Having Discernment

Discernment means to see the truth from God’s perspective. The more you are led by the Holy Spirit, the more you will have discernment to see God’s perspective. The Holy Spirit will show you things that you couldn’t see before. You will have greater certainty when you hear God’s voice. God will communicate with you in ways that will surprise you.

Discernment doesn’t happen automatically. You must seek God first in everything. Seek Him in His Word and get to know His voice, develop a sensitive heart to listen to Him whispering. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a maze full of deception and confusing messages and we do not always know where to go – should I turn left or right? In times like these we desperately need the voice of the Holy Spirit.

We read in 2 Chronicles 16:12: “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.”  Asa didn’t consult God, but rather doctors. I think we should pray more about everything. Sometimes it is easier to consult people first than to seek the Lord and wait for His voice and guidance.

So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign. (2 Chron 16:13). So the doctors couldn’t save Asa after all. I believe because Asa didn’t consult God, he died two years later as a result of the disease in his feet. There can be severe consequences when we do not consult the Lord when making decisions.

When you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit lives in you and He can reveal all you have to know at a specific point in time. I believe the Lord can and reveal to you what is going on behind the scenes and warn you about people, circumstances and choices when you ask when, if you are sensitive to listen to Him whispering. The Holy Spirit is your guide, but you if won’t acknowledge Him as such and rather listen to people, He will become quiet. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and He waits for you to ask Him for guidance and counsel. He will only take over if you let Him, if you ask and invite Him. The Holy Spirit will not barge in and take control, He is gentle.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  – 1 Cor 2:14

In Ezra 8:21-23 we read the following:  Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra went back to Jerusalem to rebuild Jerusalem and God’s hand was upon him, but unlike Asa he didn’t consult people. He fasted and prayed and asked God for help. He didn’t ask the king for horses and soldiers, he asked God. Fasting and praying is how we move closer to God’s heartbeat, how we admit our dependency on Him and also make our needs known to Him. When you are led by the Holy Spirit and you fast and pray, He will give you favour with the right people.

Although Ezra already told the king that God would protect them, he still fasted and prayed to humble himself before God. Praying and fasting bring us to the right place to receive God’s promises.

Fasting and praying is what we do to get results we cannot obtain any other way. – Stormie Omartian

When the matter is important and you can’t afford any mistakes, fast and pray about it so you can have discernment and hear the Holy Spirit clearly. Think of how much trouble we could have saved ourselves if we used this method more often! How many times we’ve made over-hasty decisions without praying about it and asking God’s guidance… Before you make any important decision in your life – fast and pray about it.

To me one of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible is the one about David and Abigail. You can read about it in 1 Samuel 25. Abigail was married to a bully named Nabal. David and his men provided protection for the shepherds so that not even one sheep went missing. When the time came for the sheep to get sheared, David sent a message to Nabal: Send us something as well. We also want to celebrate with you. We looked after your shepherds in the desert. The ill‐mannered Nabal informed them that he didn’t ask them to protect the shepherds, and furthermore David was a fugitive from King Saul. We read how David planned to kill Nabal and all his men in his own house, because he recompensed good with evil. Abigail, Nabal’s wife, hears about this plan and saves the day. She convinces David not to get blood on his hands and David listens to her. He has discernment that Abigail is God’s voice that prevents him from committing murder. When Abigail tells Nabal what happened, he gets a stroke and dies. David summons Abigail and marries her.

God sometimes speaks to us through other people and we should not ignore it. Let the discernment of the Holy Spirit lead you to know if someone speaks from the heart of God or out of their own. Sometimes the other person can give you just enough information to make the right choice. Listen carefully to God’s voice through others. Invite God every day to be part of your life. Speak to Him often and listen often. The more you listen to God’s voice, the easier it will become to determine what He wants to say to you.

Maybe you feel that God doesn’t have time for the nitty-gritty stuff in your life. “The Lord doesn’t care what I wear, what car I drive or where I live. I do not have to ask Him whether I should buy or sell my house or car. The Lord doesn’t have time for my trivial questions about life.” Well, if He has the time to count the hairs on your head, I am sure that He has the time to guide you through big financial choices as well as the seemingly insignificant things you ask Him. I believe He regards it as a compliment when you consult Him regarding the big and the small things in your life.

When you have peace in your heart regarding something, it often means that the Lord is speaking to you. The discernment in your heart is connected to the peace you experience.

Melchizedek means: King of Righteousness. He was also King of Salem which means: King of peace (Heb 7:2).

 If you have righteousness you will have peace. If you do not have peace it is not the right thing for you to do, it will steal your righteousness.

When we think of God’s blessing we see numbers in a bank account or a gift – something tangible that we can feel and see. Sometimes it is like that, but often we do not realise how God blesses us. We must be alert to discern when God puts a blessing down right in front of us. Maybe God wants to tell you today: I see you. I know what you need and what you desire and I am the one that cares for you. May we never be so busy that we miss what God is doing right before our eyes.

But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:19

(Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/KTpSVEcU0XU)

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About the author

Alta Vrey currently ministers, together with her husband Johan, as pastor at Dinamika Congregation in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. She has been in full time ministry for 26 years and received her Doctors Degree in New Testament Theology at the University of Johannesburg in 2017. Her 2 sons are her pride and joy. Alta’s greatest desire is to help people having a more intimate relationship with Jesus. The foundation on which she builds her life is Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone be all the honour and glory!

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