Day 16: Discernment

Read: Start by reading John 1:32–34 out loud. 

“Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One’ “ (John 1:32–34 NIV).

Meditate:  John the Baptist knew his calling. His message was consistent, and he did not waver in carrying out his purpose. He did not pretend to be what he was not, and he clarified the truth as God made it clear to him.

In this passage, John explains why he knows God’s Chosen One. He “saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain” on Jesus. This is how God chose to reveal the Chosen One to John, and when John saw the evidence, he felt confident to report it and to give his reasoning to those around him.

Read John 1:32–34.

  • Praise God for His infinite wisdom.
  • Ask God for His discernment in all your conversations today.

I needed discernment in January 2016. We had lived half of our lives on the missions field and now we were getting ready to fly to Bangkok, Thailand, where we would pack up our family belongings into ten bags.

We would spend three Sundays in the Thai church where we had invested almost 26 years of life and love. We would tell the Pakistani refugees that we would not be back to teach them. We knew getting rid of our “things” would be nothing compared to saying goodbye to a way of life, a beautiful culture, and the images of smiling faces that we will never forget.

By nature, I love the New Year and new goals. One of mine for 2016 was to stretch for 20 minutes every morning. While reaching for my toes that January morning, I asked God to fill my mind with His thoughts. I meditated on my Bible reading from Hebrews 5:13–14: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” 

Having read it only moments before so smugly, I now heard the message more clearly: It’s time for you to stand up and be who God has made you to be.

Notice: Take a few minutes and consider your own journey. Are you eating solid food or do you, like me, find yourself complaining about your current circumstances? Eating solid food requires work. Becoming mature means that we put away childish things. Ask God to give you courage to stand up and be mature in your faith, distinguishing good from evil.

Pray: As you use milk throughout the day, pray for God to help you grow in the knowledge of Him Ask Him to help you remain connected to Him through the day (John 15:4–5). Ask God for an opportunity to help you grow in Christ.