“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
Hebrews 5:14, NASB
“The first point of wisdom is to discern that which is false; the second, to know that which is true.”
Lucius Caelius Lactantius
Defined, discernment is the ability to perceive reality as it really is. It is a difficult quality for mentally ill people to have. We tumble through this world with wrong perceptions. We deal with issues like delusions and paranoia. Some of us are tangled up with derealization/depersonalization. We question the “realness” of our reality.
Discernment is being in a right relationship with truth.
One of my prayers has been, “Lord, let it be the real me who encounters the real you.” I’m belly-full of pretense and posturing. I know I have this strange tendency to deceive myself. I don’t know when I’m getting screwy.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”
John 16:13, NIV
The Holy Spirit leads me into what is true and valid. I can trust Him to interface and interpret for me what is real and what is authentic. That is His ministry. That is what He does, I can trust Jesus’ referral.
There are many ways that God gives to help me discern. These are the things the Spirit uses:
- the Bible
- personal desires, hopes, and inclinations
- solid counsel from the mature
- common sense
- past results and experiences
- “gut” impression
- supernatural leadings (dreams, visions, audibly)
True discernment comes in the objective reality of the Bible. This book wants to direct and guide me like no other. It stands as the trustworthy director in a world of competing voices. It directs me through all of the din. I must read God’s Word to walk in His truth.
Discerning the realness of reality once was the easy attribute of Adam. After the Fall, we (human beings) lost this ability. We currently struggle with the inability to see truth. We’re regaining this through the Spirit. Thank God we’re being transformed and renewed with this new ability. Faith is the adventure we now get to operate in.
“Faith is the divine evidence whereby the spiritual man discerneth God, and the things of God.”