Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The ABC’s of Discernment: R is for Reconnaissance

Thus far we’ve been talking about setting up boundaries, flexible and inflexible, which we set into place for our own safety and protection. As such, we generally don’t want to cross these lines. But occasionally we must. Sometimes to combat the enemy we must cross spy out his territory.

This reconnaissance takes many forms. It can be studying another worldview in depth. It can be watching or reading material with known anti-biblical content. It can even be simply scoping out the unknown.

In each case, caution must be applied: Enemy territory is dangerous! You can be captured, “killed,” or worse yet, turned. As a result, you do not want to cross the boundaries on a whim. Rather, you should approach each situation with much prayer. Not ever person has to reconnoiter every place. Is this a place you have to go? Or are there other resources you can employ from others who have already scoped out the land?

Now, you may discover you still have to cross that line. As a writer, I sometimes must read books outside my normal boundaries to track the market. You may have to personally watch that R-rated movie to converse meaningfully with your coworkers. So if you find yourself preparing to invade enemy territory, consider the following before going ahead:

1. Set your mission. Make sure you have a specific and concrete objective. This way you can keep your focus and can know when it is time to leave. Otherwise, you’re just playing with a fire which could get you and others burned.

2. Surround yourself with allies. It is easier to take out one person than a group. So invite accountability and prayer partners alongside you to ask the hard questions, give you aid, warn of blind spots, and generally watch your back.

3. Do your preparation. You don’t plunge into a dangerous territory without any forethought. Rather, you make sure to train and study and plan. Therefore, take time to consult the research of those who have walked the same territory ahead of you. Map out your approach. Arm yourself with extra Scripture and prayer.

4. Approach with caution. Satan is wily and will do anything he can to damage the cause of Christ. However, God has the master plan. So stay sensitive and obedient to His leading. And if He says get out, get out now, even if it makes no sense at the time. You could be walking into a trap.

And finally . . .

5. Don’t linger. Get in, do the work, and get out. The longer you dwell in enemy territory, the more precarious your position will become and the more susceptible you will become to deception. Once you’ve accomplished your objective, clear out, restoring your boundaries to their proper places. 

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