Growing up my parents had rules for what I could say and do. Although I fought them at times, I knew they wanted to teach me biblical values and right from wrong. Now as an adult I see clearly my fundamental need for discernment in a world with many influences competing for my heart, mind, and soul.
But discernment is for more than knowing the difference between truth and fiction, it’s also a key to keeping my focus on God.
In The Way of Truth in a World of Fiction, Chuck Swindoll urges us to make God’s Word our primary source of truth. “Any fraudulent sham is harmful, but none are more devastating than false prophets and phony teachers who present their lies as religious or historical truth.”1 I need to be aware of authority figures, media, and popular theories and their influence over my thoughts and convictions.
The spiritual battle waged around me is not always apparent but the Bible gives me insight to potential danger. Scripture says Satan uses people disguised as those who are righteous (2 Corinthians 11:15). His mission is to sabotage my relationship with Christ. He works through lies and he knows my weaknesses well2.
The temptation to stray from Christ is real. I still remember a lesson from Sunday school years ago. The teacher had us dress in cardboard pieces of armour, representing the spiritual armour of Christ. Found in Ephesians 6:10–18, these verses encourage Christians to defend their faith against all potential harm and reminds us who we are living for.
For me, this is a convicting subject. It’s so easy to gradually accept any new idea or thought without God’s perspective. I’m sure it will require me to say “no” when I’m more often tempted to say, “yes.” Basing my life on the truth of God’s Word is lived out when I filter what I put into my heart, mind, and soul through Scripture alone.
1. Charles R. Swindoll. The Way of Truth in a World of Fiction, Beyond The Da Vinci Code. Plano: IFL Publishing House, 2006 (1)
2. Charles R. Swindoll. The Way of Truth in a World of Fiction, Beyond The Da Vinci Code. Plano: IFL Publishing House, 2006 (5)