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Words of Faith 12-30-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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[15] Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— [16]  no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.


     Part of a relationship of accountability is sharing spiritual insight.  The dictionary defines insight as an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, a penetrating mental vision or discernment, the faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth.  Spiritual insight is the apprehension of the spiritual nature of a situation or an underlying spiritual truth.

       Paul shared a spiritual insight with Philemon.  Perhaps the reason Onesimus was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good-- no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.  This was a powerful insight that makes the whole situation make so much more sense.

      Insight is prayerful discernment that helps to understand what is really going on in a situation or what God is trying to do.  Discernment is always spoken with humility.  Paul says: Perhaps the reason Onesimus was separated from you…  Even Paul was very careful not to presume to know the reason of the Lord.  He shared an insight.  This was not a prophecy or a word of knowledge. 

      The insight was that through this whole runaway slave episode, God wanted to give Onesimus back to Philemon for good but no longer as a slave but as a dear brother.  It is a powerful insight, and there is no reason to think this was not on the mark.  There may have been other reasons why these events occurred, but certainly, this was the way that God was working in Philemon's life.

      Spiritual insight is an important part of accountability.  We need to watch each others' backs.  But it is also important to watch one another's future.  Insight helps us to gain meaning from the events we are experiencing and then move toward the future.

      How do we gain spiritual insight? 

      First, we must be immersed in Scripture.  This is because the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The only way to separate our own opinions and thoughts from true spiritual insight is to allow the Word to sift everything we contemplate.  

      Second, we must be watchful.  Paul wrote to the Colossians: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (4:2).  If we prayerfully observe life and the events going on around us, we will gain spiritual insight into the situations we encounter.  As we prayerfully sift what is going on, the Lord will open us to the insight we need.

      Third, don’t be surprised if a spiritual insight is loftier than your own thought.   

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).


        Father God, open my Bible so that I may be influenced by Your Word.  Open my eyes, that I may be watchful and observant of Your hand at work around me.  Open my mind, that I may receive Your thoughts that are higher than my own. Give me insight. In Jesus’ Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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