Disciplined Discernment

discernmentAfter I read Psalm one, I am always struck by the contrasts it offers as it looks at the differences between two men, two ways, and their two destinies.  The first verse serves as the thematic sentence for the rest of the Psalm:

“How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers (NET Version)!”

The message of this verse is that the input you receive and believe will determine your output.  Being aware of this, the “blessed” will not:

  • Receive and believe the “advice of the wicked.”
  • Follow the “pathway of sinners.”
  • Set in the “assembly of scoffers.”

To accomplish the three points above, you must learn to discern, so you’ll know what to spurn. The apostle Paul refers to a discerning walk as walking in a worthy manner (Ephesians 4:1).  To reach this goal, Paul gave some instructions to the Ephesians:

  • Don’t walk like the Gentiles who walked in the futility of their mind (Ephesians 4:17).
  • Make sure you “walk in love, just as Christ also loved you (Ephesians 5:2).”
  • “Walk as children of Light (Ephesians 5:8):
  • Don’t walk as “unwise men but as wise (Ephesians 5:15).”

The key component of the discerning life is found in the second verse of Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 15:16:

  • Ps. 1:2: “He finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night.”
  • Jer. 15:16: “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16)

Once you begin to practice a life of spiritual discernment, you will gain a greater understanding of verses like Psalm 16:11: “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

The pleasures and treasures of the Lord are promised to the blessed man of Psalm One, and through a life of disciplined discernment, they can be yours as well.

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