Discernment Comes with Spiritual Maturity

We are talking about having discernment this month. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” The writer of Hebrews is talking to Jewish Christians and explaining how important it is to mature in our faith. As new Christians, we can only receive the “milk” of the Word, those things that are easy to understand. However, mature Christians should be able to receive the “meat” of the Word, those things that go deeper into our faith and require maturity to understand.

Part of that maturity includes having the discernment to know the difference between good and evil, a message that is in line with God’s Word or one that deviates from the Bible, or the difference between a false prophet or a true prophet chosen by God. New Christians haven’t been grounded in God’s Word enough yet to understand and can be easily deceived. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The (reverent) fear of the Lord (that is, worshipping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome) is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge (its starting point and its essence); But arrogant fools despise (skillful and godly) wisdom and instruction and self-discipline. (AMP) How do we get that wisdom? By studying God’s Word, quietly reflecting upon it, praying, and asking God to give us an understanding of what we have read, and then to take what we have learned to heart and make it a part of us. James 1:5 tells us where to find that wisdom and discernment. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (KJV)

Just as in the physical realm, we learn from our experiences. When we are children, we trust everyone, but the older we get and the more we mature, we learn how to tell when someone is trustworthy or whether they are not to be trusted. In the Spiritual realm, we learn that God is trustworthy, that He always tells the truth, and that His Word is truth. As we learn and grow in His Word, we become more able to understand the deeper things, the “meat” of the Word.

It should be the desire of every Believer to desire the “meat” of the Word. We should desire to become more mature so that we can have discernment in Spiritual things. God desires us to grow and mature Spiritually just as we desire to see our children grow and mature physically. The more we desire to learn, the more we will learn. “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15 ESV) If we desire to be a mature Believer, we must actively seek out wisdom, discernment, and knowledge that comes from God so that we can Spiritually understand God’s Word and live accordingly.

Dig deep into the Bible and look for those nuggets of truth that will help you grow in your faith. Ask God to help you discern truth from error when you hear a message given by a pastor or a prophetic word given by someone, and check to see if what they say lines up with God’s Word. The more you read and study the Bible, the easier it will be for you to use discernment, and the more you will become a mature Christian, able to devour the “meat” of the Word and grow in your faith.

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