Discernment Addendum

In his sermon yesterday, my pastor, Dale Burke, pointed out an interesting fact from the scripture passage we were studying, Luke 12:13-34. One disgruntled, and apparently greedy, person demanded that Jesus arbitrate a dispute. As part of Jesus’s answer to the guy, He told a parable in which the central character dialogued with himself.

The man was a rich landowner and experienced a further blessing: his harvest produced a bumper crop. As a result, “he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do …’ ”

Later, he talked to his soul: ” ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come …’ ”

My pastor’s first point was that the rich man was talking to the wrong person about his situation—himself instead of God.

Lo and behold, when I began reading the book of Ecclesiastes this morning, I found the same thing. Chapter two starts out, “I said to myself …”

So how often, I wonder, am I talking to myself instead of talking to God? I think this is especially important in our postmodern culture that advocates “looking within” for the answers to just about everything.

Seems to me, God wants our eyes on Him instead.

The Psalmist asked God to search him and try him and see if there was any wicked way in him. He didn’t say he would examine himself to see if there was any wicked way.

Left to myself, looking within is fraught with deception and wishful thinking.

Why would I want to look within when I can look to God who is omnipotent, all knowing, wise, and good? How silly for me to rely on the fallible, selfish, narrow-minded, incomplete counsel I give myself. 🙄

The key to discernment, then, is to ask God to reveal His perspective rather than trying to ferret out truth from my own partial and imperfect attitudes, beliefs, and ideas.

And of course, God has already revealed His perspective in His Word, so I need to pray for His Spirit to open the eyes of my heart to understand and apply what He has revealed.

With God’s perspective in mind and by asking for His counsel and wisdom, I can approach the task of analyzing what I read and see, trusting that He will supply the discernment I need.

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Comments (3)  
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