But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such
judgment. (1 Cor. 11:31)
My sister-in-law Tiffany is an incredible nurse who has the ability almost always to diagnose accurately physical concerns in our family. We can call her with symptoms and within seconds we get a diagnosis that usually is the same we’d get from any reputable doctor’s office. Her training and experience mixed with her instincts make her great at what she does.
Spiritual discernment is similar, but it is a God-given ability to perceive something without a lot of information. Over the course of his epistles, Paul prayed for many things over the churches, things like wisdom, revelation, and knowledge, but this prayer was one specifically for discernment—that God would give a supernatural ability to perceive God’s will and how it relates to what is going on around you. It is an inner sense that is guided by the Spirit.
When we take Communion, Paul said that we should not take it without discerning not only what it really means, but also where we personally are spiritually. Although some would argue this judgment noted here is permanent, Paul referred to it rather as judgment that’s actually temporal—based on our ability to discern.
As you discern next steps, may your life model how to trust God with the results and better understand how he wants to use you in your context.
Pray for discernment to see what God sees in you and others.
Santes Beatty is the multiethnic multiplication catalyst for The Wesleyan Church and campus pastor of Mosaic Midtown Church in Detroit, Michigan.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.