This is the first post of a three-part series to bring you ways you can increase your discernment. I found this list as an appendix in the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith and have supplemented it in some cases with my own opinion or advice which you’ll find in italics.
I was rebuked in a comment last week for boasting about my gift of discernment. I hope I truly didn’t come across as prideful. I use this gift for the edification of the church – to warn you from what I see happening under our noses. I am committed to lifting up the Church and certainly don’t want any of my brothers and sisters in Christ to be swayed in these last days.
That being said, here are some ways to be more discerning:
- Be sure you are in the true faith following the One True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the One True Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless you fail the test. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5
We are to continually test ourselves. The words ‘test’ and ‘examine’ in this Scripture are in present tense meaning it’s something we should do consistently. Ask God to show you if you’ve strayed off the mark.
- Measure everything by God’s word.
- … they [the Bereans] welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. ~ Acts 17:11b
- Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
- All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
This is the easiest way to see if you are within the adversary’s target. So very often he comes at me with a saintly voice, even quoting scripture. It may take a minute or two of me believing that the Holy Spirit is impressing something to me when suddenly he trips up and I find the crack in his message. He deviates off of what God would NOT say. Ooooo I get so mad! I think I’ve even shaken my fist at the devil. “Try and sway me, will you? NO WAY!”
BUT, in order to have this work for you, you have to get to know the Scriptures. So open your Bible and start reading! It’s the only way you’ll be able to detect the devil’s lies.
- Don’t be ignorant of our adversary’s schemes and devices. Be sober. Be vigilant. Be prayerful. Be watchful.
- I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11
This is a most sobering call to arms. How many people have I met who call themselves Christian and yet do not believe in the devil? It boggles the mind. Luckily, I think these people are safe. Why should the devil bother with those who don’t believe in him? He’s already got them. (That’s not scriptural, that’s my opinion!) The problem is, he will use those people, those seemingly Christian, to get to you.
Additionally, don’t give the devil more credit than he’s due – but neither should you limit him. I met two Christian women once who told me that the devil can’t get inside our dreams. Is it safe to be that ignorant? The devil is the prince of this world, and while he is limited to what he can do to us by God, God has most assuredly allowed him into my dreams.
- Pray for discernment. Ask God, as did Solomon, for spiritual discernment to help you determine good from bad, right from wrong, truth from deception.
- So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. ~ 1 Kings 3:9a
In this post-modern world where the lines between good and evil are increasingly blurred, this is a prayer we should pray daily to help keep us on our toes.
Stay with me this week for more ways to increase your discernment.
In His awesome name,