May 2, 2021 - Why discernment is non-negotiable for every follower of Christ
Because it's a lifelong process. It's not something that any of us are too young to start and it's not something that anyone is too old to grow in. We need to know how to discern. And today the topic is why discernment is a non-negotiable for every follower of Christ.
See, the problem is we live in a world where we are drowning in information but starving for real wisdom.
It used to be, if you could find it in a book it was a facts, but guess what? Facts have changed. Facts of been replaced by opinions. And opinion, is a, it's the one who shouts the loudest in the longest, it gets the form. With the opinion, is,
It's an upside-down, inside-out round and round, and a you. And I should be living in the upside down kingdom. And look really strange. The world around us and a big part of that is learning how to discern.
We're not made to conform but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We should be like the people of issachar who understood the times and knew what to do.
Does it really matter? Does it matter that we have discernment when we're young? And we're old and in every stage of Life? Yes, it matters. Four ways that I've come up with it, that it is it matters. He never won the sermon guards us from being spiritually deceived.
Ephesians 4:14 says, there will be no longer be immature. Like children, we won't be tossed and blown about by every new wind of teaching will not be influence when people try to trick us with lies so clever that they sound like truth. The sermon is a sign of spiritual maturity and discernment protects us from being blown up to and fro by The Winds of every teacher becomes our way. Number to determine tax is an instrument of healing. Hebrews 4:12 is for the word of God is active and powerful and sharper than the sharpest edge sword, cutting between Soul and Spirit between joint and Marrow. It exposes the innermost thoughts and desires. You know when God is healing you or healing, someone threw you, the sternman is the thing. They can take a 5-year process and turn it into five minutes. It really is that astounding. when you involve Holy Spirit in that process, When you when you know, how to learn to discern.
Number three, discernment functions. Is a key to Christian freedom. Galatians 5:13 says, for you've been called to live in Freedom, my brothers and sisters, don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one another in love. Listen, freedom is not, I can do what I want freedom is, I can serve another in life. And the only way to that makes sense is through spiritual discernment. It does not make sense in the world. It does not make sense. In the end, renewed mind. It doesn't make sense, unless you have discernment what true freedom is and how to live in Freedom. Number for sermon serves. As a catalyst for Spiritual Development. Proverbs 4:16, says democracy, quizdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. When we practice discernment, we want to get to the heart of the matter. It's not good enough to treat the symptoms when we know that Jesus is the answer. It's not good enough to treat the symptoms when we know Jesus is a kid, The Cure.
Discernment is absolutely critical for each and every one of us is a follower of Christ.
Know the place in the Bible that talk about discernment is 1st Kings chapter 3, where we're going to go there first and read him. But now, I want you to hear the words that I read because I'm going to bring two truths out of that that are going to be. So pertinent for us today is when Solomon is is just a young king. Verse 1 says Solomon made an alliance with pharaohs with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the city of David, until he had finished building the palace and the Temple of the Lord, in the wall around Jerusalem. The people however, we're still sacrificing at the high places because the Temple of not yet built for the name of the Lord and sell them and showed his love for the Lord by walking, according to the statutes of his father's David, except he offered sacrifices and burnt offerings at the high places. The king went to give you the offer sacrifices for. That was the most important. I, please and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings at the altar at gibeon. The Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in the dream and God said, ask whatever you want and I'll give you that want me to give you were six Solomon answered, you have shown great kindness to your servant My Father, David because he was faithful to you and continue this great, kindness to him and a given him a son to sit on the throne this very day. Download my God, you have made your servant a king in place of my father, David. And I'm only a child and I don't know how to carry out my duties. There servant is here, among your people, you have chosen a great people to numbers to count or number. So you give your servant a Discerning heart to govern. Your people in to distinguish between right and wrong person who is able to govern your great people of yours. The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So the Lord said to him sent you of asked for this and not for long life or well for yourself or have asked for the death of your enemies. But for discernment, in administrating jostes, I will do what you've asked. I will give you a wise and Discerning heart so that you will never have that there will be never have been anyone like you nor will there ever be Moreover, I will give you what you've not asked for both riches and honor. So then in your lifetime you will have no equal among Kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey, my statutes and commands as David, your father did, I will give you a long life. So the two truths, I want us to recognize from this passage and there's so many more even as I read it, I could pull more out but the two truths are discernment is a gift. And discernment is responsibility.
