Spiritual Discernment

By Not Known

Much of today’s church has a continuum mindset, ie a mindset that has no discernible division into parts. Rather than seeing things as right or wrong, true or false – it prefers to see things in infinite shades of grey. In C.S. Lewis’ satire ‘The Screwtape Letters’, a senior demon instructed an apprentice demon to keep his human victim’s mind off the plain antithesis between true or false. In reality, Satan uses that strategy very successfully because today’s church has sometimes failed to distinguish divine truth from error.

Believers need to develop an antithetical mindset, that is to think in terms of contrasts or opposites. Christianity is not a mere moral guide nor a subjective influence. Dr Jay Adams wrote, “From Genesis to Revelation, God’s thoughts and ways are set over against all others. The Bible does not teach that there are numerous ways to please God, each of which is as good as the next. Nor does it teach that various opinions are more or less God’s ways. What it teaches – is that any thought or way that is not wholly God’s is altogether wrong and must be rejected. There is only one God, and there is only one way of life – His!”  We should not treat perversions of the truth, and spiritual lies, with indifference or regard them as harmless.

In today’s world, moral values are becoming less clear and defined than those of previous generations. All the more, we should hold on to biblical values so our lives will be pleasing to God. Instead of integrating worldly ideas with God’s truth, we learn to be spiritually discerning by being prayerful, knowing God in His Word and by depending on the Holy Spirit. Without discernment, Christians are at risk of being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

It is therefore vital to be wise in the Lord. We need to have the ability to tell the difference between truth and non-truth, or incomplete truth. Spiritual discernment also helps us to be perceptive enough to see through the superficial pretenses or masks, to discover the gem beneath the unpolished exterior, and not to follow the crowd.

May God grant us wisdom to discern between good and evil. As Jesus sends us out as sheep in the midst of wolves, let us be as “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16 ESV).

Michele Tang