Who touched me? I can almost hear those words echoing across the crowd. In so many ways this seemed like a puzzling question for Christ to ask. Many denied touching Jesus. Peter answered, ‘Master there are many people here’. In spite of this, Jesus knew that this wasn’t just any touch.
Have you reached out and touched God? Out of desperation and determination? Where the avenues you had hoped in failed you?
As Christ felt power leave when someone touched Him. A woman came trembling, falling down before Him as she declared that she had been healed instantly, when she grasped the end of his garment. There was no contact with Christ, just her confidence and certainty that she held with commitment. In this action, stretching towards and gripping the tip of Christ’s garment, in the middle of the busy crowd, she became whole. All other options had failed and here she dared to act in faith (Luke 8:43-48).
What is faith? The assurance of what we hope for and are certain of what we cannot see. Where Jesus was perceptive to the many people He brushed shoulders with. However, in this moment Peter was undiscerning and regarded this as an indiscriminate touch from the crowd, while Jesus recognised this as a touch of faith.
Unhesitantly and with poise, this woman reached (with complete assurance) for the hem of Christ’s garment. Illustrating how she was hopeful enough to believe, that if she clutched the hemline bordering His garment, she would be healed. The significance of His amazing touch (even in the robe He wore) of emotional and physical healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).
Why do we need faith? Because every day may hold wariness and doubts. But by God’s grace we can trust Him wholly. As did many daring men and women (Hebrews 11).
This begins when we decide how to choose a tactical outcome based on things that others may overlook. Through the missing clues you will eventually establish what is important and relevant, by filtering through much information.
Saved by grace through faith, not because of ourselves but because of God’s gift means we react positively to what God has already done. Christ was perceptive in His ministry. He saw what others didn’t or couldn’t. As He mentored the disciples, He transformed them from fishermen to fishers of men.
7 pointers to obtain the faith to changing an undiscerning attitude for a perceptive one…
- To follow and imitate His leading.
- To acquire an accurate knowledge of God’s word.
- To grasp the full significance of what God says to us through His word, so that we are able to clearly discern the outcome of our course of action.
- To train ourselves with God’s word as a compass, by applying this constantly to situations, until we become perceptive.
- To be intent on our objective, alert with our senses watching for any signs, knowing how to identify and interpret them. Similar to a reading a compass, you have to learn how to navigate it until you perfect the accuracy of following its direction.
- To gain wisdom from God’s word to be practical, obedient and discerning. This involves discipline and development, away from drifting into idle habits and indifference.
- To search the hidden treasure of God’s word by being alert and observant as we effectively pay attention to God’s revelation and knowledge imparted to us in life as we walk through it.
Constantly study, observe important signs and develop good habits. Then follow a pattern to master the techniques you find hidden in God’s truth. Be aware of how you study God’s word and how it relates to your circumstance/situation.
Most times we practice awareness and mental interpretation by what we perceive. When God’s wisdom shines into our situation we are no longer ignorant and oblivious to the darkness.
5 bible verses to train yourself to be perceptive (where you have insight, understanding, intuition) and become discerning (where you have good judgement and are perceptive)…
- To know [skilful and godly] wisdom and instruction; to discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight, to receive instruction in wise behaviour and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity; that prudence (good judgment, astute common sense) may be given to the naive or inexperienced, and knowledge and discretion (intelligent discernment) to the youth, the wise will hear and increase their learning, and the person of understanding will acquire wise counsel and the skill [to steer his course wisely and lead others to the truth] (Proverbs 1:1-5).
- On the lips of the discerning, [skilful and godly] wisdom is found (Proverbs 10:13).
- The mind of the intelligent and discerning seeks knowledge and eagerly inquires after it (Proverbs 15:14).
- A good name [earned by honourable behaviour, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches (Proverbs 22:1).
- The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the omnipotent Lord has made both of them (Proverbs 20:12).
When our eyes become attuned to how God would want us to see things. To distinguish between moral good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14); we will recognise deception and distractions and focus on excellence (Philippians 4:8).
5 tips that direct our senses to live with perceptiveness and discernment before God…
- It requires your effort, resulting in your ear becoming attentive to [skilful and godly] wisdom, and applying your heart to understanding [seeking it conscientiously and striving for it eagerly] (Proverbs 2).
- A wise and prudent man is he who listens to counsel (Proverbs 12:15b).
- The [arrogant] fool’s anger is quickly known [because he lacks self-control and common sense], but a prudent man ignores an insult (Proverbs 12:16).
- The naive or inexperienced person [is easily misled and] believes every word he hears, but the prudent man [is discreet and astute and] considers well where he is going (Proverbs 14:15).
- Changing an undiscerning attitude for a Godly perceptive one, requires using God’s word as a directive for every single decision and action we choose.
As you grow wiser you will intelligently apply knowledge because you become alert and astute.
In week 4, how can you acquire a perceptive attitude that is discerning? I would love to hear from you.