What do I mean by that? Well, let's talk. About discernment is a gift. This certain Solomon asked for discernment you and I can ask for discernment. James tells us if we lack Wisdom, ask God, who gives generously, and it will be given to us. We have a God who wants to give us the sermon and wants to give us wisdom and sometimes we have not because we ask not and sometimes we ask with wrong motives because it's been good for us and not the good fruit that God wants to do. but we can have confidence in knowing that when we ask, we will receive
You need to know what to do. You asked for wisdom? You asked for the sermon you eagerly desire. The greater gift, the gift. All of us needed the time and place is discernment. We need to be able to distinguish between spirits.
You know, ask discernment is a gift. My understanding of this is it, some of us will be more gifted in it than others.
I think that's what it means to have a gift. It comes more easily. We don't need to be really trained and it it just happens. but, I want you to notice something with the other gifts.
There is a spiritual gift of teaching. Not everyone is gifted as a teacher Romans 12:7, but we're all told to teach you in Toronto. Me 11:18 to 21. Not everyone is given the gift of generosity, but we're all told to be generous Not everyone is given the gift of encouragement, but we're all told to encourage this is a fast part. You got to speed up through here. I can do it from here if you want. And I will. Is a teacher. Okay, there we are know. We're going to control. and, And the combined. So where am I at?
I never went to get his encouragement, but we're also to encourage not, everyone's get a profit, but Paul wish that all of us would prophesy. Not everyone is the speaker of tongues, that's the office, it's more easy for people to speak out against their tongues, but we're all encouraged to pray in the spirit to build ourselves up. Not everyone's gift is distinguishing between spirits, but everyone is total to test everything and hold to the good.
I want you to know this.
The gifts need to be done in love because when they're not of faith without love, is pride prophecy without love is condemnation, knowledge without love is arrogance. Wisdom without love, is condescension healing without love causes. Hubris Miracles without love becomes idolatry leadership. Without love, is manipulative. Generosity, without love is Vanity Hospitality without love, is really uncomfortable. And discernment without love is criticism.
Did you catch that? Some of you had that lightbulb out it, you had that moment right there? Because I I know in my life and I suspect in your life you have someone who is critical of you that always seems to have those points like they just get the right points when they criticize and it hurts so much.
Best discernment Without Love.
That's discernment. Without Love.
Listen. If it's happening to you, pray that that person with a gift of discernment, you learned to use it in love, if you are in a place to teach them how to use it in love, teach them how to use it in life because it's a powerful necessary needed gift.
Corrie, ten. Boom says that's a discernment is God's. Call De intercesion. Never default finding
Only use your gifts in love.
Discernment is a gift. And it comes with a responsibility. But the sermon is also a responsibility for all of us.
Solomon was given the responsibility to walk in my ways and obey, my statutes in commands as your father, David did. And you, and I, this side of the Cross are told to test everything and hold to the good. Look at what it says, in 1st. John 4:1 dear friends, don't believe everyone, who claims to speak by the spirit, you must test them to see if the spirit that they have come comes from God. For many false prophets are in the world, we have a responsibility to discern. That's on us.
Charles Spurgeon says the sermon is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong but rather it's the telling the difference between right and almost right
It's not this world we live in is not black and white, it's all shades of grey and that's why we need discernment. That's why we need what? We need until the good for the better and the better from the best. We need to know how to learn to discern.
What if you could see the gift of discernment and be responsible to grow in discernment yourself. Anyway, like what? Imagine the confidence of abiding in Christ, and having his words abide in you. And knowing that when you speak, it's the very Oracle of God. At is in chips for the person who's up here, Sunday morning, it's her each and every one of us. It's for parents as you parents, it's for people with your in your workplace. People need to know that you speak. The very words of God, people need to know that. That's when you're on that Zoom meeting. You got something special there. I got to listen to this person. That's what the sermon does. That's what the tool I'm giving you today. It's kind of an overview for it all, but it's, it's what we put into practice. That's what you'll have. Okay. so, the tool that we have, Is.
Learn to discern tool. and, The word I put in there is Clarity Clarity, so we got all have to go through here. But anyway, so the sea in that word is you got to commit to spiritual maturity.
