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Are You Training for Discernment?

Discernment is a valuable ability. It is not one that you are born with, but it is cultivated with knowledge and practice. This was Paul’s prayer of the Philippian church, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9-10). This is something that others have wanted also.

Many believe that the first sin was about fruit, but it was not. The devil said, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). Eve responded by seeing that the fruit looked good to eat and was able to make one wise (Gen. 3:6). Before this event they were completely innocent. Afterwards, they had the responsibility to discern between what was right and what was wrong. In this case, ignorance would have been bliss.

When Solomon began his rule, he made sacrifices to God in Gibeon (1 Kings 3:3-15). God asked Solomon what he desired from the Lord. Solomon responded, “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). Even at the beginning of his reign, Solomon knew that he needed the ability of proper discernment to rule well the people that God had given him. When he could have asked God for anything, he asked for discernment. God blessed him with wealth and the possibility of prolonged days.

We see this come up again in the New Testament. The writer of Hebrews reprimands his audience for not knowing enough about Melchizedek. After which he states, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb. 5:13-14). It is clear that God expects us to practice and train our senses to be able to discern between good and evil.

The first sin was not about fruit but that paradise was lost over the enticement of the knowledge of good and evil. When Solomon could have asked anything from God he asked for discernment, to rule wisely. Now, with the full revelation of the holy scriptures, we are expected to have that discernment. The question you need to ask yourself is, “What am I doing to train?” Are you practicing this ability and honing it to aide you, and others, in your walk back to paradise? Or are you allowing the days to go by and wishing you were better at discernment? Something that precious is within your reach.