Discernment: Crucial today more than ever

We need discernment in what we see and what we hear and what we believe.
~Chuck Swindoll.

Truth, half-truth, part-truth, no truth, facts, opinions, wishes, spin. You see it. We all see it!

These are all part of today’s culture that is becoming a confusing mish-mash. To be sure, the division so many speak of in the country goes deeper than politics and societal standards. There is a spiritual side of the coin that the masses do not recognize, but less understand.

The good news is that you can see through the smoke and haze.

Discernment has never been more critical than it is today. You need it in your relationships, finances, health, kids, and family, and you need discernment for your safety and well-being. Discernment will save you sleepless nights, emotional angst, and agonizing anxiety.

When you’re making decisions in these uncertain times, make sure what you are hearing and seeing. Yes, the chasm is great between truth and lies, and many call good evil and evil good.

In this season of change and uncertainty that has fallen on us, discernment is even more critical. 

Here are a few helpful tips on how to discern in this age:

Listen with your heart, not your head. God won’t be changing anytime soon. Opinions, beliefs and positions, however, are very fluid and change from minute to minute. If you listen with your heart, you are likely to see and hear more clearly.  Your mind can play tricks, but out of your heart flows the issues of life, which is where you are spiritually grounded. Protect your heart.

Don’t listen to offer a response or to be critical. Listen to hear, discern truth and to pray. Oswald Chambers said: “God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.”

Be alert; be vigilant. Be very aware of people that cross your path daily, or that thought that continually comes to your mind, or that scripture that you can’t shake. Often God brings people into your way or brings thoughts or scriptures to your remembrance for your comfort and confirmation. Don’t immediately push them aside, but inspect and embrace. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this, some have entertained angels without knowing it. ~Hebrews 13:2.

Remember where the real battle is being played out. Ah, yes, the Republicans and Democrats aren’t your enemies. Even as you read this, there are significant battles underway in the heavenlies. Those battles will determine the country’s future, of your life and your future and even eternity. Don’t fall for the distractions in Washington, your church or even your home. Read Ephesians 6:12. Or if you’re into more in-depth reading, try Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness or C.S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.

Go where the peace is. The truth will not scream at you. Listen closely for the still, small voice and the whisper amid chaos. It’s not as much about struggling to find or even desperately searching for and pursuing peace as it is about following peace and being led into fullness. And you will know it. Often peace comes with the first step of obedience. Other times, the journey takes time, but peace comes instantly. The burden is lifted. The conflict settles. The inner battles cease.

Discerning the truth from fiction isn’t always the challenge. It’s discerning the truth from mostly true or nearly true of some true will take you back to the Garden, and that’s where we need the ultimate Discerner to lead us.

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