Gift of Discernment

“Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” (John 8:4-5).

This is the big question: What does Jesus say?

Everything we learn about discernment is found in knowing the answer to this question. There will always be pressure to answer. When we find ourselves in this type of situation, it’s likely that we will make the wrong assumption. The temptation is to rely on our natural knowledge. Yet where does the inner knowing come from?

Accusation or Opportunity:

The woman is obviously guilty; witnesses have condemned her, as does the Law of Moses. Stones are waiting in the hands of her accusers. Should there be any further discussion, any mercy? I would like to propose, that if a person moves in the true gift of discernment, then every accusation can become an opportunity to release Kingdom influence.

Christ recognizes her sin; however, His thoughts were higher than that of the Pharisees. He saw this situation as a means to bring redemption to the woman, repentance to the Pharisees, and glory to His Heavenly Father. Stooping down, He wrote on the ground. Then, as the Pharisees persisted with their accusations, He stood and said, “He who is without sin… let him be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7). This comment goes way beyond clever… this is the voice of peace in the midst of a very destructive situation.

How does a person think like this?

Notice how Jesus testifies to real discernment: “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.  And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”  (Jn. 12:49-50)

  • Discernment is tied to three things only God can give,

    1. Kingdom Authority,
    2. A Kingdom Command
    3. and Everlasting life.

The first reality we have to ask is by what or whose authority we speak. It gets to the essence of motive… and agenda. We must learn how to pause before we speak, allowing the Kingdom to manifest in our midst. Give ourselves a moment to enter the secret place of God’s Presence; and while there, listen to the Father’s voice. The Father’s heart is the source of our discernment. In the pause, we create the opportunity to hear what cannot be uncovered in the natural; postured before Him we can receive spiritual answers, wisdom, and insights that we otherwise would not discern. Words that lead to life are a gift from God that must be received from another realm… but when spoken, lift the hearers into this higher place.

Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” (Jn. 6:63)

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