The Daily Dependence of Discernment

By Sarah Heynemann, reprinted from the Salt & Light Australia Daily Devotional.

How am I seeking God? How am I discerning God’s will? How am I hearing from God (as a response to my specific seeking perhaps or anything else he has on his mind to tell me)?

Sometimes in life, in the workplace or other settings, we are faced with navigating situations that really just seem completely beyond human wisdom to get “right.” Perhaps you can think of a situation like this.

I have been mulling over some of the above rhetorical questions whilst discussing a few situations with God recently which has prompted a serious re-look at what it might look like to foster a closer two-way exchange in my relationship with God (i.e. how to ensure it is not just my monologue to God!) This is something I am still thinking on but I thought I would share with you today two passages that I have come across recently which I have been particularly encouraged by.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1:5-6

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”

I Kings 3:9-12

I find both of the above passages so comforting! In both we see that God encourages and is pleased by his servants’ request for wisdom. In fact he “gives generously to all without reproach,” i.e. we do not have be ashamed in crying, “Help! I can’t do this!” – rather this is to be commended!

I hope reflecting over these verses today might encourage you and also be a relief to you like me that for every situation that we feel out of our depth to handle we can draw confidence in the promises of our faithful God to show us the way. He is the good shepherd. Prior to his ascension, we see that Jesus very specifically made plans for our care here on earth so that we were not left alone and helpless whilst awaiting his return:

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:12-13

So this morning when you face the difficult boss, the “closed shop” colleague you have tried to witness to about your faith, the awkward interaction, how seriously and expectantly are you seeking and waiting upon God’s guidance?

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
Teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
For you are the God of my salvation;
For you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

How critical is it for you to hear God’s thoughts on the matter?

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