Nehemiah’s discernment saved his life. How would you have interpreted this message? Nehemiah 6:10 says, “…Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.”
Verse 11 was Nehemiah’s response. “…Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” After that statement, he had discernment from the Lord.
It says, “Then I perceived God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” Think back to why the Lord spoke in parables.
Mark 4:12 says, “So that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing that that they may hear and not understand…” One of my morning prayers is this: Lord, help me to see beyond the visible, obvious, and the obstacles.” I am asking for discernment.
Discernment is crucial to know what is truth or a lie, good or best. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern between good and evil.”
Discernment comes with practice. It is for spiritual meat eaters. It could be a gift that is imparted in the moment, but I’m talking about a daily discipline. Take note of the words, ‘who by reason of use’ because they are key.
We know that Scripture is discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
What blocks discernment? I like to use FLAK as an example. In the war times, the enemy would put out FLAK to keep the pilots from seeing their bomb target. Noise, distractions, disobedience, and refusing to acknowledge hidden sin are a few ways that our discernment is blocked.
Hebrews 4:12 gives us another. If we are not daily in God’s word, we will not change. We have to exercise this discipline to gain understanding, insight, personal application, and encouragement.
God’s word is like a surgeon’s scalpel. It is precise. It goes deep. As the verse says “…piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Another way that we learn discernment, is to spend time being quiet before the Lord. Pushing thoughts of ‘do it now’ or feeling impatient have to be calmed. We must come with no agenda. Our expectation is to be on the Lord, and not on something that He might do for us.
Remember Elijah. The Lord was not in the strong wind, the earthquake, nor the fire. 1 Kings 19:12 says, “…a still small voice.” Elijah was watching the ‘God show’ without being affected in his spirit. Yet, the moment he heard the still small voice, verse 13 says, “…he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave…”
Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and discernment come from the Lord. The more that we walk in them, the more they will be there to direct our steps. “Surrounded By Angels” is a book that required the author to have discernment as he delivered Bibles behind enemy lines. Let us seek the Lord, through His word, and grow in the discipline required for keen discernment.