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What Does The Bible Say About Discernment

Discerning The Will Of God


“Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

What does it mean to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will? Many Christians struggle with the idea of finding God’s will. While certainly God has a plan for every believer, discovering what that plan is can sometimes seem elusive.

Here in Colossians, Paul describes what it takes for each believer to know God’s will. It begins with a personal relationship with God through Christ. In verse 3 of this passage Paul mentions their faith in Christ. When we place our faith and trust in Christ, we become children of God. He becomes our Father, and we can enjoy all of the privileges of being in God’s family.

As children of God, we are in a position to know his plan for our lives, and we have the resources to accomplish that plan. Verse 9 reveals the process by which a believer can discover and implement God’s will. It says: “through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Knowing God’s will is a matter of gaining spiritual wisdom and understanding from God himself — the only source. So, the study of God’s Word should be the life work of every believer.

From the Bible we learn to love what God loves, do what God does, and value what God values. The more we learn from God through his Word, the better we will know him. The more we know him, the better we will understand his will.

The Church’s Role In Discernment

Discerning God’s will is not just the work of an individual person. The Spirit acts within the gathered believers so they can discern what to do and be. Within that context, specific persons may be gifted in leading the church as it discerns. Such gifted people are given a ‘spiritual eye‘ for cutting through facades and confusion, for getting to the heart of the matter. They listen closely, notice what’s happening in the world around them, and instinctively know what place it has in God’s plans. Someone who’s gifted in discernment of spirits can find where evil lurks in good things, and where the Spirit is working when things are going wrong.

When the church was starting out, there was only one way she could learn the faith: on her feet. The church had to learn while she was doing. The Spirit had to teach the Christians how to love at the same time as moving them to act on that love, and teaching them mercy at the same time as empowering them to live merciful lives.

Christians sometimes forget that what we teach and discuss is inevitably our own understanding of Scripture. Other understandings, if drawn from Scripture and open to be judged through Scripture, are possible and even faithful. We discern to learn.

Neither you nor the communicated Word nor the Church local or universal are the bridge between the biblical events and our putting the Word into living effect. Discernment is all made possible by the Holy Spirit’s work.going up…

Scriptures For Particular Circumstances

  • Im not holy enough: Isa 6:1-9; Lk 5:1-11
  • Im afraid I will fail: Ex 14: 10-31; Lk 15
  • Ive made mistakes and Im a sinner: Jn 21:15-23; Mt 9:9-13; Lk 7:36-50
  • Im too young: 1 Sam 3:1-18; 1 Sam 16:1-13; Jer 1:4-10; Lk 1:26-3
  • Im not talented enough: 1 Sam 17:32-51; Lk 1: 26-38
  • I want to have a family: Gen 12:1-3; Mt 12:46-50; Mk 10:28-30
  • I want the good life: Mk 10:17-31; 1 Cor 2:9; Mt 13:44-46; Jn 10:10; Mt 16:24-27
  • Im afraid of making a permanent commitment: Ruth 1:15-17; Mt 28:16-20; 1 Cor 12:5-10
  • Im afraid of public speaking: Ex 4:10-17; Jer 1:4-10; Jer 1: 9-10
  • Im not smart enough: 2 Cor 4:7-18; Ex 4:10-17
  • Im afraid of being alone: Ex 3:4-22; Lk 1:28-38; Mt 28:20
  • I want to be happy: Ps 37:4; Mt 5: 1-12; Jn 10:10; Mk 10:28-31; 1 Cor 2:9
  • Im filled with fear: 1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

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What Does It Mean To Have The Gift Of Discernment

Apostle Paul mentions the gift of discerning of spirits in 1 Cor. 12:10. St. John Chrysostom in the interpretation of this passage says that these words mean the ability to tell who is spiritual and who is not, who is prophet and who is not since at the time of Apostle Paul, there were false prophets deluding people.

Discernment Is Wanting What God Wants

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Often we pray for what we want because we think it will make us feel better, look better, and have a better life. God, on the other hand, knows what’s best for us. Therefore, He withholds that thing we pray for.

In that case, what we wanted and what God wanted for us did not match up. Jesus explained it in a simplified way. He asked two rhetorical questions in Matthew 7:9-10.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

If a person does not have discernment, he will pray for stones and snakes instead of the bread and fish God wants him to have.

Without discernment, people don’t know which way to go. With discernment, people know which way to go.

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Others Believe The Gift Is Still Necessary

Many others believe that it seems more accurate to assume that God could give the same gift today to Christian leaders, to help them determine whether certain messages or teachings are from the Lord. It is also used to distinguish between various evil spirits and the work of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the gift of discerning spirits is even necessary for the church todayto test the spirits to determine if they are from God to make sure the messages are consistent with New Testament revelation. As is the case with many of the gifts of the Spirit, Christians are divided over the meaning as well as the usage of this particular gift.

So Who Has Spiritual Discernment And Who Doesnt Have It

We already read through 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, but you can click through or scroll back up to review.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the worldthe desires of the flesh andthe desires of the eyes and pride of lifeis not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

18 Children,it is the last hour, and as you have heard thatantichrist is coming, so nowmany antichrists have come.Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; forif they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out,that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have beenanointed bythe Holy One, andyou all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar buthe who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This isthe antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Letwhat you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, thenyou too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to useternal life.

