But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned. (1Corinthians 2:14)
How discerning are you? Most of us have not developed much discernment when it comes to spiritual things. Oh, we can usually discern the difference between good and evil well enough, but there's more to it than that. Have we learned to discern between good, better, and best? That's a bit more difficult, isn't it?
We know that God wants only the best for His children. However, far too often we settle for merely good, even knowing that God wants us to have the best. Then we're often left to wonder why we don't seem to be experiencing His blessings. We settle for second best, and often don't give it a second thought.
The main way God speaks to us today is through His word. This is how we learn discernment: reading and studying the Scriptures ourselves with the intention of learning more about our Heavenly Father, and thus better understanding His character, His plans, and His purposes. day.
In addition to distinguishing good, better, and best, we have to learn to discern truth. There are a lot of false doctrines out there, and it's easy to find ourselves floundering if we aren't firmly anchored in the truth of God's word. The Holy Bible is the only standard by which we can measure every doctrine. How can we discern whether a teaching is Biblically sound or not? Test it against God's standard: If it matches up to Scripture, it can be trusted.
Test all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thes. 5:21)
In our natural state, we cannot discern spiritual things.
Discernment comes to us through the Holy Spirit. It is by exercising that discernment that we grow more Christ-like. As we learn to discern, we are more and more aware of what God wants from us, more aware of how He wants us to respond, to speak, to act. We become more aware of His continual, abiding presence, and we begin to respond more and more like Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (II Tim. 3:16)
It is only by spending time with the Lord - in prayer and Bible study – that we can learn to discern the difference between sound doctrine and false doctrine.
It is only by studying God's word for ourselves that we learn the difference between God's best and second best.
Which one do you prefer? I can't speak for anyone else, but I know which one I want for my life. That's why I want to learn to discern, don't you?