Steak sandwiches/ Developing Discernment


 “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil…” (Hebrews 5: 13,14)

It’s not a matter of shoving a steak sandwich in a baby’s faltering grip and saying: “It’ll do you good in the long run!” You have to start with that phrase “constant use.” It is long practice with the word of God which enables you to develop discernment between good and evil.

Now I’ve spent plenty of time -at either end of babies- to know the incredible amount of focus that goes on into the process of nourishment.  It’s a huge deal. If you don’t believe me, then try pulling a bottle away from a baby in mid-feed and then go watch TV for a while. See how you get on.

All this means is: if you want to grow up and feast on the fullness of God’s revelation, you don’t do it by jumping from milk to meat. You do it first by the way you drink the milk. The milk has to make you a certain kind of discerning person before you can digest the meat.

First you drink it in. Read, listen, ponder, think on the promises of God. Don’t be critical, patronizing, tricky or clever, just stay thirsty. Focus.

Savour it and digest it: “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). The combination of senses here is really important: the sense of taste refers to your careful consideration, the sense of sight refers to your discrimination.

And watch as the Word of God transforms your values and priorities.

And then you begin to discern the good and the bad. Every day, apparently, you have ten thousand separate thoughts. Many of these thoughts refer to choices that must be made. What will you watch on TV? What will you wear? Who will you talk to? What will you talk about?

It doesn’t take discernment to know what’s wrong if you have a list from God. Knowing when to murder and when to steal and when to commit adultery take no discernment if you believe God gave the Ten Commandments. So this passsage is talking about decisions that are not laid down specifically in a list.

And it says that there is such a thing as discernment between good and evil. How does this discernment come? It comes from habitually (by regular practice) nourishing and shaping your spiritual senses  by the Word of God until that word becomes the“teaching about righteousness”—a discerning power, a word producing righteousness in the mature. Discernment is what you do naturally when the milk of God’s promises is so savoured and so satisfying that it gives you the mind of Christ.

Drink with delight until the desires of your heart are so transformed as to become the discernment of good and evil. Then you will be mature and ready for God’s MORE.

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