be carried away by the noise and the jamboree. Tune your spiritual antenna to understand where he is and where he isn’t.
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