“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
OK… so everything God does in and through us comes from the heart. The heart is our core. Our personal headquarters. It’s the place in us that God contacts. All the issues of life flow from this place that we know as our heart, or spirit.
How do we do a better job of discerning God’s voice and leading? How do we quiet down all the voices, wade through distractions, personal desires, emotions and our self-directed opinions? How do we ever get the path cleared enough to discern, listen to, follow and trust our heart?
Great questions! God has a great answer: His Word!
The only thing that can penetrate all the clutter and divide between what God is saying to our spirit (heart) versus the voices in our own soul (mind, emotions, will) is God’s Word. The only thing that can discern between our own thoughts and the intents God puts in our hearts is: the Word. The Bible is the Great Detective—able to discern the truth in every situation.
How does this play out real life challenges? Let’s look at a classic example. This scenario has been repeated by thousands of Christians around the world. Mrs. Fabulous-But-Oh-So-Bored Christian and Mr. Charming-But-Going-Through-a-Mid-Life-Crisis Christian are both married, but not to each other. They are both vulnerable and unhappy—and the perfect targets. Perhaps they work together…or they’re on the same worship team…or they’re neighbors—pick a scene. One day, after what seemed like innocent, flirtatious glances, they find that they have feelings for one another. They start to desire one another.
This is when the heart discernment should kick in. At this time, if people are honest, they will notice a red flag going up in their hearts. They will hear the Holy Spirit’s discerning voice speaking God’s Word to their hearts. “Don’t do it. Flee from immorality. Avoid the appearance of evil. Husbands love your own wives. Wives, honor your own husbands. Don’t trouble your own family; you’ll inherit the wind. Don’t do it. It’s a test. It’s a lie…don’t do it….”
It’s a battle at first…the battle of the flesh versus spirit (heart!). Doing their best to rationalize things, people often begin to reason with their thoughts and feelings, “Yeah but, I am so unhappy in my marriage. My spouse is a dud. This new amazing person loves the Lord and makes me feel things I haven’t felt for years. I am so happy when we’re together. Surely, God must have brought us together. This can’t be wrong, can it?”
At this point, it’s vital that Mrs. Fabulous and Mr. Charming listen to God’s Word in their hearts—and not override it—because of what they feel in their emotions, feelings or personal desire. This is where we are wise to agree with and obey the Word, regardless of our personal feelings, desires or emotions.
This same scenario and struggle between our flesh and our heart can be played out in a million different ways—career choices, temptations to get offended, ethical questions, business practices, church involvement, physical health, relationships, where to go and what to do. God’s Word is the heart detective! Name any issue in life—if we will trust and lean on God’s Word—the Lord will help us properly discern the truth and divide between our heart and our thoughts.
God’s Word is always a safe choice. It always gives us the right discernment. Let’s allow God’s Word to give us the godly heart discernment we need—and let’s watch His will and His goodness overflow in our lives as a result!
Say It: “Father, help me to operate from my heart and not my head or emotions. Help me to listen to Your Word and allow it to give me godly heart discernment for every issue, every temptation and every situation I face. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
source: JumpStart devotional