Discernment is an ever-crucial gift that all Christians need now more than ever. Many deceitful personalities have surfaced according to the Bible’s declarations, and those who want to pursue the Lord will do well to acquire this gift.
But contrary to how many think of it, discernment isn’t just a gift that comes automatically in the blink of an eye. Rather, it’s a gift that can also be developed over time – by having our senses trained to discern. Hebrews 5:14 tells us,
“But solid food belongs to those who are mature, for those who through practice have powers of discernment that are trained to distinguish good from evil.” (MEV)
Developing Your Discernment
Since discernment can be acquired by training ourselves, anybody can have it. Thankfully, those who want to have such godly wisdom and discernment need not go far and wide to acquire it. Here are some crucial steps to acquiring it:
1. Fear God
This is the first and most important step needed to develop this gift, without which discernment isn’t possible. Proverbs 9:10 tells us,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (MEV)
Do we stand in fear and awe of the almighty God? We’ve all watered God down to being just a loving Father, forgetting that He’s also the all-powerful and all-knowing just Judge from whom nothing is hidden or is made secret. He is tremendously loving, but also dreadfully terrifying.
2. Let the Word of God Have the Final Say in Your Life
Paul admonishes us through Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, saying,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)
God’s Word is God’s Word, literally. With the same Word we have in our possession, God created everything that was created, and makes every living thing live (see Acts 17:28). That book many of us have left accumulating dust on the shelf and taken for granted should be the ultimate source of instruction for our lives!
It should teach us, rebuke us, correct us, and train us in righteousness, so that we would be “thoroughly equipped” with all that we need to do and what God wants us to do.
3. Realise that Time is Short
Like Moses, we must realise the awesome power of God in comparison to our very short lives. The Bible tells us that our lives are like a mist that quickly fades – how much fear of God should we have knowing that we might face Him any moment!
Moses prayed according to Psalm 90:11-12, saying,
“Who knows the power of Your anger? Or Your wrath according to Your fear? So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” (MEV)