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The Discernment of Faith


Photo Credit: Ruthann Dellandrea

Friends,


Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival. God in His wisdom is working both in you and in everyone you love. Prayer is an integral part of what He is doing.


Spiritual discernment is the ability to see or understand the difference between right and wrong, between truth and error, between good and evil, between light and darkness, between healthy and unhealthy. It is allowing the Word of God to be our standard.


C.H. Spurgeon argued that, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”


Charles Stanley said, “It is the capacity to understand accurately and clearly what is, to see the truth of things as they are from God’s viewpoint.”


Hosea said, “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9).


Discernment is a quality of faith that increases with experience and dependence upon God. As we continue down the faith chapter of Hebrews 11, one of the prophets who clearly showed discernment was Daniel.


He had the ability to say both yes and no and the discernment to know when! Daniel was one of the many young men from Israel taken into captivity during the takeover by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.


In Daniel 1, the king ordered his eunuch Ashpenaz to bring the youths of both the royal family and nobility into the palace. These were young men who were the cream of the crop, “Youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4). Daniel was one of them.


They were ordered to go through a 3-year detox and relearning process in the ways of the Babylonians. Their lives were turned totally upside down. Their environment was changed. Their culture was changed. Their education was changed. Their diet was changed. It was a brainwashing scheme to turn these young men into men of the world. In this case, men of Babylon.


The one change that Daniel chose not to submit to was the new meal plan. They were to eat the food and drink that came from the king. This is how it went: “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).


This was an act of faith, courage, determination, and discernment. He was willing to learn the science, the culture, the religion of the Babylonians, but as a Jew, he was not willing to be defiled by their food offered to idols.


According to Jewish Pentateuchal law, all meat was to be brought to the sanctuary before eating it, therefore eating food offered to heathen idols was a technicality that Daniel was not willing to break. (Leviticus 17:1-7).


He drew his line in the sand by making the Word of God His standard. This is the essence of true discernment. He not only made his resolution but carefully navigated and negotiated his way through the process. You can read the account from Daniel 1:9-16.


Not only did he discern between what was right and wrong, he also used great discernment in his approach with his guardian. He wasn’t brash, or arrogant, or rude, but he negotiated with confidence upon his God.


May God give all of us grace to be men and women of true faith.


Love in Christ,


Bryan and Rachel