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What Is The Gift Of Discernment Or Distinguishing Of Spirits

The Various Gifts of the Holy Spirit Question 18

The Bible speaks of the gift of discernment, or distinguishing, of spirits. Paul wrote the following to the church at Corinth.

He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said .

The gift was given to the church of Jesus Christ as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

How Did The Church Influence And Change Halloween

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It wasnt until the Roman Catholic church gained a foothold in Celtic lands that Celtic traditions and rituals like Samhain were refashioned.

In fact, Pope Gregory I had advised missionaries to Ireland and England not to do away with the religious holidays of the Celts and non-Christian peoples of the region, but rather, to try and appropriate or transition them from their pagan roots into a more Christian context.

Subsequently, in AD 609, Pope Boniface dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of Christian martyrs, establishing All Martyrs Day as a church holiday. Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include saints as well as martyrs, shifting the holiday from May 13;to November 1.

Now, what does all this have to do with October 31, which still hadnt been given the name Halloween?

Furthermore, in preparation for All Saints Day on November 1, on which venerated saints, also known as hallows, were celebrated, the night before became known as the eve of all-hallows or All Hallows Eve. Eventually, the day was known as Halloween.

Thus, a once pagan festival was repurposed and refashioned into a church holiday to acknowledge the supernatural but celebrate the saints, not roaming spirits.

Of course, many Celtic traditions never truly died out even after the church Christianized Samhain and established Halloween. They just took on a new meaning.

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What Does The Bible Say About Discernment

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Signs Someone Lacks Relationship Discernment

Hebrews 4:12

Discernment is the ability to decipher what is true and false, what is good or bad, or what is helpful or not helpful. People who have discernment are those who seem to have a knack for quickly identifying the heart of the problem.

Only through knowing and applying the word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit will we be able to enhance our discernment:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again;the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need;milk, not solid food,;for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is;a child. But solid food is for;the mature, for those who have their powers;of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

In both of these passages there is a direct link between discernment and the word of God. So when it comes to relationship discernment, what we really need is the power of the Holy Spirit to help us apply Gods word to our relationship decisions. When you can make decisions in relationships that are in alignment with Gods word, then you will be discerning.

  • You Lack Relationship Discernment if You Justify Someones Poor Behavior By Assuming They Have a Good Motive
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    Prayer For Communal Discernment In A Meeting

    Good and loving God, our source of love and light – Thank you for bringing us together today in a spirit of generosity. May we honor one another by keeping an open mind. May we voice our truth and listen with an open heart.May we discern your will to unite in fruitful outcome. We ask for your wisdom and grace, to use our talents for the betterment of others. With gratitude, we offer this prayer in your name.– Debra Mooney, PhD

    Discernment Is Necessary For Spiritual Growth

    What does the Bible say about Judgment?

    You will never be able to understand the deeper things of God without discernment. Some people don’t grow into mature Christians because they lack discernment. They learn the elementary things and think that’s all there is to learn. Then they live their lives based on the little they know. Most of the time, they don’t even put any of that into practice.

    Hebrews 5:14 compares a Christian without discernment to an infant who lives on milk and doesn’t know how to do what is right. However, a mature Christian with discernment is one who eats spiritual food. Then he is able to understand and live by the deeper things of God.

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    Discern God’s Voice Through Others

    As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.;


    Jesus said, next to the most important commandment to love God with all of our hearts, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are placed in each others lives to teach, encourage, help, and hold each other accountable. When we are actively living a life of faith, He will connect a passage we read in the morning to a conversation with a friend.

    Seeking God isnt just absorbing scriptural truths; its allowing Him to extract what He has put in us;and use it in the community Hes placed us in. The Bible tells us not to sit idle for good reason. When we move, our great God grows our faith and His voice becomes more recognizable.;

    Wise Counsel

    Mentors in the faith are important. They can be found formally or organically, and as we seek more of God, we will find those people.

    What Is The Difference Between Discernment And Being Judgmental

    It is important to understand the difference between being judgmental and discerning truth from error. In Matt. 7:1, the Lord said, Do not judge lest you be judged. Then, in verses 2-5 he warns against trying to correct others without first correcting what is wrong in our own lives. If we deal honestly deal with our own hearts, etc., then we have the responsibility to help others. But there is also a warning in verse 6. He said, Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine . How can we know that someone, in their spiritual condition, is like a dog or a pig , unless you judge, discern their character or their spiritual condition?

    This passage does not teach that judgments should never be made. In fact, Matthew 7:5 specificallyspeaks of removing the speck from your brothers eye. But the Lords point is that no one is qualified nor able to do that if they are habitually critical or condemnatory of the specks in someone elses eye when they themselves have a planka hyperbole for effectin theirown eye. Such are not truly interested in righteousness, only in playing spiritual king of the mountain.

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    Bible Verses About Discernment

    What does the Bible say about discernment? Scripture offers excellent guidance for obtaining a perception with a spiritual orientation and understanding. From the teachings of the Lord, one can practice discernment and therefore distinguish between good from evil. Learn more from our list of Bible verses about discernment.


    What Does It Mean To Have Spiritual Discernment

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    Christian Spiritual Discernment The fundamental definition for Christian discernment is a decision making process in which an individual makes a discovery that can lead to future action. In the process of Christian spiritual discernment God guides the individual to help them arrive at the best decision.

    Also Check: Do Unto Others Bible Verse


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