In my previous post I asked “Do you need discernment”?
The question for this post is, how do you obtain discernment?
What do you do when you need wisdom and insight?
Here’s some ideas:
1. Ask God directly.
2. Search the scriptures. What does the Word say about your situation? You’ve got to do God’s work, God’s way.
3. Seek wise counsel from people with experience that you trust.
4. Have friends pray or a small group that will walk through it with you.
5. Fast and pray personally. Process, think deeply, about the advice you’ve received and what you sense the Holy Spirit is saying.
Go Deeper: Fast and Pray
John Wesley (founder of Methodism) commended fasting as a means of growing deeper in the Lord, among other benefits. He discussed fasting extensively in his sermon “Upon Our Lord’s Sermon On The Mount #7”.
- Fasting is “a means which God himself has ordained, and in which therefore, when it is duly used, he will surely give us his blessing. “
- Fasting is for those who “who take heed unto their ways, and desire to walk humbly and closely with God”
- Fasting is a means of removing or diminishing desires “which stupefied all their noblest faculties”
- Fasting is a means of helping prayer and increasing
- “seriousness of spirit,
- sensibility and
- tenderness of conscience,
- deadness to the world, and
- consequently the love of God, and
- every holy and heavenly affection.”
- “seriousness of spirit,
“Then especially it is that God is often pleased to lift up the souls of his servants above all the things of earth, and sometimes to rap them up, as it were, into the third heavens.”
My point is, when pursued biblically and in the right spirit, fasting can aid our search for clarity and discernment.
But this outcome is not guaranteed.
Perspective: God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways
God desires to reveal His heart on a matter, but His divine perspective is not like ours. God’s wisdom is not like man’s wisdom. He is constantly teaching us this life lesson.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Is 55:8-9 (ESV)
AW Tozer discusses the Wisdom of God in his essential book Knowledge of The Holy:
“Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those
ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no
need to guess or conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to
all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision.
All God’s acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, and then for the
highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. And all His acts are as pure as
they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure. Not only could His acts not be
better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined. An infinitely wise God
must work in a manner not to be improved upon by finite creatures.
God constantly encourages us to trust Him in the dark.”
So we have to have “open palms” when we seek discernment. We may not like the answer, but God’s wisdom is:
* for His glory,
* for our blessing
* completely pure and
* perfect in every way
A final thought. Sometimes we need a prophetic word. Sometimes we can get inspired from unexpected sources.
Inspiration can come through the arts, music, movies, drama, dance.
One resource I’d like to share with you is a song called ““What Words Can’t Say” .
The first verse is a prayer for wisdom. You can listen to it on the YouTube video below. [Also available here as a free download. ]
I come before You Lord,
to be with You today
I’m listening for Your voice,
what wisdom would You say?
Copyright 2001/2011 (Rob Still Music/ASCAP) All Rights Reserved.
Question: How do you get discernment? What are you seeking wisdom for right now?
Have you heard about my next missions trip to Sri Lanka? Read about it here.