Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Judging or Discerning?

Scripture: Matthew 7 v 1-2:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

1 Corinthians 2 v 13-14: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

By these two passages of scripture we can see a vast difference between judging and discerning.  Judging comes from our fleshly mind, where our thoughts, opinions and criticisms rule.  We make split second assessments of a person's worth and status based on colour of skin, clothing, speech and attitude; and without considering any other factors judge him worthy or unworthy.

I am reminded of a testimony of a white policeman in Apartheid era in South Africa accosting an African man who was shopping at a store after curfew.  The policeman threw him to the ground and began beating him.  The African man said to him, What right have you got to beat a child of God?  This cop was in that very moment convicted by the Holy Spirit and he began to cry out for forgiveness.  The African pastor then prayed with him to be born again, right there on the sidewalk.  The cop became a missionary amongst the African people finally doing God's will.

The cop judged harshly, the African pastor discerned the need for salvation, which turned the cop into a man of God who met the needs of many other Africans in very trying times in South Africa.  We all need to look before we leap as our flesh will betray us.  Pastor Johan judged and immediately found himself judged by God.  His response could have been different.  He could have continued his assault and perhaps been lost forever.

The natural man is one who is in the flesh.  His spirit is hard and unyielding, and he reacts on his base feelings like Johan did.  It is only when we are filled with the Holy Spirit that we become softened and submitted to Him and are able to discern correctly.  We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which is discerning of spirits, which also reveals the thoughts and motives of others.

The truly spiritual man is mature and possesses the mind of Christ, plus the love and compassion that is needed to correctly discern or judge situations and people with the aim of helping them get closer to Jesus.  The spiritual man responds to the heart of God, and knows when the followers of Jesus are being subjected to false doctrines, false prophets, wolves in sheep's clothing who have a hidden agenda to undermine the truth.

So many churches and ministries have been invaded by such as these, and because they are famous names no-one ever checks to see if they are true Christians.  They are proud and justify themselves by saying you cannot confront God's anointed!  They are holier than thou and above reproach, yet by their fruit you shall know them.  The churches are in a mess because of the idolising of these people.

We must all be followers of Jesus and He will decide who gets promoted as a pastor, evangelist, prophet, apostle or any other helper or servant to His people.  He is the righteous judge and He favours those who are least esteemed in the church.

1 Corinthians 1 v 27-29:  "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence."

It is time the body of Christ actually started to correctly discern the truth about themselves individually and as a group.  We all need to be in one mind and spirit to achieve unity.  Jesus is coming soon and before He does, we must achieve unity.  Only a powerful Holy Ghost revival which will begin after Israel signs a 7 year peace treaty with the whole Arab world, will bring about complete unity of the Body.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help us not to judge in our flesh the things that can only be spiritually discerned.  Judging has become a bad habit to so many people and it puts us in danger of Your judgment.  Let us love as You love, hating the sin but loving the sinner. In Jesus's name. Amen.