Discernment and wisdom

Are you in need of guidance, discernment, wisdom for a decision, a new opportunity or a relationship? Who couldn’t use more wisdom! The more complex our society gets, the more we need wisdom to navigate ourselves through all the tangles of the world. Jesus knows all about our world and gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth.

There was a situation when Jesus healed a man blind from birth and the Pharisees got really upset about it in John 9. On the heal of that situation, Jesus spoke about Himself being the door, or the gate the sheep go in and out of. Here are His words in John 10.

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Listen to this eternal truth: The person who sneaks over the wall to enter into the sheep pen, rather than coming through the gate, reveals himself as a thief coming to steal. But the true Shepherd walks right up to the gate, and because the gatekeeper knows who he is, he opens the gate to let him in. And the sheep recognize the voice of the true Shepherd, for he calls his own by name and leads them out, for they belong to him. And when he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them and they will follow him, for they are familiar with his voice. But they will run away from strangers and never follow them because they know it’s the voice of a stranger” (John 10:1-6).

I saw something in this set of verses I hadn’t seen before, and that is, when we encounter situations, events, or people, that are clouded with a sense of confusion, it’s not from the Lord. Too often I have given heed to words, people or situations where I felt like I just had to stick with it “in case” it was from the Lord. I never want to miss out on something the Lord was doing by not seeing clearly or hearing His voice very well. But these verses arrested my thoughts. God is always clear and He is not a God of confusion. If something comes into your life that feels like it snuck in or otherwise isn’t clear, direct or easy to see or hear, it’s the thief!

Jesus comes right up to the gate and opens it. I like that part of the passage. He is direct and explains things to His sheep (us) in a clear manner. If you feel like you “should” stick with something because you are afraid of missing out on God’s best for you, that’s not from the Lord. That fear is never from God’s heart. God is love and His love casts out fear (1John 4). If things aren’t clear to you, ask Him to make it clear. Ask Him to show you the motives of your heart. He has ways of speaking to us clearly and not leaving us in doubt or in the shadows of indecision. Ask Him to arrange your circumstances so that you can hear Him better if need be.

Let go of anything that feels sticky or murky or full of doubt. Leave behind anything that smells of thievery! He is the Good Shepherd and He will go ahead of you, talk to you and reassure your heart as you follow Him. Hold His hand and listen only to His voice that you will recognize. Amen



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