Proverbs 3:21-26 (MSG)
Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit and attractive. You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip. You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.
“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul.” Lord, today I need discernment and wisdom. There are no wrong steps for the Lord can use them all to benefit and bless His People as long as whatever step we choose to take is one step closer to Him. But there are times in life when it seems critical and overwhelming trying to navigate this life to the everlasting promises. The first and foremost thing that I am trying to remember in my life that every positive outcome and good thing has absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with the Love of God and His Amazing Grace. This seems to take the pressure off of me to performance and emphasizes my relationship with Jesus Christ. Common sense and discernment are powerful partners in our life one is a natural quality and the other is a supernatural privilege. Both are important in our successful travels and adventures in life.
Common sense and discernment or clear thinking as the Bible explains it are both derived from wisdom. Common sense is the knowledge and understanding gleaned from our experiences in life such as if you touch a stove burner that is hot – you will get burned. Or if you step out in moving traffic – you are probably going to get run over by a car or truck. Knowledge made into action is wisdom. It is what we do with the things that we experience in life by taking what we find to be true and applying it to our life. Common sense should not be taken for granted. I know a whole lot of adults who have been through a bunch of stuff and still seem to have very little of it.
Discernment and clear thinking is a little different from common sense. Common sense is just as it applies and in a vast commodity. But discernment is not. Discernment is the intelligent response to life and God. It takes the knowledge and understanding we obtain in life to see the world through it. In most cases, it will eliminate the cause and effect most people live. To discern means to perceive by sight or some other sense or even by intellect alone. It is to distinguish mentally what can be not so common knowledge. We live by faith not by sight. The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to His People so that we can discern spiritual things in a natural world. He allows us to see clearly what is only partially evident. I need discernment. I long for it in each step that I take in life as I am desperate to encounter the Lord in every facet of my life.
Psalm 119:65-68 (MSG)
Be good to your servant, God; be as good as your Word. Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way. Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word. You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness.
While common sense is based on life’s experience, spiritual discernment comes from reading God’s Word, studying it, and applying it to our life. By infiltrating our heart with God’s Word, we begin to walk in His Way aligning our heart and life with His Kingdom. It opens a door to understanding that is not of this world. We begin to experience a new realm of knowledge and understanding that many times has nothing to do with what we see but completely based on what we know about God. This is the platform of faith that holds us up when we step out into the unknown. It is discernment that keeps us going in an unnatural direction as we move closer to Jesus and step into His Plan.
I Corinthians 13:12-13 (MSG)
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) Faith is what pleases the Lord. Who doesn’t want the kind of faith that allows us to walk on water and experience supernatural blessing? Don’t lie…we all do! Even people who do not know God or understand the meaning of His Love want that kind of thing in their life. We all hope for the best… and prepare for the worst. Discernment allows us to stop always focusing on what could go wrong and become fixated with what is right in our life – Jesus! I can’t see what lies ahead. I know that the days ahead will be challenging as I end one adventure to embark on a new one. I can’t tell you what things will look like around me in a week, a month or a year. What I do know is that God is good. He is faithful. He is worthy of all my trust. I use this knowledge mixed with good common sense to discern that His Way is always the best way. The point of this life is to know God through Jesus Christ. End of story… the rest is just God’s Opportunity to bless His Children.
Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Discernment is the sight of our hope. It allows us to look past what is in the natural and grab hold of what the Lord is doing in our life. We cannot see Him, but we know that He is there. His Spirit given to us helps us. He gives us discernment to see those things through God’s Eyes rather than always taking the human point of view. When we do not know what to pray or even how to pray the Holy Spirit takes up the slack in our communication making sense of it to God and calming us in our lack of knowledge. Those who are willing to keep digging in the Word, praying in the Spirit and rely on the Lord will see every work together for our own good. It happens every time not because we can use common sense or make anything decent out our life but simply because God’s Love produces goodness for us time and time again. Discernment keeps me focused on that good thing that God thing and not on all the other things in life.
Hebrews 8:10-11 (NLT)
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.”
We are new covenant Christians. The Lord has given us His Spirit and now we have the ability to know God’s Heart and every secret in it. (I Corinthians 2:9-11) Intimacy is the acceptance of such knowledge that allows us to have supernatural discernment. It is the very thing that allows us to do things that we didn’t even know that we knew how to do. The thoughts, dreams and visions that pop in our heart and we have no idea where they came from until we find out that they are straight from the Lord. Daniel was a man of discernment. We can all live the life of Daniel if we really want to. Daniel was not different than any other person except that he was intent in knowing the Lord on the deepest level no matter what the cost. He did. Daniel tapped into God’s Wisdom. I need God’s Discernment today. It is the thing that guides me when life gets crazy and chaotic.
Matthew 13:11-12 (MSG)
He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears.
God has given me clear direction in my heart but the world around me is resistant to His Plan. I must rely on the discernment given to me by His Spirit to make the right decisions in the coming days. I want God’s Best for my life. It requires spiritual wisdom born of knowledge and understanding that only the Lord can give me. I need to rely on Kingdom Insight written on my heart and invested in my soul to keep moving in step with God each day. I want more of Him in my life until I am so consumed with Jesus that nothing of the old me remains. I want my heart to beat in alignment with His Heart so I will do and say all the things that faith tells me. I need, want and desire discernment today to walk in His Ways – the secret things of God too precious for the world. Lord, clear my thinking today. The kind that comes only from you!
Daniel 2:19-23 (MSG)
That night the answer to the mystery was given to Daniel in a vision. Daniel blessed the God of heaven, saying, “Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all: He changes the seasons and guides history, He raises up kings and also brings them down, he provides both intelligence and discernment, He opens up the depths, tells secrets, sees in the dark—light spills out of him! God of all my ancestors, all thanks! all praise! You made me wise and strong. And now you’ve shown us what we asked for. You’ve solved the king’s mystery.”