Are you going through something rough right now? Do you know that the Lord doesn’t want to leave you in the dark, or unaware of what He is doing in your life? In everything we go through there are lessons that God wants to show us. The Scriptures say, whether good or bad, He will use everything for His good (ref Rom 8:28). This means that everything is purposeful and functional, so that we can learn from it. Yet, in order to understand what God is doing, we have to press into God, and learn His nature in everything!
When we understand His nature, we can understand what is not His nature. This requires the involvement of our spiritual senses, to be able to discern the difference between the soulish nature (completely focused on the flesh) and the nature of God. Just as we have five senses in natural, we have five spiritual senses, those senses help us discern whether something is good, or bad. The original Hebrew word for discern speaks of wisdom and knowledge. Solomon says in the Book of Proverbs that if you “cry out for discernment,” and you “lift up your voice for understanding,” . . . “then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God” (Pro 2:3-5).
Asking for discernment, or wisdom and knowledge, is actually what God desires because it gives us the ability to know what is of God and what is not of Him. (1 Ki 3:11-12). In the garden of Eden when Adam fell, God said, “the man has become like Us, to know good and evil” (Gen 3:22). Prior to this, Adam had no knowledge of evil, only good. Did God make a mistake; or did He allow man to experience evil?
Consider why a “righteous man may fall seven times and rise again” (Pro 24:16). Someone with the right understanding will still have some sin or (ignorance of truth) in their life, there is no getting around it, but the question is why does God allow it? Why did God allow Adam to fall? Wouldn’t it have been easier for him to never know evil; or was God trying to teach us something more? The righteous man falls, but he chooses (because God gave us free will) to rise. What does a righteous man understand? What is the determining factor between staying in a fallen state and rising again?
We can look at the Book of Romans to help us better understand: Paul said, “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character hope” (Rom 5:3-4). Proverbs 24, is not an excuse to live the way you want; rather, in the hard times of wrestling with our flesh, or our carnal reasoning (not understanding what God is doing), we can still draw understanding out of it, by gaining wisdom to where we are spiritually. The Apostle Paul knew there was something powerful to be drawn out from affliction because, in it, we gain dominion and Christ’s character when we conquer or overcome. Just as Christ made a way through the veil, which was His flesh (Heb 10:20), we are expected to overcome this flesh as well.
We can overcome by gaining wisdom and knowledge through the experiences we go through, which will stop us from acting in ignorance. The righteous man chooses to rise with wisdom, having already been exposed to evil, he chooses to put to death his members and follow God. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God”(Col 3:1).
The rest of the chapter goes on to say, “put to death your members,” “in which you yourselves walked in when you lived in them” (Col 3:5-7). How do we put something to death? God wants us to sacrifice the real beasts, which are within (ref Ecc 3:18), so we put to death our beastly mindsets, or the carnal nature, in order to take on the mind of Christ. Paul says, “present your bodies a living sacrifice” that you would be found “holy,” and “acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1). God wants to make sure that our understanding is holy and blameless, so it will be found acceptable to the Lord.
God wants our understanding to be perfected. In the Old Testament they offered animal sacrifices for the atonement of their sins. Yet, God wasn’t looking for literal sacrifices as they never really took away sin (ref Hos 6:6; Heb 9:13). The real sacrifice that has the ability to atone for our way of thinking happens when we lay those natures on the altar in order to become perfect or blameless through Christ. Yeshua, Himself even said to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect (Mat 5:48). The word for “perfect” in the Greek is the same word for mature. The Book of Corinthians says wisdom is spoken to those that are mature or perfect (1 Co 2:6). Those who are mature are those who have experienced wisdom through trial and error.
God allows us to experience things that are difficult because He wants to teach us, and show us how to overcome just as He overcame the flesh. God will allow you to go through something to test how you are going to react. The discernment of your soul can help you understand not only where you are spiritually, but what God wants to do in your life. Not because He needs it, but because we need it in order to take on another nature, which is “the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col 3:10). We put to death our old nature with an understanding that we desire to operate in another character.