One thing I often pray for myself and my loved ones is that God will give us discernment and understanding. (Philippians 1:9). With all the advances in technology that have appeared even in my life time, information is at our fingertips…literally. And every viewpoint, every idea, every cause is vying for our attention. It is critical that those of us that know the truth of the Cross and have been set free by it (John 8:32) carefully examine the messages we see and hear. (1 John 4:1)
The Bible talks a lot about wisdom, understanding and discernment. God gave us a mind…and he wants us to use it. And he also knows that it is not just our heart and emotions that Satan will try to twist around, it is also our mind and ideas. This is why scripture repeatedly advises us to use discernment.
The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods. (Job 12:11 NLT)
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. (Proverbs 3:21-23 NLT)
Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. (Proverbs 2:11, 12 NLT)
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. (Proverbs 3:13 NLT)
So how can we gain Spiritual discernment and understanding?
First of all, pray for God to give it. Pray for ourselves and for our loved ones.
…I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. (Ephesians 1:16, 17 NLT)
Give discernment to me, your servant; then I will understand your laws. (Psalms 119:125 NLT)
Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. (Proverbs 2:3 NLT)
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. (Philippians 1:9 NLT)
For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 NLT)
And then fill your mind with the Word of God. Like any subject you want to be knowledgeable in, you must study the Bible so that you will be equipped to recognize ideas and viewpoints that are contrary to it. And as you study the Word of God, he will continue to give you more understanding.
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45 NLT)
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. (Matthew 13:12 NLT)
So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. (Job 34:4 NLT)
Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. (Psalms 119:104 NLT)
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. (Psalms 119:130 NLT)
Then continue to pray and study. Spiritual wisdom and understanding is not something we will fully attain on this side if heaven.