二○二○年九月二十六日／二十七日 Click here for English version
一位屬靈導師 Thomas Green 曾指出：「屬靈辨識（Spiritual Discernment）是祈禱和行動的會晤」。「辨識」的意思是「正確的將一件事物從其他的事物中分別出來」，這意味著只有在我們能夠清楚看見不同事物的區別後，才從中做選擇。
Practicing Spiritual Discernment in the Walk with God
Rev Ning Doh Chuan
Spiritual mentor Thomas Green has aptly said that spiritual discernment is where prayer and action meet. Discernment means distinguishing one thing from the rest. But first, we need a thorough understanding of the differences involved before we can distinguish and choose.
Today, people face choices more difficult and complex than ever before. "Spiritual discernment" seeks to ask God what longing He has for me (or my spiritual community), here and now. In other words, the purpose of spiritual discernment is to understand and follow the longing of God for us. As such, it is not to seek God's blessing for our decisions, but to find out and follow His will for us. Meanwhile, we need to understand that in every decision, there will be many other voices such as worldly values, the old ego and the evil one which speak while we try to hear God’s voice. They all vie for our attention and tend to dilute the voice of God. We need sufficient time and room in our hearts to assess where these voices come from and discern which one is God's voice.
It follows that we need a strong desire to follow the longing of God. Otherwise there will be no need for spiritual discernment. We will also need to sincerely open up ourselves to God. The more we experience His love and acceptance, the more we can commit ourselves to Him and be willing to put aside our personal likes and dislikes, and our biases so we can look at things from the right perspective and freely obey God. It is then that God will guide us to understand His longing. More importantly, we continually seek to develop and deepen our relationship with God, seek to know Him better and get closer to Him. If we always walk with God, know Him and love Him, we will be able to understand His longing more easily. We need to pay attention to, and deepen our experience in, walking with God. This will help us to gradually understand how we are usually admitted to His presence. Thus we need more training on hearing the Lord in prayer. In a prayer, we not only talk to God, but also learn to listen to His response. This is how we can cultivate spiritual discernment. Spiritual hearing needs to be cultivated.
In practicing spiritual discernment, we also need regular personal and corporate prayers. Spiritual discernment not only allows us to make major decisions in life, but also enables us to tidy up our priorities in life. Corporate discernment helps us understand God's guidance and mission for the community. May God guide the NPAC Family to always follow His will, and become a church closer to His heart.
(This article is an excerpt from Rev. Ning's article in the NPAC Newsletter in July 2012.)