Jer 21-23 How to be discerning
Today we hear many voices. They sound right, legitimate, and pleasant; but are they? One of the challenges we face and the people in Jeremiah’s day faced is discerning whether the messages were from God or not. They had to and we have to sift between what is true and false. The only difference between the time of Jeremiah and now is that we have the completed Word of God, which is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. [2Tim 3:16] The Apostle John’s advice to his flock was to ‘test the spirits to see if they are of God.’ [1Jn 4:1] Ask: Has what he has said in the past come true? Has his life been exemplary?
Long ago, people mostly listened and had to determine if the speaker came from God or not. So God gave them three ways: (1) prophets to speak for God to the people; (2) priests to speak for the people to God and (3) a king to help them adhere to the covenant.
Today, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit who speaks to us through the completed Word of God. Therefore, we must know the Word to discern and to do that, we must “store up His Words in our heart” [Ps 119:11] which means we must make every effort to memorize it. It is our reasonable service, as Paul said. [Rom 12:1]
Today as you listen to the many preaching, speaking, and writing, be sure to apply James 1:5 “if deficient in wisdom, ask God.”