Marsha West, Founder & Editor
E-Mail Brigade

Got Meat? 

Sue attends church regularly, she goes to a weekly Bible study, and sings in the praise band. She also practices yoga and consults a psychic. Sue's boyfriend spends the night at the apartment she shares with two Christian friends.  Sue is skilled at assessing a person's character and motives--and she's usually right about them!  Her roommates are confident that Sue has the "gift of discernment." Are they right or wrong?  What criteria are Christians to use to determine whether or not someone is spiritually discerning? 

God wants to mold our lives according to what's in His Word. Christians who conscientiously study the Bible develop discernment.  Christians looking for quick answers instead of truth can study the Bible until the Pacific Ocean turns into Hawaiian Punch and will never gain an ounce of discernment. 

A thorough study of the Bible will equip the believer with understanding and wisdom that leads to maturity. Christians who don't take time to study are unable to differentiate between God's purpose and desire for their lives from their own aspirations.

The sincere Christian's desire is to grow in the knowledge of our risen Lord and to walk in step with Him.  Regrettably a large number of believers have not reached maturity and spend most of their time stumbling around like one-year-olds learning how to walk.  That's because they prefer drinking milk to eating meat.  The time has come for milk drinkers to introduce mean into their diet.  The mature Christian has cut his teeth on the meat of God's Word.     

"The Bible is the revelation of things as they really are," said the late Ray Stedman.  "It represents the only truly realistic look at life that is available to man today.  It is the only instrument provided by God that is adequate to the task of producing mature, well-adjusted, whole persons." He then points out, "It's not the book, but the Lord that the book reveals that is our food." Jesus Christ is our sustenance, our nourishment, our provision.  No one who neglects the Bible will become a mature Christian.  "Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles. Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline" (Proverbs 1:5-7 - NLT).

The Holy Spirit gives guidance to those who explore God's Word.  He shows us what He wants us to do and be.  He's our teacher and the dispenser of discernment.  With the Spirit in our corner we won't be taken in by counterfeits.  We'll recognize false prophets, aberrant teaching and flawed doctrine.  What a person is saying or teaching should line up with Scripture or it's false.  "Do not believe every spirit," said John, "but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4: - NIV).

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