The Importance of Discernment

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God wants to help us develop discernment so we will walk in the right direction.

Matthew 3:1-12

Who couldn’t use a little discernment? We desperately need the Lord’s help to determine truth and reality in a world filled with confusing gray areas and evil deceptions.

John the Baptist was a man of tremendous discernment. This rough and rugged preacher came thundering onto the scene of staid orthodox Judaism, and he brought a message to the entire Jewish nation. John’s job was to prepare the way for the Messiah’s arrival. What he had to say was simple: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).

As the multitudes flocked to hear this unique prophet and repent of their sins, John discerned that some of them were frauds. The Pharisees and Sadducees had come to check him out, not to repent. They were hiding reality behind a religious exterior.

A discerning spirit is one that is in tune with the Spirit of God. As John lived in submission to the Lord, he gained insight beyond anything that could have originated from his own mind.

He saw the situation from God’s perspective and delivered a strong rebuke to that “brood of vipers” (Matt. 3:7). Although we may never be as forthright as John, there will be times when a discerning spirit will lead to confrontation.

The Father wants His children to develop spiritual discernment in order to guard against deception. We must know how to recognize invalid philosophies as well as false doctrines that sneak into the church. What’s more, divine insight can also protect us in our relationships and even helps us see the truth about ourselves.

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