9/12 Ephesians 5:10

10 . . . and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Paul had written to the Ephesians to live in the light. He explained that the fruit of the light is what is good, right, and true (Ephesians 5:8-9). Then he added our verse for today. We must try to discern what would please the Lord from among the many choices that are before us. Among the good things there are better things. Among the better things there is often the best thing. We could call it God's perfect will. It would please Him if we went that direction because that path will result in the most good for the most people. It is consistent with His holy and just nature. It is an act of love. That often means it involves some sacrifice.

That choice of the best is not always clear or outlined in Scripture. That is why we have to make an effort to discern it. We make that effort because we love the Lord in response to all the love He has shown us.

Sometimes we have to test a path that we think is best. In doing so we discover God's encouragement and the prompting of the Spirit, or we sense that it is the wrong choice. That is one way of discerning which choice is best (Romans 12:2). As we mature spiritually, discernment becomes clearer and the choices more obvious. That is why the wise counsel of mature believers can be helpful.

Consider: Our flesh would have us do what is selfish and carnal. God's will never contradicts His Word. Look in the Word first. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of a relevant passage.