October 3, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XVI: Godly Discernment

Discernment: The ability to judge well.
Godly Discernment: The ability to judge well in a godly manner.

How Time Is Spent Shows What I've Prioritized

How I spend my time shows what I value in the life that God gave me. I show what is not important to me by ignoring something and ignoring it often. Those people that I do not attend to our try to avoid are not on top of my priority list…perhaps they should be just for that reason? I know that energy expended on the things of God and the things God wants will somehow come back or “stay on” for eternity since they are things of the Kingdom. They are the kinds of things that can be stored up in heaven as treasure. The imperishable that are stored in heaven should be the things that we work towards and are important to us. Everything else is just a waste of time.

Procrastination or Acceleration 

I can say with conviction that I am not a procrastinator. I am usually the one pushing from behind to get people to move in front of me and if I am in front I am usually the one people need to pull back by my belt loop. Rather than endure uncertainty I will often jump into the fray head-first. When I get involved with something I invest myself fully. I do not like doing things carelessly or half-baked.

Speed Affects Vision

Being and all-or-nothing kind of personality it can sometimes get me in trouble. As much as I try to analyze any given situation before dealing with it, sometimes my reviews are too shallow or quick and I get in over my head. In these situations I probably over-rely on God to watch my back. It isn’t that He wouldn’t do this, I certainly trust Him to do so but I feel sometimes I am testing God inadvertently by always diving in too soon to get something done. I count on the fact He was extract me from a bad situation and this is presumptuous of me. One of these times He might leave me flounder to teach me a lesson. I may have to slow down because if I am going too fast to properly view situations I am probably not seeing everything I should and I am not getting all the things I need to properly navigate the parts of my life. If I do not see the rocks just below the surface I will certainly shipwreck.

Do I Believe God Has One Blueprint For My Life

This gets very much into the freewill argument which I will try to avoid addressing directly. I will state though that I believe and Omniscient, Omnipotent and timeless God would know what I am going to do before I do it. Even if I chose to do something stupid or evil God knows this and can work through it to suit His own ends anyway which is what is stated in Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” So…even if I chose to do something of my own accord God can work through those actions to get me to the point He wanted me anyway. So yes, I believe God does have a blueprint for my life. It is clearly not the one I would’ve chosen for myself but I do not have all the facts and cannot see the big picture like He can either. I will trust Him to do the right thing.

Ephesians 1:4, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."

The Mind's Roll In Having Godly Discernment

God gave us a brain (yes, even me) we should use it to the best of our ability. The use should be hemmed in and structure based in the principles we see in the Bible through God’s words, mandates and statutes. A mind than is not anchored in God’s word is a mind adrift from God. A mind adrift from God apostatizes and leaves God eventually becoming reprobate and incapable of reasoning in a godly manner. The mind without God is sinful. Even with the Holy Spirit in us our flesh is weak and can often times overpower the mind. To be able to make good Godly decisions in an ever-changing godless world we must always have our vision focused on God first.

The Heart's Roll In Having Godly Discernment

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' Matthew 13:15

The heart is deceitfully wicked and it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that we can ever truly become like the One who made us. No matter how much in my heart I think I can “do good” it is nothing to gain me favor in the eyes of God. Only through faith do I earn acceptance in the eyes of God. If I have not brought a petition before the Lord to help me keep my heart in the right place I will absolutely go astray.

We saw Solomon call on God for wisdom. He did the right thing. He may have squandered the gift and apostatized as time went on but we see what a man of God can do with the wisdom and ability to discern when given from God early on in Solomon's reign.

Some will just look on and do nothing...I look up and try to do all I can with God leading the way.

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