Thursday, August 06, 2015

Testing the Voices

"...present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, and that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2 NASB

Discernment involves learning to listen to the Holy Spirit with the ultimate goal being personal spiritual transformation. Coming to have a clearer understanding of God's priorities can expose an unrecognized spiritual talent or reveal a calling to a new ministry opportunity or inspire a new way of living for Christ. This spiritual discipline increases our awareness of God's presence and His workings within the ordinary moments of time, teaches us how to love like Christ, and renews our hope even in times of uncertainty.  To prove what the will of God is comes through dokimazo, the Greek word meaning "by testing you may discern".

Another Greek word, diakriseis, means a "spiritual judgement or understanding" and defines discernment as a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:10). In breaking down this word, dia (through) and kriseis (judgment), we discover the concept of judgment that sees through appearances. This kind of discernment differentiates between the promptings of the Holy Spirit (always good) and deceptive spirits (evil intentions). Remembering spiritual gifts come from God, this gift, like all other spiritual gifts, is to be used for the good of the church and to encourage the body of believers. 

As you contemplate the spiritual discipline of discernment, identify the places in your life that are distractions, places or things that are keeping you from knowing how God is calling you to serve Him. Ask yourself, What am I willing to change? What am I willing to do to be sure I hear God's voice? Will you find a sacred space and spend time listening for God's direction? Will you choose to serve God in the ways He desires you to serve? ~dho

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