To DIscern

Day 339

Prayer for the day

Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding, according to your word. Let my supplication come before you; deliver me, according to your promise.

Scripture for the day

Daniel 1-2, 1 John 4

Discernment is a lost art in many ways. The ability to tell truth from falsehood, God’s work from the devil’s, is difficult to attain and tough to grasp. It’s hard enough these days just to be able to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s computer generated in popular movies!

For Daniel and his friends, the ability to discern is clearly a God-given ability. Only after he knew that his friends were lifting him up in prayer and only after he had prayed with them did he dare approach the king. Daniel and his friends knew that there was nothing they could do. They say as much to the king! Yet they also knew that God is mightier than they, and they trusted that what God could do, God would do, in His mercy. And they were right. God gave Daniel not only the ability to discern what the dream was, but also what it meant!

The writer of 1 John is not talking about dreams, but says much the same thing about God’s provision when he speaks of testing every spirit to ensure that they could know which was from God and which was not. This ability to test spirits, to ferret out the source of the spirit and its power, was not something one could learn, but something that was given and is given by God Himself. No one is able to adequately determine God’s spirit without God’s guidance and assistance. It is only through the grace of God that Daniel could act, and only through the grace of God that John’s hearers could determine God’s spirit.

May you be careful and discerning, as God empowers you.

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