January 23, 2011
There is a spiritually dangerous thing that happens in the lives of those who deliberately, arrogantly and high-handedly disobey God. It is when a frame of mind is so hardened against conviction that a discernment crisis is of monstrous proportions develops in the heart of an individual. The Bible says, ““And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off…” (II Peter 1:5-9). If we add to our faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness and brotherly kindness, we shall be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and what He desires for our lives.
Oh what peace and joy comes to the open heart to God! Oh what illumination comes to those who seek Him! “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”(Isaiah 55:6). The antithesis of illumination is when we disobey to the point that part of our punishment becomes the loss of discernment. The Scriptures tells us, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off….” When this happens we enter into a spiritual, mental and emotional fog. The young man in Proverbs who went into fornication is pitifully described, “He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life” (Proverbs 7:23). Make note, he “…knoweth not….” He does not have the reasoning ability to understand how his playing with fire is going to burn. Samson, the strongest man in the world, crossed the final deadline in his disobedience and in turn lost his ability to discern when the supernatural power of Almighty God departed from him: “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20). Meditating on these thoughts consider:
1. Pray for wisdom to discern.
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern
between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (I Kings 3:9). So prayed the youthful Solomon when he was taking the responsibility of becoming king. God has promised, “If
any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it
shall be given him” (James 1:5). God said He would not “upbraid” us; this is the word oneidizo, which means to chide, taunt, scold or rebuke. Never presume God will scold or rebuke you because of asking for something He desires to give you. Furthermore, He said He would give you wisdom “liberally” which means bountifully. God wants to give us wisdom, full and running over. Then, consider:
2. Obedience makes your mind a transmitter of truth.
“Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth
both time and judgment” (Ecclesiastes 8:5). One who keeps God’s commandments will become a
wise man. In contrast were the hypocritical Pharisees, who had much book-learning but little wisdom,
because they did not obey the very written Law and Prophets they carried and even wore on their
persons. Jesus said of them, “Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:56).
When we obey God we develop a radar system that is very sensitive to the voice of God. The obedient man or woman will know not only right from wrong, but also what is right and wrong for themselves. “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:18). “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
3. Habitual obedience makes the discerning mind your default.
A few years ago the word “default” was exclusively used to describe a failure to fulfill an obligation such as repaying a loan. But in this world of computer technology it means: of a computer program or other mechanism; revert automatically to (a preselected option). The Bible says, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). God’s Word is saying that when we mature in the Lord through obedience and partake of the strong meat of the Word, we will default automatically to the mind of Christ, which discerns between good and evil. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).