“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV)

I have a ring with “By Reason of Use” stamped on it. It’s a simple ring but it serves as a reminder that we have to use our senses and our gifts if we want to improve them.

It’s interesting that the writer of Hebrews says we need to use our senses in order to discern good and evil. Most of us think we have a pretty good grasp on good versus evil or right versus wrong. How do we know if what we think is right or wrong is really right or wrong? How do we find discernment? What do we mean by discernment?

The dictionary says it is the “ability to grasp and comprehend what is obscure.” There are many things in the Bible that are obscure and that we can only understand as God grants us discernment. Thankfully God knows when we are ready to dive in deeper. He grants us greater discernment in His timing when we are ready for it.

I am so thankful that we have the Bible to guide us. His Word is alive and active because it speaks to us where we are and plants the message we need to hear in that moment. This is why we can learn new things from passages we’ve read many times before. When we are ready, God gives us solid food where before we just needed milk.

The keys to developing greater understanding and more discernment about everything from God’s character to His plan for our lives is in reading the Bible and talking to Him in prayer.

When we make reading God’s Word a habit, we are exercising our senses and developing discernment. The foundational messages need to be revisited often so we can build a solid understanding of God’s character, love, and laws. Then, as we grow in different areas, God will speak to us and lead us to deeper meaning while bringing clarity to difficult passages.

Understanding the Bible is not easy, but the more we read it the more we’ll understand. When we feel overwhelmed or confused, we can turn to God in prayer and ask for discernment. He’ll reveal His heart and help us find peace with the passages that are confusing or even disturbing.

Exercise takes discipline and determination. Relationships require compassion and commitment. So keep reading, keep praying and by reason of use, we’ll gain discernment.

Father, thank You for being a patient teacher. You showed this patience through Jesus as He taught the disciples and You extend this patience to us as we seek to understand You. Help us to draw near to You and reveal Yourself to us through Your Word. As we seek You in prayer, let us feel Your presence and encouragement. Thank you for stretching and strengthening us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,


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