13 Oct 2012
As an apostolic/prophetic ministry one of the things we are called to do is to bring Reconciliation to the Body of Christ through repentance and forgiveness. As such we often find ourselves speaking words of truth that can bring healing-- into the lives of individuals, families and communities. In many ways we also function as a watchman to the Body of Christ.
In presenting the truth it often takes the form of a warning and may be looked upon as harsh, critical, or unloving. However we are ever more consistently hearing from the Lord through his word and through proven and faithful accountability people “Keep speaking what I tell you to say whether they hear you or not. Keep speaking what I tell you to say whether they heed you or not.”
The Lord spoke to Ezekiel and said:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.(Ezek. 3:17-20NKJV)
I as an intercessor in particular have always taken the above scripture very seriously. So I want to share with you what I am hearing:
Undiscerning--The state of America is directly related to the state of the Church. And WE are His Church.
Our government has not been discerning because WE have not been a discerning people. God says that to be “undiscerning” is a sin. Romans chapter one is a discussion of righteousness and details a long list of behaviors that God detests and calls sin. In verse 31 he calls “undiscerning” a sin!
To understand the true meaning of “undiscerning” we need to know the meaning of “discern (ment) or (ing).”
According to John McArthur “In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong.Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.” (What is biblical discernment?)
So to be “undiscerning” would be the inability to decide between the truth and error, right and wrong.”
According to God’s word, discernment starts in our hearts.
Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
(1 Kings 3:9 NKJV)
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Theirears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
Issues begin in our heart and our heart is affected by our affinities – those we favor – friends, family, and especially those we need to like us and affirm us. Our hearts can become dull to the Truth if Truth makes us uncomfortable. Speaking and living the truth may cause us problems—at work, with family and with friends. So we push (suppress) truth down and enter into denial of the truth. Over time we become desensitized to the truth of God’s word and normalize the false or the lie. But scripture says that God is truth (Ps.31:5, Jn.14:6)so to deny truth is to deny God –which is rebellion and opens the door for death to come upon us in one form or another.
Some within the Western Church today have opted for a soft-spoken gospel presenting a “Jesus that just wants to love everybody.” This presentation of Jesus is full of mercy but speaks very little truth. Thus, when truth is injected into the lives of church members – it is quickly dismissed or censored with “that’s too harsh, critical, or unloving.”
The problem here is the lack of balance. Yes – God is merciful and full of love – but he loves us enough to tell us the truth. It is His truth that rightly divides, separating righteousness from evil. It is His truth warns us of behaviors, attitudes, or lifestyles that lead to destruction. It is His truth that turns us back to Him in repentance and sure reconciliation with Him.
Our God is a God of balance and He expects us to be a balanced people. Too much mercy, without truth, leads to a tolerance and passivity that enables and excuses sin. And this God detests. All too often, sympathy and pity are a covering for mercy out of balance. Sympathy, which is different from empathy, and pity, condone sin and are not godly traits. Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you,” (the mercy) “go and sin no more” (the truth) (Jn. 8:11).
Numerous segments of the Church today struggle with the message of truth. In easing away from the truth, anyone of us runs the risk of becoming “dull of hearing”. We need to remember that truth wakes us up to our true condition and our need for repentance. Although truth can make us uncomfortable and in some cases it is downright painful, we cannot live without it. Truth and the life of God are inseparable. Truth and our obedience to truth brings us ever closer to a Holy God.
The Discerning Heart is able to walk in the balance of mercy and truth – without fearing rejection by men. Our Lord speaks truth, in love, to steer us away from the path of destruction. That truth may be what’s needed now to turn a heart, a family, or a nation back to Christ!
Linda Doxtator, PhD, LPC
Linda Doxtator, PhD, LPC