Post details: What is discernment?


Permalink 01:49:26 pm, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead thinking deeply, 496 words   English (US)

What is discernment?

by Trent - from October 2005

Prudence is an art. The more you apply it, the better you become at it, but discernment is slightly different. Spiritual discernment involves seeing what is authentic, through the programming that infects thought.

"A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him." [Proverbs 28:11]

The discerning fellow has no trouble seeing how many (seemingly opposed) true statements fit together into a monolithic truth. Appearances and deception do not distort the reality that they apprehend.

Did you know that the Australian Continent has four main island groupings. One Continent with many parts. Each of those sections (Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia) have many smaller islands. So, how are the many masses considered to be only one continent, if they seem so separate? Doesn't each island define it's own context?

This is the struggle that undiscerning fellows have with spiritual truth. Each doctrinal topic seems like a solitary island and unconnected with the other doctrines. They see that there is a glorious city after judgment where indwells righteousness, and they see how the grapes are crushed in the winepress of God's wrath during the harvest, but neither seem to fit together in any way, so the doctrines live in the mind as lonely islands. We are saved by grace through faith: agreed, and yet salvation is worked out. Wouldn't it be simpler to simply camp on our island and dismiss everything else as folklore and confusion. God is not the author of confusion, so lets just pick our favorite island group and call this the truth, and call all the others frauds, or purveyors of an obsolete truth.

However, something has hindered authentic view of reality. The revelation is of one Truth, and the parts of that revelation fit together.

You know what makes those islands in the continent seem to be separate? The ocean interferes with our view of the continent. In fact, only because the there is water, do we consider that they are islands, but if the water is burnt away, and we see what is substantially there. The reality is that all of those parts are summits if a single land mass that was hidden from our view. Discernment is the ability to see through the water as if it is not there.

Spiritual discernment is a way to see through the cultural bias and misinformation that makes all the doctrines seem as though they are mere islands, and then becoming acquainted with the deeper parts that tie them all together. As someone grows in wisdom and spiritual discernment, they will begin to recognize the inclusiveness of revelation, and appreciate more and more of the written word, or the input from saints that you might have previously thought crazy, because they weren't talking about the islands that you know about.

"Don't be nitpickers; use your head--and heart! -To discern what is right, to test what is authentically right." [John 7:24]

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Comment from: joyinexpressible [Visitor]
This is exactly what I'm experiencing while looking for a new church. I am not a young woman or christian and I have explored many islands. I listen as they teach their doctrine and I think yes, I agree with that point but that is not the only point and my view is expanded far beyond what's presented. I'm not sure how to respond. Do I add my expanded view to the discussion or remain silen?. That is where I need discernment now. Does God reveal new truth in order for us to share with the body or is it for us alone? It doesn't help being a woman either. Another point I've been wondering about.

I used to love teaching Sunday School but that was when I was a new christian and accepted the dogma of the church as my own. Now if I taught, even though I believe I possess fuller knowlege, I think I would be reguarded as a heretic in most churches. Perhaps I should nail a thesis to the door? Perhaps I should just shut up? What do you do when your spiritual growth has outstriped what is taught in church?

Permalink 10/12/05 @ 00:50
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·

Hello there!

"""Do I add my expanded view to the discussion or remain silent?"""

One of the churches that I used to go to would practice silence the ENTIRE meeting.  Anyone could speak, but if you weren't being compelled by the Spirit, then you were to practice silence.  Well, none of those meetings were silent, but I had a wonderful time "turning to the Spirit" and just listening to Him.  And half of the time, He would compel me to stand and deliver.

Now, I take this training into our bible studies that we go to around town.  I practice silence during the meetings.  And I know alot of things that others NEED to know about, but the NEED is not the CALL.  And I wait for the CALL.   So, I hear alot of crazy things and stuff that is just plain wrong, but I don't say anything about it unless and until I get the CALL.

The call is never mistakable.  You can't ignore it.  It would be easier to remain silent if your seat were on fire.  You have to blurt it out, and you may not even know what "it" is until you hear your own voice.  You might find that your mouth can say manythings that your mind has not yet learned, when your mouth is under control of the Spirit.

Still ripening for the harvest,

Permalink 10/12/05 @ 10:20
Comment from: BruceD [Visitor] ·

And I know alot of things that others NEED to know about, but the NEED is not the CALL.

I love that! I need to remember that!

Permalink 11/17/05 @ 09:23
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
That "need" and "call" thing has saved my ass countless times!
Permalink 11/17/05 @ 12:31
Comment from: Mrs Zeke [Visitor] ·
I wish I had more discernment but it seems I have it as you know Trent when I am not even seeking it.

Is discernment reserved for those times like knowing something is not right but not always knowing why?
or is it also part of knowing things you can not know but are given to know by God?

I have experience strange sense of silence before my mouth was going to open and say somethings to this day I could not repeat nor had any idea I was going to say. The most recent was at my mothers death bed then at my mother in laws death bed.

Right before the words I could not breath it seemed let alone talk I thought it was just the stress of losing a loved one. But before each died as I bent to kiss them I remember staring with "You are going to see Jesus and when you do not be afraid.." and then told to me by others I keep talking about God, heaven, death, life etc.... I can not recall it I just know something happened and both women died moments after those words.

It seemed they let go, my mom feeling so scared and rejected by her husband and Zeke's mom needing to let go and accept I would take care of Zeke.

Other times come to mind but I still am blown away by it, words or type sometimes it just comes. At least with type you get to re-read it :)

It is indeed strange to be human sometimes knowing there is a perfect God who cares.

Be loved you are
Permalink 04/06/08 @ 16:12
Comment from: pam [Visitor]
Sometimes the call doesn't always seem to make sense at that moment (kind of like thinking others are crazy as you described it) but it may be delivered now for later. Generally, that is coupled with a blessing from God and there really is nothing better than doing as God calls you to do when to all others it may seem annoying, agrivating, and wrong.
Permalink 04/07/08 @ 00:50

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