Book Review: Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

discernment.jpg “We live in an age where too many who profess to be Christians rarely consider their spiritual maturity–an age when many consider spiritual immaturity a mark of authenticity, and when people associate doubt with humility and assurance with pride…Scripture makes it plain: if you are not a person who exhibits and exercises discernment you are not mature Christian.”

Quoted from Tim Challies new book titled, Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, an in depth and biblical look on the value of cultivating this discipline in our lives.

In a world where the angel of light is actively aiming to deceive and destroy, we must be actively on our guard in deciphering between truth and error, right and wrong. We need discernment in every aspect of life: what we believe about God, how we act out His will in our lives, how we spend our money, and how we manage our time.

As a wife and mother, I need to apply discernment in what I allow to enter into my home, what I set before my eyes and the eyes of my children. What forms of entertainment we choose for our family. Every aspect of life must be thought through with wisdom and discernment. Each message that the world sends our way must be evaluated and tested with biblical truth. This book provides a much needed tool for counteracting falsehood with a teaching on discernment and how to apply it in our day and age.

When we lack discernment, we are like the Hebrew church that needed to go back to drinking on the milk and had not moved on in spiritual maturity towards eating solid food (Heb. 5:12-13). This is a sign of being a true believer…we will yearn for the meat! If that is not your desire, there is need of repentance and turning to the merciful Savior.

“To willingly neglect the truth and to live with our eyes closed shut while good and evil stare us in the face is to sin against God, ourselves, our families, and our church…It is the responsibility of every Christian to learn, to be discipled in the Word, so that we can know how to be discerning. to fail to discern is to walk in darkness.”~Phillips Way

He defines his terms as follows:

“Discernment is the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error, right from wrong.”

He goes on to describe the two areas that we must develop discernment in. The first area is the truth about God, especially because we live in a society that no longer believes in truth, and secondly, understanding and obeying the will of God. These cover all aspects of our Christian walk.

“We must think rightly about God, because what we believe necessarily impacts what we do. What we do is premised on what we believe. Thus the closer our thoughts are to the reality of who God is and what he is like, the more our lives will be a reflection of him.”

As Tozer says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

1 Thess. 5: 21 “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”

“Like children, we often feel we need to sample things before we can determine if they are good or bad, truth or error. But God tells us we are to test, not sample. we need only compare things to the Word of God, the unchangeable and objective standard of right and wrong, truth and error. We can save ourselves all manner of pain and evil by simply going straight to the Bible.”

Tim Challies has a wonderful and entertaining writing style. I greatly enjoy all the excellent analogies and examples he sprinkles throughout the book. You can tell he is well read in history and the Word of God. After reading his book, I feel far better equipped to run the race with endurance, thinking rightly about God, and able to discern truth from error. The challenge to us all is to labor in prayer like Solomon that God would “give your servant therefore an understanding mind…that I may discern good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9a). God honored Solomon’s request because it was pleasing to Him! God values discernment and grants this gift to those who seek after it! So seek on dear friends!

This is a must read!

Visit Tim Challies blog for further endorsements. On another note, his blog is a great resource of information on many biblical issues. He is an avid reader, and reviews many books on a regular basis. I choose most of the books I read from his recommendations, as he has such excellent reviews. Check it out!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

One Response to Book Review: Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

  1. Deanna March 2, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    This is a great review! I have read many good things about this book. It is on my TBR list… I am thinking that I need to bump it up – maybe for my April reading list.
    Thanks for your insights!