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Discernment – Seeing The True

Discernment – Seeing the True


“Saying, Give me also this power,
that on whomsoever I lay hands,
he may receive the Holy Ghost”
Acts 8:19

Discernment is seeing the true. The more softly we walk with Him who is the Truth, the sharper will be our discernment and the clearer will be our understanding of the things around us. The seemingly good desire of Simon in the Book of Acts would be readily encouraged today. The concept of the HOLY Spirit has been reduced to “the spirit”. We have relegated the precious things of God to something common and ordinary. Motives mean little when a love of signs, wonders, and exciting new things eclipse a desire for truth. The pretense of Ananias and Sapphira are applauded, and the “sin” of the man’s affair mentioned in the Church at Corinth are minimized. If Paul had not confronted them concerning their error, it would have gone unaddressed, and the culture of the Corinthian believers would have become contaminated.

Discernment sees through “seemingly” good things. It has one objective; to keep the atmosphere holy within and without wherever God’s people meet.

Lying to the Holy Spirit

Years ago, a man of God with a mighty ministry in healing was ministering to the sick at a large meeting.  A reporter who wanted to vilify God’s power falsely presented himself in a wheelchair.  The man of God laid hands on him but did not discern any sickness. He told him that because he had sought to deceive the Holy Spirit, the sickness he had claimed to have, would now be upon him. The man was unable to get up from his wheelchair!

Seeing Through the Pretense

Our discernment will only be as sensitive as our knowledge of His Holiness. That which appears right will be an offense to those who have touched the fear of the Lord. We have all seen individuals who robbed God of His glory, His wonder, and His grace, celebrated and applauded. They rise to places of prominence to their own destruction and the desolation of those who follow them. See related post: Discernment – Try the spirits

Man’s Assertion Into God’s Message

I have seen His word diluted from its full power by the vessel to whom it was given. This meddling by man taints the Word of God. Interjecting something of themselves often contrary to the very word given by God.

A True Word From a False Prophet

Balaam spoke the infallible word of God (recorded in the scriptures verbatim). His prophecies over Israel were given by the Almighty God; yet his heart was perverse and his motives wicked. The true word was spoken by a false prophet!  Let us beware! Jude testifies of Balaam as well as many today: See related post: Discernment – False Prophets
“ran greedily after the error of Balaam
for reward”
Jude 1:11

Do we not see this same greed and arrogancy today?  Isaiah declares:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Isaiah 5:20

Mixture of the Carnal and the Holy

Many quote this scripture concerning the attitude of the world around us.  That context is certainly true, but even more heart rending is its prevalence within the church in our land. Much of worship today is a performance on stage accompanied by lights, smoke and all  the sensationalism of the world. The pure worship of God comes from humble hearts that have been touched by His Holiness.

“worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”
Psalm 29:2
Many years ago, I traveled with a man mightily used of God; but the more he was used of God, the more the accolades of people brought compromise to his ministry. One time the Lord gave him a particularly sharp word to share with a community of believers who were falling from grace. He got part way through his message and backtracked to maintain his popularity. His compromise was filled with encouraging scriptures, but it was not the Word of the Lord! Not long after he himself fell from grace and was no longer in the ministry God had called him to.
Peter, moved by human sympathy, responded to Jesus speaking of His soon betrayal and murder:
“Be it far from thee, Lord:
this shall not be unto thee…”
Matthew 16:22
To which Jesus replied:
“and He having turned, said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to Me, for you do not mind the things of God, but the things of men”
Matthew 16:23

Discernment and the Cross

Discernment is also predicated by our own dying to the seemingly good of our own human sympathy. In the very next verse Jesus presents His call to Peter and to us:

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”
Matthew 16: 24-25

In my own experience, I have allowed myself to become involved with seemingly good things only to learn some bitter lessons. The Puritans had a saying:

“Ambition clouds discernment”

It is through the work of the Cross that we are freed from our own proclivities and ambitions in order that we might discern things correctly. That which seems in earnest, that which appeals to our own prejudices, leanings, and selfish ambition blunts the edge of the sword of discernment. See related Post: Discernment – Purity of Heart

Faithfulness and Discernment

Another requirement for our discernment to remain accurate is to be faithful to the things we see. Many will seek to persuade, many will testify of the good, and many will pressure us to compromise the truth of what we see.

“And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.”
2 Kings 18:4-5

In the face of such overwhelming confirmation the man of God remained true.

“And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.”
And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”
2 Kings 18:27

Discernment and Strong Meat

The increasing deception of our day will require a far deeper intimacy with Him than mere scriptural knowledge. It will require our full dependency upon Him.
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14
The reward of discernment is the ministration of the “strong meat” of the Lord. Strong meat brings us to the place of obedience. Jesus said His meat was to do the will of the Father.
“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me,
and to finish His work”
John 4:34
This nourishment is for those who discern His Will and move in obedience to it.  Those who never exercise their senses are paralyzed in their walk, never able to “discern” His will for them personally. There may be a freedom to speak,  but there is not an accomplishment of the work of God through their lives. It is here in the crucible that our lives reveal our true condition.
“Spiritual advancement
is measured by faithful obedience”
Watchman Nee



“But blessed are your eyes,
for they see: and your ears, for they hear”
Matthew 13:16

Brian Troxel



  • An excellent, much needed message Brian. 🌟Thank you for being faithful to God in the fires of your trials in order that you could give pure gold to the body of Christ.

    • Brian T. says:

      Thank you Michele for the encouraging words – How we will need His presence within to stay true in the hour of deception that is coming upon us. Appreciate your sharing and the evident hand of God in your life!


  • Amen! Loved this, “The pure worship of God comes from humble hearts that have been touched by His Holiness.” 🙌🙌🙌
    Blessings today!

  • Bruce Cooper says:

    Hi Brian, a fellow Christian brother and Canadian no less! I’m on one coast and you are on the other, and there are many kilometers/miles between us, but what you have written rings so true. There is indeed a sifting taking place in earnest and discernment is indeed closely associated with and to our dependency in God, our growing awareness of the holiness of God and our obedience to His guidance and will. I am continually reminded that Jesus told us that without Him, we could accomplish nothing and the clarify of that realization has never been more clear than now in these days that we are in. But much more sifting is yet to come. I thank you for the meat of God’s Word that you share. God’s blessings to you and yours!

    • Brian T. says:

      So good to hear from you. I hope to get out your way, my wife has been pushing to visit your area. May we encourage one another as the day draws near and and thankful for your kind words.


  • pcviii03 says:

    “…And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 27The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow…”
    2 Kings 5:26-27

    Amen, brother

    • Brian T. says:

      A very good example and a God’s call to us to walk closer to Him. It made me think of Paul’s powerful statement concerning the situation in Corinth:

      “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed”
      1 Cor. 5:3

      There is much for us to yet apprehend.

      Blessings to you!

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