Discernment…

I’ve been thinking about the way we receive information and what we choose to believe as being true…

There’s a very important principle in this (i.e. how we know who to trust and who not to trust) and it has a lot to do with discernment…

So what is discernment?

An important foundation, or ground-rule, of discernment, is the realization that none of us has to believe anything that anyone else tells us to be true…

Whether that person is our parent or grandparent, our aunt or uncle, our school teacher, our sports teams’ coach, our line manager, our mentor, our spiritual leader or even our doctor…

When we are young sometimes the cards are stacked against us comprehending the truth of what I’ve just shared above…

There is an art, which we learn as we grow older, to not agree with what we’re being told and thus not submit to it in our hearts by those in positions of authority over us…

The way I’ve personally learnt it is that when someone who genuinely is in authority over me requires me to do something that I don’t believe in, let’s say the involuntary and compulsive paying of taxes to the government for an example, that I do this (i.e. pay the taxes) but I don’t submit on the inside to this being right (or the way things should be) and it doesn’t stop me from praying to the Lord to change the system of government in my country…

Thus it’s possible for us to respect someone’s position of authority in terms of doing what they tell us (eg. paying taxes) but not believe what they are trying to force us (or grind us down) to ‘give in’ to as being right (or to stop fighting and ‘lay down and die’ so to speak) and to inwardly submit to (or become complicit to, to the point that we ‘receive’ the slavery this brings)…

If we learn this principle of not submitting on the inside to authority figures that we disagree with then our spirits won’t be broken through whatever ‘force’ or ‘control’ or ‘manipulation’ or ‘thumb screws’ that these authority figures try to impose upon us…

All these techniques are techniques to chain our minds (so that we cannot think freely for ourselves)…

The next level of freedom to clear the foundation to begin to build the house of discernment in our lives is to be able to realize that even the opinions of those who we choose to be our friends or wives and husbands don’t define who we are or how we have to think, even about ourselves…

Everyone, even those we choose to bring in close to us, have their own opinions and this is a good thing…

At times those opinions will hurt us personally when they appear to be (or are) pointed directly against us and what we cherish deeply in our hearts…

The lesson to learn here about those we choose to be close to us is that even they don’t define us…

We can still choose (if that’s what we choose to do) to be close to them based on their opinions about us even if we don’t believe these to be true, but over time if these opinions persist and we still don’t believe those opinions are true, those relationships will naturally grow distant as there is no agreement (or compatibility) in our thinking…

This is a hard lesson but if we stay true to what we believe, even in the face of opposition from those we’ve chosen to be close to, we will protect our ability to exercise discernment in the decisions we face in life…

As soon as someone else (even someone we’ve chosen to bring close to us) is given control by us over what we think is true we become their slave, we have lost our freedom of thought and thus lost our discernment…

So assuming we come to a point where no one (whether they be authority figures or friends or loved ones) has any mental hold over us, from that ‘platform’ we’ll now be in a good position to begin to endeavour to relate to the outside world in terms of all the messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis…

What is someone’s motivation?  This is the first question we should ask ourselves in the outside world when we come across a voice which is trying to persuade us to entertain their idea or their product or their cause or to become a part of their movement…

What’s in it for them?  Who’s paying them?  Who’s paying whoever is paying them?  And on and on and on up until we reach the ultimate payer and then we would ask ourselves what is the motivation of that ultimate payer?

What is the end game?  Everything we’re encouraged to get involved in or participate in has an end game and in discovering (through a process of why questions) what the end game is at the highest level we can find out a lot about whether we want to invest our thoughts, time, energy, money and lives in that end game…

What do we really believe in?  As we ‘fact find’ with respect to the above questions we’ll find out what those around us believe in and are passionate about (which doesn’t make them right by the way) but it’s important for us to know and establish what we believe in and are passionate about so we can tell whether we want to invest the opportunity cost of ‘going down their rabbit hole’ or not in terms of our finite life span on earth…

By knowing what we really believe in it eliminates a lot of inefficiency in terms of being dragged in all directions in terms of our attention, attachment and devotion to various pursuits, beliefs and causes…

Having gotten this far, how though, when we come across information which so many are stating as being true on issues which we’ve decided we are interested in, do we know whether they are telling us the truth?  They tell us they care about the thing which we’ve discovered we care about but how do we know they’re genuine?