Hebrews 4, 55-14 says, with a solid food is for the mature who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. You need to take responsibility to mature, take responsibility to grow in mature, in, in discernment.
Remember, Saul Solomon was a child when he became king like he was a young man probably in his early twenties, but you think he felt himself a child? Just remember Karen's cousin who just turned 31 this week when he was like four years old, was when I started hanging around the family. And he was shocked and surprised to learn that. I was an adult and I didn't speak French. Because like his family would speak French and Russian and all these different words and he just he just assumed as an adult, he would speak those languages, but I came in and totally messed it up before I go see, that's like, no. Or your old Mark's got to actually learn that stuff. You have a responsibility to grow in the spiritual life. It's not enough just to show up and do whatever you think you need to do. It's your responded like a listen to what Jesus says in Matthew. 5:18, this is Peterson's translation of it. He says, in a word when I'm saying is grow up your kingdom subject now live, like it live out of your God, created identity, learn live generously and graciously towards others the way God Lives towards you.
You and I need to grow up and mature. The question that we have is will you commit to spiritual maturity?
Olympic this more. As we go along, I got more weeks to preach. So that's why I'm saying, you got more time. The L and Clarity is to love, always. We already talked about this. It's 8. You do everything in love. You cannot operate in a gift without love. You should not operate in a gift without love. You should not do anything without love. Do everything in love.
one of the things that I've learned to do is to ask And when I got to see something difficult and I ask myself, how can I say this in love? and the answer usually comes back with the question I can ask, And the question isn't an act, a question of accusation. The question is an open-ended question that lets them respond to the truth that God wants them to know. Start thinking like that and again will get into this more later on.
Question, I have for you today. Will you reaffirm to do everything in love?
Will you let Holy Spirit? Show you what you're doing? That's not in love or out of love. Will you let him respond to what he shows you like confessing agreeing with him. Yeah I'm not doing this out of love and repenting okay Lord help me to start doing this in love.
The a in the clarity is of corpse abide in Christ. Jesus said abide in me and I in you for the branch cannot bear fruit by itself. Unless it abides in the vine, you can either neither can you unless you abide in me.
You and I were created to walk with God in the garden of the cool of the day.
We were meant to be with him and just enjoy him and be enjoyed by him. It, screw you were created to abide with him in the day-to-day of everyday.
How do you do that? How do you abide in him and let his words abide in you? So you can ask what you want and have it done to you.
I'm only giving you those questions. Now, will impact them later, but the question I want you to know is, will you abide in him, have his words abide in you?
BR and Clarity is reawaken your conscience. Reawaken your conscience.
Jesus said in Luke 6:45 a good person, produces good things from the treasury of a good heart and an evil person, produces evil things from the heart. What you say, flows from, what's in your heart?
We can let her conscience be seared. but when we ignore those nut, James of Holy Spirit,
I have been researching this series for a while now and I got to tell you
Almost every page in the first 10 pages of Google of people commenting on the versus I was studying.
were people that were
When they talk about discernment, it's it's talk about judging others.
It's talk about why my way is best and this other person is wrong. And almost every person had a long look like I am talking pages and pages and pages of list of how you should live your life.
Because somehow they forgot. Holy Spirit, has given you everything for life and godliness.
Somehow, they forgot the Holy Spirit, Will Empower you to accomplish every good work prompted by your face.
It is true. We need to reawaken our conscience. It is true, we can steer our conscience. It's true that we can let other things get in there from the abundance of our heart. The mouth will speak. It's true.
But you'll never get there with a list of rules. You'll never get there when you think you're better than somebody else because they're doing something and you're not doing it. I don't care it like nobody who wrote those pages will listen to me cuz one of their number one things was not go on the internet. How can you knock on the internet with people on the internet? And God loves people?
It's not about a list of rules to follow. It's about confession and repentance in allowing. Holy spirit to guide your steps.
Listen, if you are sitting here and then you and you remember a time when it when that you heard that voice and and it just has gotten easier for you to do stuff that, you know, you probably shouldn't be doing.
The answer is confession and repentance.
It's agreeing with God, what he calls Sin is Sin, and it's asking for his help.
He's already giving you everything you need for life and godliness.
Live up to what you've already attained.
Question is, will you let Holy Spirit reawaken his rule in your hearts?
