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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Spiritual Discernment: Making the Call

 Decision time: where do we go from here? Are you already nervous just at the idea of having to make another choice? For better or worse, life is made up of choices. What to wear, what to eat or drink, where to live, what to do for school or for a job -- big decisions and little ones alike seem to be staring us in the face all the time. It can start to become overwhelming, if we try to do it all alone. 

Worry comes along with choice because we're worries we might make the wrong choice. Some as simple as what to wear might turn out to be a bad decision (anywhere from socks with sandals or leaving behind the umbrella!). But the surprising thing about the teachings from Jesus is the idea that we shouldn't worry -- and this seems to include not just the "big stuff" like what happens after you die but even to the little, day-to-day stuff like "What will we eat? or "What will we wear?" (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus assures us that He cares for us and that we will be provided for. 

But, even with this encouragement, Jesus doesn't take  choice away from us. He doesn't make the choice for us. So sometimes we are left sort of wondering, "Where do I go from here?" or "What now?" or "What's next?". These kinds of questions might fall under the idea of "Spiritual Discernment" -- that's something we might describe as "learning to listen to the voice of God in the middle of troubles". That's not to say this is going to be an audible message from the Lord, but instead what we'll see this morning is that knowing God's will or His intent for the choices we might make are not as far off as we'd like to think. You might ask yourself a few questions about your choices: "Will my choice bring glory to God or shame? Will my choice lead others to the truth or into sin? Will my choice show love or disdain?"

Paul puts in this way in 1 Corinthians 2:15 "The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments". Here, he's telling us that when we face these choices, those of us found in Christ, those who have received the Spirit, will be able to know which choices God approves and which ones lead to sin. Some might challenge this idea. Even in the next verse Paul asks, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" as if to say that the mind of the Lord is so far removed from us, so far and above and away from our simple minds that we couldn't hope to guess what we should do. But this is not a fair description of God. While He is so far and above, He is not away or removed. Look to the rest of verse 16: "But we have the mind of Christ."

I hope you can join us this morning as we dig a little deeper in to discernment. I think we'll see that there often isn't one right answer. God can use you, even if you chose socks with sandals. 

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