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What is Discernment and Why Do We Need It?

We live in an age where self-gratification is king. The world preaches "Love yourself, trust your heart, and do what seems good to you." And yet, we also see a rise in depression, anxiety, and self-harm or suicide in astronomical numbers. If loving ourselves is so good, why do we seem to hurt more when chasing after what our heart wants? What is more, false teachers, ignorant teachers, and others have infiltrated or been invited in to churches, and they move people away from the sound doctrine of Scripture in to a selfish, self-loving and self-focused mindset that draws us, ultimately away from God. This, friends, is partly why the Bible calls us to discernment. But what is discernment? How do we get it it? Discernment, simply put, is testing what is true and what is not. So how do we test what is true and what is not? Simply put: we need to know and be intimate with God's word, because God will never contradict Himself; Jesus is the same yesterday as He is today, as He is forevermore (Hebrews 13:8). Over and again, in the Old Testament and New, we are warned against false prophets and teachers. They are identified by the falseness of their prophecies, and by the self-seeking attitudes they hold. They don't care about the sheep they lead astray, but about satisfying their need for money, sex, power, and importance. Why do we need discernment? Simply put: we have an Enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy, and He has lied through his teeth since the beginning, and will lay false trails for the unprepared. He counterfeits the work of God, He sets up idols in God's place, and makes us think we are seeking Jesus, when, in fact, we are really acting like Him: seeking self-gratifying results to Spiritual needs. We need discernment because the Enemy is crafty, we need to test everything said and done by God's word, and to do things as God said to do them. Today, ask God for discernment, and seek it by seeking God's word and by testing every situation you're in against God's word to see if it holds true (or not). 1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 2 Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

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