Through her writers' programs she helps others write and publish their own books. Wendy lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband. Where can I go when I have nowhere to turn? Have you ever been in trouble and had nowhere to turn? Do you have problems in your relationships that won't go away? Are you trying everything you know to succeed but it's not working? Read more Read less. Where can I go when I have nowhere to turn?
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Have you ever been in trouble and had nowhere to turn? Are you trying everything you know to succeed but it's not working? We all want to experience true meaning and purpose in our lives. And we need help in our times of trouble; help we can truly count on. Someone who's gifted in discernment of spirits can find where evil lurks in good things, and where the Spirit is working when things are going wrong.
When the church was starting out, there was only one way she could learn the faith: on her feet. The church had to learn while she was doing. The Spirit had to teach the Christians how to love at the same time as moving them to act on that love, and teaching them mercy at the same time as empowering them to live merciful lives. Christians sometimes forget that what we teach and discuss is inevitably our own understanding of Scripture. Other understandings, if drawn from Scripture and open to be judged through Scripture , are possible and even faithful.
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We discern to learn. That's why it's so valuable to have the input from years of churchgoing Christians tradition and the billion Christians of today fellowship. Meaning springs out of life; the Spirit's way is lived and experienced. Even more: it is lived and experienced as a part of those who believe in Jesus and his good news, a Body of Followers whose members are formed and shaped in this way, as found in Scripture.
This community teaches each other, recalls history, shares their experiences, and affirms each other's value. It sometimes has the strength to say no and to get each of us to amend our understandings and change our ways when we're going astray, and to show a more excellent way in all things.
When you're being checked by the church, you're being checked by others who have also done patient, prayerful, steady study of Scripture. The Spirit didn't give a sense of God's purposes only to you but also to others, in a slightly different way for each of them. If they didn't study God's ways, they won't have that sense, and thus are a less trustworthy part of the discernment process. You'll never find out one way or the other unless you listen carefully, and have the guts to put away any defensive reactions you might have.
Church actions should be set up to discern the right direction before it acts, to keep effective tabs on it while it acts, and to debrief after it acts, making whatever disciplinary actions or clarifying lessons are needed. Do this, expecting that the Spirit will lead, if really asked and really given a chance to lead. One drawback of the church's role in discernment is that the church is made up of people. It's a benefit in more ways, but here's one way it's also a drawback. People are strange, and sometimes do wrong.
The Spiritual Sweet Spot | Psychology Today
They are not all-knowing, and have badly-damaged understandings. They can be fooled. People love to be sweet talked, to be showered with puffery and to get their egos stroked. They push aside what's bad news for the camp they're in.
It's easy to become a yes-man or get stuck in the 'no' position. These facts must be kept in mind when discerning with the church. But remember too that these things are also true of you.
Your role in discernment requires checking and re-checking and cross-checking, and so does the church's. Neither you nor the communicated Word nor the Church local or universal are the bridge between the biblical events and our putting the Word into living effect.
Discernment is all made possible by the Holy Spirit's work. Like everything else in this world, our discernments are bound by our imperfections and thus can be false or shallow or merely mistaken. But it helps greatly to have the right attitude toward it :. One of the keys to discernment is surrender.
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If you treat "I" as the emperor of all things, you won't be in the right place to find out what God wants of you. In fact, this selfish imperial view of existence lies at the heart of all sin: we act as if we're God, even though we certainly know better. The emperor 'I' has no clothes.
Huichol Deer Statue
So we need to set aside what we want and what we've been taught, and join with Jesus in His prayer in the face of His most ultimate decision : "Yet not as I will, but as You will. Another key to discernment is a 'sense of peace' about something. That peace must take place not by itself, but within the rest of the framework of discernment, or it's not divine. Yet the absence of such peace is, by itself, mostly bad news.
Such peace and security comes and grows with prayer.