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Summary: This I pray that your love would abound still more and more in real knowledge and depth of insight. So that you may discern what is best

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Discerning Between the Essentials and Non-Essentials

Phil. 1:9-11

"This I pray that your love would abound still more and more in real knowledge and depth of insight. So that you may discern what is best."

"I pray that you would be filled with the knowledge of His will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may walk in a manner that is worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects and bear fruit in every good work as you increase in the knowledge of God." (Col. 1:9-11)

Our challenge usually boils down to making the key essential choices for what is best instead of merely settling for mediocrity. The following are ten ways that the Holy Spirit and the word of God guides us in to the essential truthful pathways of life.

Jesus said, " When He the Spirit of truth is come He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)

1. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment between essential and non-essential actions through His still small voice of calm. David wrote, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10) Listen to the Spirit’s voice in helping you determine what battles are essential and which ones are just not worth fighting. Ask the Lord to help you become more discerning about what is essential versus what is non-essential for you to accomplish God’s priorities.

2. The Holy Spirit moves people to action when it is essential to act on truth. Samuel wrote, “When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger...He proclaimed, ‘This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.’ Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they turned out as one man.” (I Samuel 11:6,7) Ask the Lord to make it extremely clear to you when He wants you to speak and act in His will.

3. The Holy Spirit counsels us about decisions that are often complicated. Samuel wrote, “He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things.” (I Chronicles 28:12) Ask the Lord to give you the knowledge that is necessary to make important decisions based on all kinds of sound information, advise and research.

4. The Holy Spirit imparts wisdom and skill just when we need it most. Moses wrote, “So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God? Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.’” Genesis 41:38) Ask the Lord to give you all the necessary wisdom and skill to accomplish everything He has called you to do.

5. The Holy Spirit illumines us with His abiding presence, power and perspectives just when we need them. Of Samuel it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” (I Samuel 10:6) Ask the Lord to let the Spirit of God transform your perspective helping you to carry out His essential ministries of love, faith and hope.


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