Spiritual Discernment

Aida posts CF Stanley devotions on her site nearly everyday, and although I don’t comment on every one of them, they really are quite incredible… and then one comes along that totally floors me.  Like this one, on spiritual discernment.  I won’t post the whole thing – you can read it at her site – but I wanted to talk about some of the ‘meat’.

John tells us that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One. (1 John 5:19) That means we are living in enemy-occupied territory. And this enemy is the Father of Lies. Consequently, it is of utmost importance to exercise spiritual discernment at all seasons. While some people seem to be especially gifted by the Holy Spirit in this area, all of us can learn to be more discerning. (Hebrews 5:14) talks about believers “who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” This shows us it requires practice to distinguish between truth and error.

Enemy-occupied territory.  The enemy being the Father of Lies.  People laugh that off… but it’s so real and true.  If only they knew… really knew, y’know?  And the sad thing is that most people prefer ignoring the Truth of the matter, because if it really IS enemy-occupied territory, they would have to be on the defense at all times… they would need to engage in spiritual discernment.  And it’s easier to pretend it’s not real.  It’s less work to ignore that which they don’t want to think about.

A day is coming when the Lawless One will appear in an effort to deceive us. Before that time, however, we all are being tested by situations that call for great discernment. Paul mentions that he was dealing with false apostles who were disguising themselves as servants of righteousness. Such servants are all around us, “peddling their wares” in an effort to carry away those who are always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

We are being given ample opportunity to learn to discern from the Truth and lies right now.  We run into people making false statements everyday – but do we accept the lies, or compare it to scripture?

He passed away – he’s in heaven now.
When the rapture happens, there will be SO MANY people disappeared!
bortion is wrong, but at least the babies are saved by the age of accountability
As long as you believe in God, you’ll go to heaven. 
Every religion has something good to offer.  There are many ‘ways’.
Women shouldn’t be preachers, or teach men.
Christ was loving to everybody – not at all like she is!
If you aren’t baptized, you’re not going to heaven.
God is a god of love; it isn’t loving to send people to hell.

Little things… things we grew up believing.  Things that have been told to us that we took as truth without question.  What do you believe?

We may find it challenging to match wits with false apostles, but we can discern their authenticity. The only way you will be able to detect false teaching is by knowing the Truth. Therefore, study Scripture so that you can “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21)

I’ve been told I’m too preacherly here.  I’ve been told I’m like a hammer when it comes to Truth, when people respond better to pillows.  Personally, I’ve never seen a pillow used in building things.  If we’re to ‘build’ each other up, pillows aren’t the tools of the trade.  Levels check the correctness.  Measuring tapes, plumb bobs, miters, chisels…  tools are vital to proving scripture, edifying others, strengthening spirituality.

I hold the Word – God’s measuring tape – up to people to discern what is good and what isn’t.  Is that judging people – yes! – and we’re TOLD to!!  Oh, I know what you were saying just mere hours agothere she goes again… it was a door of opportunity, and she slammed it shut.  Doesn’t she realize what she’s just done?  Oh yes, I most certainly do.  The frame was faulty.  The hinges loose.  The knob falling off.  I’ve tried that door before, tested it, looked at what’s inside… and saw the same thing.  No ‘tweaking’ has been done, as far as I can see, and if there was, it didn’t take.  I know what’s on the other side… and when I opened it again, the same thing was there.

Discernment.  Be careful what you think of me.  What kind of house would be built without good inspectors that make note of problems?

Spiritual discernment.  We are in enemy-occupied territory.  Quoting psalms is encouraging and nice… but it’s a far cry from the warfare we should be engaged in.  I got asked an interesting question last week:  Why are you so blunt?  It doesn’t make people happy.  You can’t just go up to them and say “You’re going to hell”, can you?  Why not?  What makes people so sure they wouldn’t respond?  It would certainly open up a conversation that ‘pillow’ talk would never open!  God can use anyone and anything.  ((Well, my God, anyhow.))  It might not be the easy conversation that we like, but it would certainly bring out some Truths otherwise inexcessible… wouldn’t it?

I know my statements aren’t making me friends, but I have to be honest.  Anything less isn’t Truth, and if I’m to remain credible, I can’t soften reality to appease you.  There are enough weblogs that do that.  If you read me, I’m betting that there’s something of this Truth that pricks you, or you’d take off like the rest of the itching ears have.  I find that fascinating… it speaks of so many unsaid things, doesn’t it?  And sometimes those are by far the most important.

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