The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

A Discerning Heart - YouTube

Have you ever made poor decisions in your life? If we are honest, we must admit we all have. But does it have to be this way? Instead of making decisions on our own, what if we prayed for discernment of the heart? Would that make a difference?

Lack of Discernment Results in Poor Decisions

There are situations in life that come up suddenly and we can fall into the trap of making hasty, poor decisions. In our story Isaac was old, nearly blind, and wanted to bless his oldest son, Esau. Rebekah overheard the conversation between Isaac and Esau about the blessing and put a deceptive plan in place. She wanted Jacob, not Esau, to be blessed. She developed a plan for Jacob to impersonate Esau. That way Isaac would be deceived and bless Jacob instead of Esau.

Genesis 27:11 “But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. 12 What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.” 13 But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!” [1]

Jacob agreed and followed his mother’s advice. Their lack of discernment had serious consequences. Jacob would have to leave home to escape murderous threats from Esau. Rebekah would die during Jacob’s time away and never would see her favorite son again.

The Holy Spirit Gives Discernment

I believe that one purpose, maybe the most critical purpose, of the Lord sending the Holy Spirit was to help us in our decision making. From the initial decision to become a believer, to a desire for a holy life, and including the big and small decisions of daily life, I believe the Holy Spirit can be depended upon for guidance in our choices. He can give us discernment of the heart.

In fact, there are numerous examples of the guidance of the Holy Spirit from the guiding of the people of Israel through prophets, to signs and visions, to Jesus and Paul, and the formation of the early church. Biblical references like these encourage us to believe that the Spirit’s guidance covers all kinds of decisions.  James 1:5If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.[2] We can trust the Holy Spirit with our decisions, big or small![3]


Father, I pray that You would grant me discernment of the heart so that I may know You better and love You more. Give me an understanding heart so that I may be open to hear Your voice and hear You say, “this is the path, walk in it.” Use me I pray, to be Your hands and feet, and Your voice and heart, that I may be a channel through which You pour out Your grace to others. May I decrease to nothing so that only Christ is seen in my life. I ask this in the power of the Spirit and in the name of Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen. [4]

To hear more about Isaac blessing his sons, listen here:

[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.



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