Ministry Musings: Discernment Is… (2)

Discernment is a revelation of God’s heart.

Obviously, this is the most important thing, but I put it second because if our hearts are not disposed to God, then God’s revelation will pour through us like water passes through a bucket without a bottom.

But if our hearts are “inclined to the Lord,” they become the receptacle of God’s wisdom and guidance.

Most of God’s revelation is given to us through Scripture and Tradition.  The Bible is the primary and ultimate manifestation, but Christian history is also filled with instruction and insight.

The point is that discernment is not something that just “comes on us.”  It is more nearly something that arises as we become students of the Scripture and of the saints.  The will of God appears hidden only because we keep the “book of God” and “the book of the church” closed.

Discernment is an invitation to become students—to ask, seek, and knock.  To be a discerning person is to be an explorer, and the journey begins as we immerse ourselves in Scripture and Tradition.

God continues to reveal through what has already been revealed.  Much of God’s will is already recorded for us.  We don’t need to go somewhere and “pray about it.”  We need to “take and read” and then go somewhere and live out what God has already told us to do.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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