Discernment Tests

Light rays break beam through the trees and illuminate the road ahead. (photo by Thomas Robinson)


Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. 1 John 4:1

The following seven tests are questions to ask in light of decisions you are facing, or options along the road ahead when several paths present themselves and you may not be sure of which route is the best for you to walk upon.

Prayer Inquiry Test

Have I inquired of the LORD what to do?  Have I listened to the heart of God and to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Have I genuinely brought this decision to God more than once seeking God’s guidance?  

Scripture Test

Does it agree with God’s Word, with clear teaching of Scripture, with the counsel of God found in Old Testament and New Testament?

Christ Test

Does it bring honor to Jesus Christ?  Does it point to the character, teaching, life, death and resurrection of our Lord?

Body of Christ Test

Does it build up the Body of Christ?  Will this decision strengthen the Church, edify believers, support the fellowship of Christ’s people?

Wisdom Test

Do wise people in my life affirm this decision to be of God?  Have I checked with wise counsel concerning this decision and been willing to follow that counsel?

Fruit Test

Will this decision bear fruit, the kind of fruit that is eternal (John 15:16)?  Has this decision been shown to be a “fruitful” one?  (Galatians 5:22ff, the fruit of the Spirit)

“In Light of Eternity” Test

What does this decision look like “in the light of eternity”?  What of this decision will last forever?  How eternal is my perspective when I look at this decision?