Everyone wants to be wise. Yet Paul taught that true wisdom or discernment requires the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived–the things God has prepared for those who love Him–these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts, except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor 2:9-11) Thanks be to God, we have the Holy Spirit living within us: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph 1:13).
Satan’s greatest impact on us occurs when he deceives us, so we need the Holy Spirit’s help. Spiritual discernment enables us to draw conclusions based on God’s perspective, make wise decisions in difficult circumstances, recognize the activities of God’s Spirit, distinguish the correct and incorrect use of Scripture, and identify and expose false teachers. “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, we that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in worlds taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor. 2:12-13) Ask God to give you His discernment as you serve Him. Let that discernment guide you in your daily walk.
We can be dominated by our sinful nature (from the spirit of the world), or we can be controlled by the Holy Spirit. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6) Daily we must consciously choose to center our lives on God. We must read the Bible to discover God’s guidelines, and then follow them. When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, we should do it eagerly. “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom 7:6)