Stone mountain, ninety miles north of Atlanta Georgia is advertized to be a one of the largest solid granite rock known to man with three Confederate Generals carved into its face. This national tourist attraction has a ski lift that will take you to the peak nearly 800 feet above the park below. From its summit you can see nearly a hundred miles in any direction but in the distance Atlanta is almost always covered with a haze. From this sumit ignorance influences your discernment because you would have to know where the city of Atlanta is located torecognize the skyline of Atlanta. In other words someone has to tell you that point in the distance is Atlanta.
Being able to distinguish one building from another is impossible from that peak because the distance and haze obscures the clarity of things. If anything Atlanta looked more like a colored spot in the distance that resembled a jagged hill. Shapes and colors meant very little in the scope of your sight when all you can do is imagine what the blur of shapes and colors represent.
Discernment is the ability of our mind to distinguish and understand. The difference between right and left was taught to us when we were young and that knowledge stays with us the remainder of our lives. Knowing the difference between right and left helps us to give directions to strangers and enables the stranger to make his or her way to their destination. The ability to understand right from left gives you a reference point to start from. Once you locate the reference point you know the direction to look.
At the same time we also need to distinguish what is at the right hand as well as what is right. Are you on the right side of Christ or right with Christ? Knowing the definition of right determines whether you are right with Christ or located on the right side of Christ. The truth is that you can be positioned at the right side of Christ and not be known by Christ. The point is, standing at Christís side is a physical condition and being right with Christ is a spiritual condition.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, but for most men the heavens are what can be seen of the sky and the stars of the universe. For the spiritual man, the heaven God created represents the home of our Father and the realm where we expect to spend our life with Jesus in eternity. Man has the ability to understand by having a mental picture in our mind of heaven because how we discern what we have been told about heaven and comparing those pictures against what we understand of the things weíve seen on earth. However at the same time our expectation of the things in heaven will far exceed what we know of earth. The picture we have of heaven represents a place, but it is also the living conditions produced by the way everyone in heaven conducts their lives.
Hell also produces a picture of a place and the living conditions that its residents endure. It is a picture of unrelenting intense torture with intolerable and near death conditions for those rejected by God and found unworthy of Heaven. These pictures provide the incentives that help you to distinguish a better of the two as our permanent residence in eternity
The bible tells us,
Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14
Discernment does not come from perception, experience or the knowledge we acquire alone. According to Hebrews 5:14, we acquire discernment through constant practice of knowing and obeying Godís word. Only after Godís word has been tested are we able to distinguish the difference between good and evil. However, the difference between black and white is distinguished by sight. At the same time the Granite rock north of Atlanta Georgia is said to extend eight miles below the earthís surface is discerned by the knowledge scientists have determined.
Still, the ability to distinguish the difference between good and evil doesnít do much good unless we apply ourselves through the experience weíve gained to do good and shun evil. When it is all said and done we learn from the outcome from personal experiences to distinguish the quality of good or evil. Learning what not repeat is worth its weight in gold, but at the same if we succeed we have learned a principle to live by. Our experience adds additional depth and influences knowledge that can be perceived. That knowledge determines the way we approach our future.
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
We can be taught the difference between good and evil by our parents but when it comes to understanding the bible to gain discernment most people are clue less. Lukeís story of the birth of Jesus Christ is read frequently at Christmas time and many love to hear the story but it is just a story to others. The bible is good literature but it is foolishness to think that stuff is still valid in modern day.
Although the bible can be read and partially understood by men the bible was written in spiritual terms. Those who study the bible find the need to renew their minds to think in the same spiritual terms as the God who inspired the scriptures. In other words the word of God can only be discerned by those whom God inspires. The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide us into the truth helps us to spiritually discern the scriptures. When we think about the scriptures his voice is impressed on our hearts with the secrets of God.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"-- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.1 Corinthians 2:9-11
Therefore we must also understand that discernment demands a commitment to love the Lord, seek him with our entire being and develop a personal relationship with him. Godly discernment demands that we distinguish good from evil and shun evil God detests. If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, God will give his wisdom generously to all without finding fault. Everyone who hears the words of Christ and puts them into practice is like a wise man building his life in preparation for eternal life. Through a personal relationship with God we learn as much as we can about God and put that knowledge to practice.
The other side of the coin is ignorance, which is a carefree life, one that lives in aimless pursuit of gratifying the evil desires of the heart. There is no commitment or the attempt to restrict your actions to help others when as you live as you see fit. There is no protection from the sin that cause problems of life for sin has no bounds. Ignorant men and women lack the insight of knowing the final consequences for sinful behavior. In their mind the