1 Corinthians 2:14 – 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.
Discernment defined: the quality of being able to perceive and comprehend what is obscure or unseen; wisdom in perception with insight; skill in the ability to grasp, comprehend, and evaluate clearly; it allows us to distinguish between what is real and what is imitation.
Discernment is a form of wisdom given to us by God, that moves us beyond book knowledge or intellectual achievement. It grows in us as we mature in our walk with the Lord. It means that we can look at a situation and understand things about that situation that are not obvious, not seen by the natural eye. Discernment grows as we study the Word of God and build our relationship with Him. We must be able to discern what is true or false teaching, true or false prophecy, and so on. If we do not know the Word of God and study it for ourselves, we will never be able to discern when a false teacher or prophet is leading us astray. If we do not spend time in prayer, learning to hear the voice of God, we will not know when a demonic voice is speaking to us and may mistake it for God. Can you see why it’s so important to pray for God to help us grow in this area?
How many times have you known that something was truly from God and were willing to stand on it no matter what, but some well meaning person told you it wasn’t logical or it didn’t make sense, so they would never do it. These times can shake your faith, if you let them. Many things are spiritually discerned and in the natural they may not make any sense at all. Surely Noah felt that way, or Abraham and Sarah, Elijah, Joshua, and we could name so many more throughout scripture. The Holy Spirit living in us gives us that spiritual discernment to understand the promptings of God as well as warnings when things are not right. Discerment is a protection as well as a guide.
We need to pray for discernment every day. The enemy is always ready to deceive and if our guard is down, we can fall into his trap. As we move into more difficult days in our world, recognizing the true voice of our Father may mean the difference in life and death. We cannot be fooled by false voices, false doctrines or false signs and wonders. God loves to grant us the wisdom we ask for, and He will sharpen our discernment skills as we submit to His leading each day. The One who leads us into all truth will always guide our steps (John 16:13).