“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” – Charles Spurgeon
This morning on Instagram I asked the question – what’s something that is different about you today vs. this time last year? Not circumstantially, but maybe something your eyes were opened to or knowledge you gained. For me, there is a lot, and it’s hard to believe how sharp the turn was. I NEVER would have guessed the path that the Lord has led me down over the past 365 days – truly – I don’t feel like the same person. I know I am still me – still obsessed with OU football and Skinny Pop, still just as passionate and bold, and still holding firm to my core values and faith in Jesus Christ. But the process of sanctification, the discernment He has given me, and the transformation He has led me through the last year have made me feel like I’m on a full-speed crazy train and moving in one direction only – towards Christ. The beauty in that is that the changes I’ve made, the truth I’ve gleaned, and the positions I have taken on things are CLEAR evidence of God’s work in my life. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that has pushed me towards knowing more of who God is and hopefully becoming more like Christ in the process.
While sanctification is a process that begins when one is saved, I think it often is intertwined with discernment. In The Lost Art of Discernment, “The clear sense of the term is that discernment necessarily involves making value judgments between differing claims as needed so as to reveal by examination what is right or wrong, or somewhere in the middle. To make such judgments involves the process of examining the claims by an objective standard, and for the orthodox Christian, such a standard exists only in the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).” The practice of this is so important, and it is seems like it is one that is not being taught or prioritized in churches today.
All of this said, I was recently sharing on Instagram about practices and beliefs from the world that have snuck their way into our churches – in belief statements and sermons, through the structure of church, and through our worship music and style. It’s easily dressed up as modern Christianity, as “evidence of the Spirit”, and of “Holy experiences”, when in reality, it is often diametrically opposed to God’s word and His expectation of us. We must know God’s word accurately in order to know God intimately, and in order to discern what is His truth from what is folly.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Some of my favorite resources that have been supplemental to my growth over the last year are John MacArthur’s Grace to You, John Piper’s Desiring God, Allie Stuckey’s Relatable, and the Sheologians Podcast.