Again, my personal experience has been that often I have a ‘gut feeling’ about people and their motivations just by being around them or watching them talking on television or observing them in person or through how they relate to others or myself, it’s like an ‘intuition’ which isn’t based on fact but based on getting ‘a sense’ of the person and what they’re about…

It’s this ‘gut feeling’ or ‘ring of truth’ (like tapping a glass with a fork and hearing that distinctive ‘ding’ sound) or ‘intuitive feeling’ which helps me to establish over time (sometimes almost instantly) who I can trust and who I can not, who I will co-labour with and who I will not and even who I will entrust my heart to and who I will not…

I believe we come to understand over time (through meeting different types of people in our lives) that not everyone’s ‘gut feeling’ mechanism is the same or as sensitive as everyone else’s hence if we feel that we’re not as ‘intuitive’ as we’d like to be on being able to make these ‘instinctive decisions’ (if we’re in our own opinion maybe too ‘gullible’ or ‘naive’) then it’s wise for us to team up with a friend who we believe has a strong ‘intuitive antenna’ for who is genuine and who is not…

From there we could choose to spend time investigating those who this ‘intuitive’ friend or person feels are ‘the real deal’ and ‘check out’ the ‘intuitive’ person’s intuition by delving into facts about these ‘real deal’ people to consolidate or validate whether we can trust the ‘intuitive’ person…

I believe this is a good approach…

Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14 NASB)

Finally, speaking personally, I have come to believe that I can only absolutely trust One Person and that One Person is God (the Father, Jesus & the Holy Spirit)…

Everyone else (at times) lies and (at times) has false information (even if that’s just in their motivation for why they share true facts and true information)…

Some people (who know God better than others) lie less and share more true information from a pure motive…

My desire is to listen to these people (the ones who know God better), to engage with these people…

After all the above, the objective truth which God has written down has been written down in the scripture (i.e. what is commonly known today as the 66 books of the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible)…

I desire that (the scripture) to always be my final standard – I take everything in, i.e. I take everything I perceive and hear and see from others ‘under advisement’, then I talk to God about it personally, God talks back to me in physically inaudible conversations which I hear in the spirit of my mind and then I take what He tells me to His word, the scripture, to test whether or not what I am hearing is true…

This last point (when I follow this process), built on top of all the other points, then gives me my final ‘seal’ on discernment…

I desire to always yield whatever I believe to be true to the Lord and let Him make the final decision on what I believe to be true as ultimately only He knows what is true, only He knows the hearts of every human being on the planet and all the ‘intuition’ which He gives us comes from Him…

But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He had no need that anyone should testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. (John 2:24-25 NASB)

As enabled by the Lord, I have been growing in this understanding, this decision-making process and even though the desired outcome is that I always willingly hand over these ‘final decisions’ to the Lord, I still involve myself in the preceding process (as described earlier in the post) so that when these decisions are finally made (situation by situation, issue by issue, or topic by topic) I can then ‘own’ them as my own and live with them ‘come what may’…

My prayer for us all is that we will all find increasing freedom in discernment as the Lord leads us – that He will fill us with His discernment so that we all may know the truth and be set free by the truth – In Jesus Name… 🙂

Ps. There is a spiritual gift of “…discerning of spirits…” (1 Corinthians 12:10 KJV) but that isn’t what I’m talking about in this post.  I believe that would be a separate topic. 🙂

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

About andrew james horton

Hi, my name is Andrew James Horton... I am a Kiwi (New Zealander), born in Christchurch (05 September 1971), now in my late-forties (I feel so old saying that)... I am blessed to be married with five children and six grandchildren... :-) I am at present a Principal Structural Engineer, Director working in Christchurch, New Zealand... I am passionate about prophetic intercession and about revival both in New Zealand and throughout the world... I am passionate to pray that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, will be all that He - the Lord Jesus Christ - desires her to be in our generation... I felt that the Lord gave me the name of this blog site, "a house of prayer for the nations - prophetic intercession for worldwide revival" and wanted me to "put it out there" and start recording the prayers which are on my heart to pray in the hope that others would also be encouraged to share the prayers which are on their hearts to pray and that in the unity of the Spirit we could participate together in this activity in different locations around the world as He leads us... If the Lord leads you, let's join in prayer for the Lord's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven in our generation... Love in the Lord, Andrew
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