by Neil Anderson
1 Kings 3:9
Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.
Discernment is an overlooked spiritual discipline in many churches. But in reality, spiritual discernment should be our first line of defense against deception. It’s that “buzzer” inside, warning you that something is wrong. For example, you visit someone’s home and everything appears in order. But you can cut the air with a knife. Even though nothing visible confirms it, your spirit detects that something is wrong in that home.
The first step to understanding discernment is to understand the motive which is essential for employing it. In 1 Kings 3:9, Israel’s king Solomon cried out to God for help. God answers: “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart” (verses 11, 12). The motive for true discernment is never to promote self, to amass personal gain, or to secure an advantage over another person–even an enemy.
The Greek word for discernment– diakrino –simply means to make a judgment or a distinction. Discernment has one primary function: to distinguish right from wrong. In 1 Corinthians 12:10 discernment is the divinely enabled ability to distinguish a good spirit from a bad spirit.
Discernment is not a function of the mind; it’s a function of the Holy Spirit which is in union with your soul/spirit. When the Spirit sounds a warning, your mind may not be able to perceive what’s wrong. Have the courage to acknowledge that something is wrong when your spirit is troubled. Share what you are sensing with others, and ask the Lord for wisdom.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the discernment Your Holy Spirit provides. Without You I couldn’t avoid the land mines the enemy places in my path.