I’m not sure why I am having such a hard time putting into words this week’s challenge–okay, I know why…I am overloaded with thoughts that I need to sort through, write down and organize as valid and invalid. So, I’m not going to try not belabor this week’s post with a lot of flowery words or Scriptures. This week the challenge is to find balance in our walks of faith through practicing discernment. So often we hear something and it can cause us to veer off course into a ditch. We may think we’re in the middle of the road, walking the narrow way, but in fact we’ve gone too far afield and need to come back to a more moderate place.
This is my method for making sure I stay in the middle of the road; you may choose to do it a different way, but this is just what typically works for me.
- Go to the Scriptures. The first thing I try to do is search the Scriptures without bias or intentions of finding support for a view I want to believe. I can typically recall verses that support a particular topic, but what is also needful is to find a common thread that is woven through the Word, beginning in Genesis and continuing all the way to Revelation. If I were to compare the Scriptures to a great house, I might say that we have to first have the firm foundation (the Torah) by which we can build the structure (the Prophets and Writings) so that we can enclose and beautify the house (the First Century Writings). We can’t work backwards, we must go in the order of first mention for accuracy.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit. In addition to the utilizing the Word, Yeshua promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to teach His disciples all things (this includes you and me!). The Holy Spirit does not speak contrary to Scripture, but agrees with the Word. The best way I have found to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, is to find quiet moments to pray and ask for confirmation. It may seem weird to some, but if you are more familiar with the Word, you may find that Scriptures will well up inside of you, or words come to your mind that offer proof that you’re on the right track in which case, you will want to go back to Scripture for further study.
- Find someone to hold you accountable to Truth. You need someone you trust and that you know will speak the truth even if you may not want to hear it at first. This is really important to help hold us accountable to the first two steps. I am blessed to have a husband who does this for me. He keeps me grounded. If I have been studying and pondering on a certain topic, I will come to him with the information, and he will usually give me his initial thoughts, then we may go and look over the information I have uncovered, and explore the topic further. Other times, he may be dismissive. It may be aggravating at first, but eventually, if I listen to his reasons for being dismissive, I will see validity to the reasons why he thinks it’s unimportant.
- Does it produce good fruit? If you study a topic and integrate it into your belief system, and yet become more judgmental and less tolerant of other people who do not share your beliefs, you may need to reexamine if what you have adopted as Truth. Truth brings freedom, life, peace, lovingkindness, patience, kindness, and self-control.
I hope these guidelines help you as you pursue Truth and test all things.
Shavua Tov and blessings,