Now the I word in the clarity, this is one of my favorite ones. I really had to work for this one. It's in Bible, the word of God. And by what does imbibe imbibe, typically means to enjoy your drink. As you get drunk, What you going to do with the word of God? It's exactly what we do with the Bible. We need to imbibe the word of God. It's not just the word of God. It's the words of Christ as he speaks to you through the words of God. It's the message of Christ we need and we need to be so in tune with this book. So that when we hear something, that doesn't quite line up with that. We know where we can go. I've got that somewhere else, right? Okay, I'll get that blow. I won't say that now. We have, we, we need, we need, we need to be in this world. We need to know this word and we need to let this word realize there is, there is no excuse for it. And you can't you have trouble reading, or guess what? The Bible app will read it for you. There's lots of ways that you can get the word in you. You don't like the Bible app reading or just wet. I've got life found out. I have all these different ones do that they Christian meditation, where they're reading of the word to you, and they got music and birds, and stuff in the background. Let's drink too much coffee. And you have to go to the bathroom. It's a good thing cuz it's just blowing water. That is so cool. You got no. Excuse to get the word in you.
Discernment really is. What's God's thoughts on this? What is God's thinking about this problem in front of me? What is God's thinking about this decision? I need to know what is important to God in this.
You understand God's thoughts are what matters your opinions don't really impress anybody?
What are God's thoughts on this?
Will you let the word of God dwell in you richly?
Imbibe the word of God.
The T. We've already talked about it. Test everything and hold to the good 1st. Thessalonians 5:21 says exactly that passed everything. What is that? Is said to be good.
In the Old Testament. We had a rule for when prophets spoke, can they miss spoken? They didn't speak the words of God. What were you do?
We still on them, that was the Old Testament if someone Miss speaks, if what they say doesn't happen. Get the stones out and cut them out of your midst. In the New Testament. This is talking about prophecy. By the way, test, everything. Hold to the good. In the New Testament, prophets can be wrong. It's not, we don't Stone them. It's our responsibility to eat the meat and spit out the bones. It's our responsibility to test everything, hold to the good, just ignore the stuff that doesn't really matter. Let me give you an example of this.
when I went to this convention, and there was a speaker from the states who came up to speak, and, He shared this message, I will never forget this message. I'll always remember. Remember the bad messages even my own? I remember my bad messages, but this guy he said, he read in Revelations, where it says and God will make you a Kings and Priests for my God. And then you'll be making some priest for my God. and, My problem was I read the different version, and it said, a kingdom of priests Kings and Priests, but that's beside the point. you went on to make the application and his application was you are all the pastors here. He was talking to a bunch of pastors. as pastors you were the priests The kings are the ones who go out and make war and bring back the profits for the for the priests. So, get your people all excited about going out and killing it in the marketplace so that they can bring more and more gifts in for you so that you can do the kingdom work. and I had it like, it's like, seriously like
I had to go back into the Greek in the Hebrew. Okay. When I leave cuz it didn't sound like it wasn't it didn't sound right. I went back and it just real like it's it's seriously. The guy was he was teaching his own Doctrine. You can't teach that from that passage. It doesn't work and it's not even a principle. That makes any sense in the Kingdom.
Listen. You don't get there. If you don't, if you're not in the book you don't need to know Greek and Hebrew to figure that out. I love getting into it. I won't want to go to the Greek and the Hebrew. I want to meet. I got the years of training. I've got the years of experience, it's not, doesn't have to be you, okay? But you need to know enough when the book says something. And somebody says something else. If there's in, in the book of Acts, they were debating whether or not
Basically Gentiles had to become Jewish in order to become Christian. And the letter that they sent out to the new Jewish, or Gentile Believers were was its they start out with it, seems good to us in the Holy Spirit to give you these rules.
That's what I'm talkin about. It seems good to me and the Holy Spirit. It seems good to us. And the Holy Spirit when something fits, right? You might not know chapter and verse in here, but you know what's, it's right? When something doesn't sit right? You got to be like the bereans who started the scriptures every day to see if what Paul was saying was true. You need to be able to 2 to do the work to get in there. You need, okay.
The question I'm going to leave with you is will you test the things that Holy Spirit nudges or showed nudges you two are shouts at you to test.
Will you will you do that?
