Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spiritual Discernment


Scripture
 
1Cor. 2:14    Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
16     “For who has known the mind of the Lord
        so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.

Observation

There is an assumption here that Paul is referring to Isaiah 40:13, “Who has directed the spirit of the LORD, or as his counselor has instructed him?” The passage is intended to turn his readers to spiritual discernment, for Paul is consumed by a desire to know Christ. This is not an exercise in intellectual gain, but in participating together with Christ, and in doing so coming to know the mind of Christ. The result is the Divine source that infuses the life of the believer and provides spiritual discernment for life.

The confidence of Paul is his confidence in Christ and therefore his understanding has expanded far beyond his own personal education. That which he receives in his secret counsel with Christ transforms his understanding and this becomes absurd to the world for the wisdom of God is often beyond human comprehension. At the same time it is of great comfort to the children of God who have become united with God, and have the mind of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Application


What type of thinking is influencing our judgment these days? If I look around at the landscape of this world, whether the political, spiritual, geo-conflicted, or racial relational, we can feel overwhelmed. The problems and concerns are complex and reach beyond our human understanding and discernment. If anything, just listening to the news on a daily basis ought to drive us to our knees. We need to know the mind of Christ for his ways are much higher than our ways, and his understanding beyond that which we can comprehend.

I think the Apostle Paul knew that there would need to be followers of Jesus Christ who had studied and who brought the best education possible to the table. However, until that educated individual was united to the mind of Christ, there would be no spiritual discernment. What is done in the flesh can be empowered exponentially when united with Christ.

It is in light of the mind of Christ that we begin to see the political landscape differently. We discern what is happening in the spiritual lives of those with whom we live and worship. Our lens for the geo-political conflict is cleared when the individuals involved are seen through the wisdom of Christ — and human borders are obliterated in the process. Spiritual discernment and the mind of Christ help us to see racial injustice for the ugly truth that it is, and our hearts break along with his.

I provide this warning: Having the mind of Christ brings spiritual discernment but this will seem as foolishness to many, even those who call themselves believers. But we cling to the words found in 2Timothy 1:12 “I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.”

Prayer

Lord, I pray for your wisdom and discernment in all I do. Amen.

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