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4 Ways to Grow In Discernment

Sep 15, 2021

She poured milk over her Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, grabbed a spoon and sat at the table for breakfast. Her nose crinkled and her eyes narrowed. "Mom, there is something wrong with this milk."

Sure enough, it was sour and thankfully we had a fresh carton in the refrigerator and she sampled it first before preparing her breakfast again.

We know what good milk tastes like because we've experienced it. And when we taste something that does not measure up, then we are immediately aware that something isn't right.

We know the difference because we can compare what isn't against what should be. 

Our discernment is spot on when milk is bad, but what about discernment in other things? 

What is it, why do we need it, and how do we get it?

 

What is Discernment?

Discernment is the ability to judge well, to gain spiritual guidance or understanding.

When we discern we:

  • observe,
  • look with our eyes,
  • detect with our senses, and 
  • understand the difference in things. 

 

Why We Need Discernment?

In our spiritual walk, we are often faced with situations where things are unclear and it's hard to see.

Sometimes we're in situations we've never been in before and we have nothing to compare it to.

Sometimes we're presented lies where we haven't learned the truth.

It is in these situations we need discernment, because discernment gives us the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong.

 

How Do We Get Discernment?

Some people just have it. Like Joseph. He interpreted Pharaoh's dream and knew exactly what needed to done next. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you...I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:39-41).

For most of us, we need to ask for it. In 1 Kings 3:9, Solomon says "Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Either way, discernment is something we must grow and mature in.

 

How Do We Grow in Discernment?

1. Know God's Word. We cannot discern the lies of the enemy unless we know the truth of what God says. We learn the truth by reading and meditating on God's word. When God's word is in us then we will know what doesn't line up.

2. Know God's Ways. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. This means we should not just default in to how we think something should be done, God has a way to do things which may be (and often is) very different.  

3. Know God's Voice. ln John 10:27, Jesus tells us, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." God wants to speak to us and give us direction. We can learn to hear His voice and trust what He says. 

4. Know God's Timing. God is not in a hurry, we are. There are seasons when God tells us to move and there are times when God tells us to wait. There are times when God will open a door and times he closes it. There are times His favor will accelerate us and times where His wings hide us. We need to know where God has us and stay in line with God's timing. 

Our discernment gets sharper as we learn God's word and His ways. And it will get easier to spot when things are not like they should be. Lies are exposed by truth.

And when we know God's voice and his timing we'll be able to stay in alignment with which way is right for us to go and when.

Have you struggled with discernment recently? Let me pray for you today.

Father God, I thank You that Your desire to lead us and guide us and I thank you for how you teach us to hear your voice. We desire discernment and I declare you are giving it to us and growing us in it. May we let you show us how to use our eyes and senses to perceive the truth. May we not default to our methods but may we be open to receive your ways of doing things and most importantly, may we yield to your timing. We ask that you help us recognize good v. evil.  Show us where we're believing the enemy's lies and cleanse us with the truth of Your word. God, I declare you are renewing teaching us to discern, you're training and equipping us in Kingdom ways and methods.  Amen!

Did this encourage you? Let me know.

Blessings to you.

~ Cherlyn

P.S. If you'd like to leverage coaching to support you in your discernment, let me know. Each week my clients get a perspective that aligns with God's Word and God's Ways yet because God is such a personal God, His Voice and His Timing is unique to each situation. Email me, message me over social media, or schedule a time to chat, and let's see if working with me is a good fit for you.

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