What do we usually cry out for? Have you ever gone to a prayer meeting and listened to the prayer requests? Most of the things we seek do not correlate with the needs that God seems to think we have. We need to seek “knowledge” (discernment NASB) (998). This word is usually translated “understanding” in the NASB in Proverbs although we do see discernment. They both mean the ability to look beyond the surface and see what is really at stake.
This is one of the gifts of the Spirit, a gift that is rarely applied. We have entire denominations that seem to be based on crying out for tongues, miracles and prophecy, yet what does God want us to seek? Here it is discernment. We live in an age where we want to avoid the results of discernment. We prefer the glory of the power gifts and avoid the one that is designed to make a real impact.
A personal opinion is offered: People avoid discernment because understanding would force them to make hard decisions. It would force us to take unpopular stands on moral issues that our culture is against. It would make us different from those around us. We don’t like to be different but isn’t that condition of God’s people? One of the verses I have always liked from the KJV points this out?
(1 Peter 2:9 KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:“Peculiar” is translated different in the NASB. There it says “a people for God's own possession,” which is the general idea. We are to be different.
So? Start to get used to the idea of being different. Understand we are the opposite of the rotten apple in the barrel. Are you one of those people who goes to the grocery store to buy fruit and just starts throwing apples in the bag? I don’t. I examine each one for worms, bruising and breaks in the skin. Those apples may not jump out at me but they are obvious when I start looking. That should be the way we are. We are not to be different to be different but because we are different. Think about that. Act on it.