If you made a list of the things you want most in life, would a discerning spirit be one of them? The Lord places a high value on this attribute and wants all of us to have it. If we don't, we'll make wrong choices because we won't understand situations clearly.
Discernment is the ability to make sound judgments by perceiving what is not readily obvious. For example, can you tell the difference between legalism and liberty? God calls each of us to live according to our personal convictions, but not all of them are moral mandates for every believer. We should be able to determine the difference between the two.
Another area that requires discernment is distinguishing good from best. God has the perfect plan for each of us; however, there are a multitude of good options before us. For instance, suppose you're offered two different jobs. They both look promising, but only one of them is God's best for you. Do you know how to determine His will?
It's obvious from these two examples that our most basic need for discernment involves being able to understand what God is saying to us. When you're faced with a decision, how do you know if you're hearing from the Lord or simply listening to your own desires or reasoning?
The time to develop discernment is now. Don't wait until a critical decision comes. Begin today to fill your mind with God's Word so you can think His thoughts and understand His ways. Spend time with Him in intimate fellowship. The more you know Him, the better you can discern His voice.