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Spiritual discernment: We need it - Hebrews 4:12

August 5, 2011
Hebrews 4:12 (GW) God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and intentions.


I’m sharing notes from a sermon preached by Dr. Charles Stanley, (intouch.org) who is my radio/TV pastor. I love him yet I don’t even know him. But God works through him to help me in powerful ways. I struggle with discernment – I have my entire life especially before I was walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual discernment means we have the capacity to judge and distinguish God’s will. It’s a gift from God. Many people settle for good when God has the best planned for them. We cannot live on the edge of right and wrong and expect God’s best. Do we see things as they are instead of how we want them to be? 

Spiritual Discernment means we can:

Live in the will of God, which brings us peace, fruitfulness and great productivity. Be careful not to be deceived by sin, which can happen if you live based on your feelings.

Distinguish between truth and error. Make sure your church is based on Biblical teaching.

Be careful who you listen to. Some friends may have good intentions, but are not qualified to give godly advice. Someone else can’t tell you God’s will for your life.

Choose between what is good or what is best. Satan offers good. God always offers best. Do you want to go through life with good or best? This blew me away because I think many of us settle for okay. There may be times when only God can tell you. But God isn’t responsible for telling us why. Life is easier when we realize that we can’t change his mind. Why settle? Go for best!

Distinguish between legalism and grace.
·  legalism – pressure of personal preferences imposed on other people as if they are mandated by God.
·  grace – love of God; he understands we’re his imperfect creations. But this doesn’t give us the license to sin.

If you want a clear heart, ask God for counsel. Spirit of discernment is important if you have heard from God. Many people waste time and money by getting worldly advice from psychiatrists or counselors who give their opinions. Choose wise godly counsel from someone who can help you understand what God is trying to tell you and who can help you distinguish things are they really are.

Don’t be quick to give answers. Listen.

God wants us to listen. Discern from facts and truth.

Trust God.


Go for best!


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Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
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Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
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