Wisdom and Discernment

James 1:5 NASB: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB: “
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

For a Christian, a child of God, knowledge
is knowing what is righteous and what is not righteous, according to God’s perspective.

For a Christian, a child of God, wisdom is knowing how to do that which is righteous and not do or avoid that which is not righteous, according to God’s perspective.

For a Christian, a child of God, discernment is knowing when, how and if to apply, that which is righteous and to be able to differentiate between righteous and not righteous, according to God’s perspective.

There is a lot of knowledge out in the world right now, but much of it is pertains to man’s perspective of knowledge, and not God’s perspective.

There is a lot of wisdom out in the world right now, but much of it pertains to man’s perspective of wisdom and not God’s perspective of wisdom.

There is a lot of discernment out in the world right now, but much of it pertains to man’s perspective of discernment and how to utilize man’s wisdom and ignore God’s perspective of wisdom and discernment.

Jesus told all of us who trust and believe in Him, to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). We have in God’s Holy Word, the recorded words that Jesus spoke, we have the recorded actions that Jesus did and we can also note the actions or words that Jesus did not do or say.

Many people, both Christians and non-Christians, speak about truth and of course, truth is normally subjective. In other words, we can speak about the truths of a balanced diet or any number of subjective topics. But when Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) He wasn’t talking about a way among many other ways or a truth among many other truths or a life among many other lives, Jesus is indeed making an exclusive statement about Himself. He is basically saying I and I alone at the way, the truth and the life.

Whether you realize it or not, that is a huge statement to make and in the last portion of John 14:6 Jesus specifically says “ . . . No one comes to the Father except through Me.” “No one” is exclusive and “except through Me” is exclusive.

There are multiple worldly ways and then there is God’s way, there are multiple worldly truths and then there is God’s truth and there are multiple worldly paths to life and then there is God’s path to life. One source is of the world and the other source is of God. Irrespective of multiple worldly ways, truths and life’s, and the reality that Jesus declared about Himself, they are not one and the same.

Did you ever notice how Jesus continually focused on the reality that the Kingdom of God was at hand? Did you ever notice how civil and worldly events were not the primary focus, or of any particular focus for that matter, in all of the New Testament, other than inferences of worldly behaviour not to continue doing or what would eventually happen to this world and all that is in it ? Do you ever wonder why that is? Or better yet, did you ever wonder how in the Great Commission that Jesus gave to the Church, there is but one message and that is: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

If that is the singular commission that Jesus gave us, where divine knowledge, wisdom and discernment supersedes worldly knowledge, wisdom and discernment, why it is that we continue to try to mix the two, in our message to the world? I can’t help but think that we are trying to mix oil and water and the truth of the matter is that they are different liquids and try as we might, over time, they eventually return to their different whole separate states.

So my question is as follows: Considering that Jesus gave us implicit instructions to “teach them to observe all that I commanded you”, do we error when we introduce mixed (worldly/divine) sources into our message to the lost? When politics becomes involved, when worldly conspiracies are introduced, when the validity of medical science is questioned, does that strengthen our message or weaken it? And who stands to gain and who stands to lose when we mix the two?

Looking forward to your responses!

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

15 comments

  1. Hi Bruce. As to your question at the end … yes, definitely. The Gospel must be presented pure, without any outside influences. This is why I’m glad my unsaved son does not visit the media pages of most of my Christian friends.

    Excellent posts, Bruce.

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  2. This David agrees with you as well, Bruce. I suspect if Christ walked the earth today, He would take issue with some of our religious ideas and the way we express them. Just like the Pharisees and Sadducees of New Testament times, many in our time have added human “rules” (based on our imperfect wisdom) to the simplicity of the gospel.

    Case and point: the rise of Christian Nationalism here in our country. We should be wary of wrapping the gospel in the American flag.

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    • Thanks David, sincerely appreciated. I also agree with the need to be wary of Christian Nationalism. I am going with the old military acronym KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) because there is in my mind, only one hill to defend and die on and that is the Gospel. There is a reason why Jesus and the other NT writers did not get into worldly chatter and we really need to grasp what that reason is. Blessings David and thank you!

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  3. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to seek out knowledge of what’s going on in the world, but knowing that the source may not be as reliable as the truth of Scripture, so it’s important to differentiate between the two. When we have reason to believe without a reasonable doubt, the we need to proceed with caution. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what we know. My response to so many things these days is to ask questions (such as, “What are the names and credentials of these fact checkers?”), and when my questions are met with anger, I tend to then question why…? It’s frustrating and confusing, and I find myself retreating back to the One I KNOW knows and just trusting Him, that if and when I HAVE to know something, He will make it clear. Meanwhile, it’s crucial to pray for those who are in positions of authority, who don’t have the option of retreating!

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    • I hear what you’re saying Annie and I agree with the process you indicate but it becomes even more frustrating when one does the research required and when presented, the authoritative sources quoted are dismissed as out of hand because supposedly they are part of the cover up. Which basically means it comes down to which sources are discerned as most reliable, by whom. That can be very frustrating when dealing with strictly Biblical issues let alone bringing in worldly issues. Which leads me to believe that although we definitely should keep ourselves informed on what is transpiring in the world around us, when it comes to spiritual matters such as preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is prudent not to mix the oil (spiritual) with the water (worldly chatter), much like I believe Jesus and all of the writers in the NT did. I believe that satan wants the added confusion because it detracts from the power, authority and accomplishment of Jesus. But I could be wrong. Staying on the straight and narrow path is not easy. Blessings and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Thanks for the good thoughts, Bruce. It occurred to me while reading this that as America continues to become increasingly and even radically secular, those who hold to the “America the Christian nation” paradigm are responding in increasingly radical ways. As the paradigm crumbles, its holders become more and more desperate. It’s a bunker, “circle the wagons,” “backs to the wall” mentality on steroids. So contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

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    • Hi Tom, I’m convinced at the very root of it all is fear. The very thing that Jesus told us not to do. Considering that Jesus told us these things MUST happen, it would appear that Romans 14:8 seems to be overlooked. Blessing brother.

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  5. Bruce, the gospel of Jesus Christ must always remain central in all that we do, say and teach. But Jesus did address deception, and he did address abuses of power, and corruption of power, and the Jewish leaders weren’t just pastors and teachers of the word, but they were the government of the Jewish people, too. And where the people of God were being led astray or possibly being led astray either by government officials or by wolves in sheep’s clothing pretending to be ministers of the gospel, they were called out, and the people of God were warned not to be led astray by them. If the church is being compromised or led astray from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ to follow after “other gods”, whoever they may be, this needs to be addressed. Whatever cultural influences are impacting the church and their walks with the Lord need to be addressed. For deception abounds, and many who profess the name of Jesus are being duped into believing many lies which are indeed impacting their relationship with God and with other Christians, too. But I agree that Christians should not get caught up in politics and they definitely should not be fighting among themselves over which politician is going to save them.

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    • Heartily agree Sue, there is no shortage of what I call “off ramps” to pick from and unless something radically changes, I don’t see it getting any better in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to comment, sincerely appreciated. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours!

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