I will go more into this when we get to that message because I think it's important that you know how to do that. Right now there are people around you that you can talk to there are people that that know the word of God when you have a question come up from it. and we love getting into it for like I will go to the Greek in the Hebrew and Figure that stuff out. No problem. That's where we get to the last one. The why is she got a yoke yourself with wise people? I love this verse proverbs 3:21. My child don't lose sight of Common Sense and discernment. Hang on to them.
You know this, right? Like the more you hang around critical people, the more critical you become
The more you hang around Discerning people, the more Discerning you comp become. the more you hang around people of wisdom, the more y's you become the more you hang around people who are loving the more loving you become you need to hang around the people. Who you like to become?
You want to know like this, this verse is next versus one that that I used my own life because I want to know what wisdom looks like. And this is what how James to find wisdom. James 3:17. Wisdom is from above is first of all pure, it's peace-loving. It's gentle at all times, it's willing to yield to others. It's full of Mercy in the fruit of Good Deeds. It shows. No favoritism and is always sincere.
Those are the people you look for. Those are the ones you want to hang around. Those are the ones you come to your questions with. Those are the ones that you can say. I heard this podcast, I heard this thing on YouTube. I heard this read this thing on Facebook. It doesn't really make sense. What do you think?
There's a portion in Ephesians. I won't even get into that, but basically the summation of that all is together, it's together together together that we have wisdom. It's together that we know the thoughts of God.
It's never up for you alone. To know exactly what God is saying. It's for us together to know what God is saying.
So, will you surround yourself with wise people?
What did I talk to you about Clarity? Commit to spiritual maturity? L? Love. Always a abiding Christ. Our reawaken, your conscience. I abide the word in the word of God. Detest, everything, holder, the good. And why? You look yourself with wise people? When you do, you'll learn to discern. When you do, you will have clarity.
This is just an overview of what we're going to be looking at over the next month, but I have a tool for you. To help in the next month. Not tool is the discernment mediation challenge. And I was thinking how can I print these off and give them to you, without you thinking, I've got covid-19 spreading them to. And what I've done actually is, you can go to my kwc. CA download these and print them off for yourself. Okay. So, can you show the next slide, please?
What is a discernment mediate meditation tool. Its you read one verse a day and pray through the verse pray through that verse during the month. Your underlying all the words that relate to people including pronouns, you put a box around the verbs, you Circle the key words, these are suggestions, you would have to do that. You personalize the verse by inserting your name where appropriate but what you need to do is you want you need to meditate and reflect on these verses throughout the day. Yes, Holy Spirit for insight and record the Insight that he gives some of the questions you can ask is what does it say, what does it mean? And how can I apply this? And then there's the obligatory check boxes. You can check every day as you go through the 30 days. Every verse is on discernment and over the next 30 days, you can get what the Bible says about the sermon into you and start thinking about discernment, that's the challenge for you today. and I want to leave you with a blessing that comes from Philippians, 10 vs 11, and 10 and 11 verse Philippians, 1:10 and 11, just where I want you to understand what really matters so that you may live a pure and blameless lives in the day of Christ's return knew you'd be. So may you be filled with a fruit of yourself. Asian the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ. For this will bring much glory and praise to God.
heavenly father, I do ask that you would be with us as we
Lord, we need you.
We need you to discern. What you want us to do. We need you to tell us how you want us to show, love during this time and in this place. And in this way, We need your voice to lead us. Lord to know how we can be a blessing to others. We can't do this on our own. God, we've barely survived this on our own a. It's been with you the whole way. But now Lord God, we're looking for more. Lord, we're looking for those strategies you have for us we're looking for those prayers to be answered. We're looking for for Lord the church, the bride to make herself ready.
And Lord, we need the CERN meant to do that.
So, as we engage this discussion, God, I pray for that Supernatural gift before doubt on the people who are seeking it and are gifted in it right now. And I pray Lord God for for Lord Supernatural wisdom to know how to apply that in love.
And I pray Lord for all of us that we would become more in tune with what you're saying. Holy Spirit. It will be quick to obey what you would want us to do. And Lord, we would see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. That Lord, we would obey. what you tell us to do weathered Lord, we
you sure as God and we will obey
So, Lord in the workplace. In the neighborhoods. In the shopping places, we go to the doctors appointments. We go. Lord make us your give us your words, your voice for those around us.
and God, I pray that you would be glorified in through this all in your holy and precious name. Amen.