Choosing to Discern

| 27 August 2020

Sometimes life is confusing and chaotic. Can I get an Amen!? This COVID season has brought so much good: a slowing down and opportunities for change. For many, it has also brought about stress, loneliness and disillusionment. As 21st century Americans living relatively comfortable lives, if we feel bewildered and uncertain about our future, I wonder what a young, 11th century BCE Hebrew boy must have felt. The Lord came to Samuel, in the middle of the night, conveying a message that would bring devastation on the house of his master Eli. Can you imagine the fear Samuel must have felt as he lay awake until morning, pondering the warning that he had heard from the Lord; no doubt questioning his next steps. 

The following morning Eli came to Samuel and said in 1 Samuel 3:17, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” At that moment Samuel had a decision to make. He had the freedom to choose whether or not to obey both the Lord and Eli. In choosing obedience, he demonstrated discernment at a young age. Verse 19 continues with, “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” This proved to be true throughout the rest of Samuel’s life as he went on to be the last of the Hebrew judges, anoint the first two Kings of Israel, and serve as a prophet and priest. All of these roles required knowing the truth of Scripture and a deep connection with and obedience to God. These values in Samuel’s life led to wise discernment. 

We long for discernment, yet feeling confident in decisions can be very confusing. Discernment first and foremost comes from a heart relinquished to God. Being able to evaluate what is from the Lord and what is not, is dependent on knowing the truth found in Scripture. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, “But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” This does not have to be a mystery! 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God’s “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” How then do we know when we are making a wise and discerning decision? Philippians 4:6-7 tells us about the peace, or consolation that follows when our desires are fully submitted to God and his will for our lives. The journey may be difficult, but God will not fail hearts that are relinquished to him. 

In what area of your life are you seeking discernment, and searchingt Scripture for guidance? Are you seeking the Lord with a heart that is relinquished to him? Ask the Lord today for strength to obey and a heart to follow whatever the path may be. 

Lynette Fuson
Women’s Ministry Director