Personal discernment is the process of understanding why we do the things we do and feel the way we feel. In a Christian context, discernment is a gift from God, a way of rightly judging whether or not thoughts and actions come from the divine or a less holy place, such as fear, anger, selfishness or even the devil itself.
The Power of a Spiritual Walk, an essay by author Doris Kirby, is a bit difficult to summarize, as it suffers at times from muddled prose and rambling ideas. Broadly, though, it explores the familiar spiritual warfare between a person’s earthly yearnings and the right and just desires of God. At the center of this struggle is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who can be seen by Christians as a general in the divine milieu between right vs. wrong. The Spirit can give orders in the march to salvation, but ultimately it is up to an individual to make correct choices. As the author writes, “You have to make a decision whom to serve: God or Satan…The devil is not going to tell you the truth; he wants you to fail. He contradicts the Word of God.” Ultimately, the book asks the question: Will you walk with God or run away?
With the tone of a concerned friend, Kirby is offering a simple, well-intentioned plea to the faithful here —that they constantly have a choice between right and wrong. Good intentions aside, however, the book’s disorganization and its often-stream-of-consciousness writing style present obstacles to comprehension. Much of this could have been alleviated with professional editing and the inclusion of a brief preface outlining the purpose of the book. Without it, the author’s ideas seem to float without an anchor.
Seasoned readers won’t find much that’s fresh here, but new seekers struggling on their spiritual journey who can overlook the book’s flaws will find a guiding hand on the path to God.
Also available as an ebook.