"For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Heb. 5:13&14. The word 'discern' in this passage is defined by Strong's as distinguishing, differentiation, passing judgment. Coupling this with Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Strong's defines 'discerner' as able to discern or judge. It is impossible to place enough emphasis on the necessity of the Word of God being the mainstay of a person's heart as they walk with God and live in this evil world. The Word separates the good from the evil. The Word knows the heart of everyone, saved and lost. It has been taught in recent years that one man cannot 'know' the heart of another, nor his intentions, but is that the case? The two verses given above do not say that, they state the opposite, that a man's thoughts, intents, and even his heart can be discerned by the Word of God and by His children who have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Examples are found in Acts 8:14-25 where one Simon tries to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit from Peter and is soundly rebuked. Acts 13:4-12 Paul deals with a sorcerer and rebukes him and pronounces his punishment of being blind for a time. Acts 16:16-18 Paul is pestered by a slave girl and casts out the demon that was using her. How did Peter and Paul know what was going on and what should they do about it? Was it some mystical infusion of special insight? No. It was simply another case of their senses being exercised to know good and evil based on the Word. The main 'sense' that was exercised was their hearing; they listened to what the false prophets said and knowing that their speech did not align with the Word of God took the appropriate action in each case. Discernment is not complicated, but it can be VERY taxing mentally, emotionally and even physically.
In Mark 6 after the Lord Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, they returned and told Him all that they had done, Mark 6:30. Our Lord's response is highly important, even to the discussion of discernment. "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" Mark 6:31. Sometimes the 'cesspool' of discernment can be very frustrating, demanding, aggravating, and seemingly unfruitful, especially when you try to reason with folks who are blind and yet know everything. But "earnestly contending for the faith" is never useless, nor unfruitful, and definitely not a waste of time. But there does come a time when it is necessary to step back, regroup, take a break, while giving yourself to prayer and the Word. Some times a short break is all that is needed, others times longer. But rest from the battle is necessary from time to time.
Ever had a good case of the Elijah Syndrome? You get worn out serving the Lord and say to yourself "what's the use?" Or worse yet, you run scared from one of today's Jezebels and run and hide (1 Kings 19). You begin to feel sorry for yourself and want to die. Maybe you try to hide from God, but He always finds you. Perhaps you think you are the only one left who is in the service of the Lord Jesus, and everyone is out to get you, or worse yet to kill you. You lodge a complaint with God that falls on deaf ears, while He instructs you to do His bidding regardless of your mental state. Your self pity grows, your complaint is dismissed and then you are reminded that the Lord God still (and always will have) has His few chosen, elect, and precious saints who may not be seen, but are nonetheless there. I've come down with this ES more than twice in my few short years of trying to walk with my Lord. It's always humiliating to be reminded of Elijah, but it draws a smile on my face in between my fits of self pity. Perhaps you can relate.
Be strong in the face of persecution---it's only going to get worse. Our eternity is not on this earth, but with Him, our Beloved and Precious Savior. Thank you, Lord for Your Everlasting Goodness.
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan