In the scriptures, 1 John 4:1, John the apostle tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment. One definition given for spiritual discernment is the ability to see things as God sees them. In a world that continues to be at odds with the Word of and will of God, along with ever increasingly loud voices drawing people away, seeing things as God sees them becomes more and more tenuous.
In 2 Timothy we read, “But KNOW this, that in the last days perilous times will come . . .Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse,deceiving (lying) and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13). We live in a world that is deceiving and being deceived and we, as the Body of Christ, need to always be on guard discerning God’s will as we reach out to reconcile people back to the Savior, knowing that His arms are open to all who turn to him and away from embracing sin. When we embrace sin as a church, it only emboldens the world, that hates the Word of God, to approve of more unrighteousness.
James, the Lord’s half brother, declared this, “…don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” What James is saying is that we need to discern what is of the world and what is of God, then by doing so, we always choose God. This is not an easy message to give. The Pharisees and ungodly rejected Jesus for giving this very message. The 8th chapter of John illustrates Jesus’ condemnation of those who rejected him when He discerned where the non-believing religious were coming from. How can we learn to discern the truth? Jesus said these words, “He that is of God, hears God’s words…” (John 8:47a).