The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

Challies book

“All those who are saved must begin to progress in their ability to discern.  Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  This word translated as “insight” is a Hebrew equivalent to “discernment.”  Solomon tells us here that to know God is to possess discernment.  Those who fear the Lord, those who know God, must be discerning, for God himself is the very sources of discernment.  God is also our motive for discernment, for by living lives marked by discernment we bring honor and glory to his name” (The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, p. 28).

Tim Challies provides an excellent resource on the topic of discernment, defining it as “the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong” (p.61).  He discusses the benefits of gaining and cost of ignoring discernment, as well as the challenges of this discipline in our culture.  Following a thorough treatment of the topic, he also gives a full chapter to practical steps on how to practice and develop discernment, along with an appendix of helpful resources.

Challies is a pastor, writer, and editor with an appropriately discerning filter.  He has a daily blog which provides great insights and recommendations for biblical resources.  Check it out here:


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