faith, Life

Reasoning vs Discernment

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

“Why do I believe despite the things that have happened to me, Lord?”

As I was laying on my couch recently, I was silently praying. I was extremely tired that morning…or was it an afternoon…and I was taking my cares to the Lord in prayer. I was so consumed with my own thoughts that I was distressed.

During my prayer, I asked Him that question, “Why do I believe, despite all of the things that have happened to me, Lord? Why do I believe and trust you?”

Distressed and frustrated, I began talking with Him about me, about other Christians, and just trying to gain an understanding. I didn’t quite understand why others were doing and saying the things that they were, but I figured they must know more than me, right?

I mean, there’s no way I could go to them in private and discuss their behavior with them. It’s not like they were sinning against me (Matthew 18). They were openly sinning – at least that’s how I saw it – by the way they were behaving on social media. Their arrogance, pride, judgment of other Christians was getting to the point of name calling.

That’s dangerous.


Over the past few years or so, God has been talking to me about this danger. In essence, He asked me if I was willing to pray for them.

Umm…what, Lord? Why do I need to pray for them?

Yes, daughter. Are you willing to spend time praying for them or would you rather continue with your critical spirit?


I was convicted.

Last year, I was thinking about certain television preachers of the past/present, and I felt that spirit rising up within me again. “How can people fall for that?” was my thought. Immediately, He asked me, “What’s it to you?“. He added,

I know and understand that you don’t always agree with what you see and hear from others. Even those whom I have called for such a time as this. That’s okay. If they are wrong, I will deal with them. Your job is to glean and discern. That’s why I have brought them into your life: to glean and discern. You won’t always get it right. You won’t always get it wrong. The important thing is to learn in the process. 

What’s it to you?

What’s it to you if what they believe they hear from me doesn’t “seem right”? Get your eyes off of them and onto Me. You are not Holy Spirit to them. This is my teaching season with you. Stay the course. Don’t quit. Don’t deny what I am doing in you. EYES ON ME! I gave you Colossians 3:2 for a reason. It wasn’t just for 2021. It was to engrain it into your mind that I am to be your focus at all times. I’ve got you, My child. I’ve got you. Stay submitted to the authorities over you. Keep your heart right with Me. I’ve got you!


Part of my prayer that day included the questions, “Am I that naïve, Lord? Why do I struggle so much to remember your Word, yet I’m able to discern things in the Spirit?”

He told me that when it comes to the spiritual things, I operate in discernment whereas others operate in reasoning. Human reasoning.

To understand the things of the spirit, you must have discernment. Human intellect will always collide with spiritual things. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

He went on to explain how there are times when people operate (act, think, speak) from a place of pain, although a Christian, they lean on human reasoning to understand spiritual things. When human reasoning is taken too far, a critical spirit arises.

That’s not to say one doesn’t need human reasoning, for it is a gift from God (knowledge, wisdom), but one must not lean on their own understanding through reasoning alone. And the only way to find balance – which, if you know me, is something I always strive for – is to spend time with Him.


Time with the Holy Spirit is sacred, but admittedly, I don’t revere it in the way that I should. If I did, I’d spend more time with God in prayer, worship and study.

“Stop right there, Sunny.”

When we say we need to do something more or that we’re not doing enough of some thing in our Christ-following walk, that’s human reasoning, isn’t it? As if there are these various levels of Christianity that we can achieve. That’s how we can measure (reason) how well we are doing in our walk with God, right?

After re-reading what I just wrote, I could feel a check inside my spirit that said, “Stop.

I trust God. I trust His ways. I trust His word. I trust Him even when I don’t understand. I trust Him when my prayers aren’t answered. I trust Him when people disagree with me. I trust Him when other Christians aren’t acting very “Christian-like”. I trust Him in my pain. I trust Him when I wrestle with fear, anxiety and frustration.

I choose to trust Him.

Now, it doesn’t happen right away. An issue arises and I don’t always say, “Okay, God, I trust you.” That’s not reality. I struggle. I doubt. I sometimes stop reading my Bible. I feel deep levels of pain and begin to question if I truly heard (discerned) what He is telling me. But, He patiently, lovingly brings me back to Him. A place of trust.

It’s not a matter of how much. That’s human reasoning.

It just matters that I trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

He loves me no matter what. His love doesn’t change. Even when I walked away, He still loved me. When I came back to Him and entered the doors of a church again, His love remained the same. When I’m not the greatest example of a follower of Christ, His love is unchanged.

I’ve walked with Him long enough to know that I just trust Him.

Maybe that’s the answer to my “Why” that day. The question of, “Why do I believe despite the things that have happened to me, Lord?”


He healed me of the pain. He helps me to let it go – it is a process after all. I’ve learned to not operate from or dwell in a place of pain constantly.

And so, I trust Him. And, He helps me discern.



Knees Down, Prayers Up