Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods? [Job 38:36-38 (NLT)]
The Bible gives us plenty of instances of God directly speaking to His people—Noah, Moses, and Joshua were all given specific directions before building the ark, liberating the Israelites, or crossing into the Promised Land. On the other hand, there are many people who furthered God’s plan without His specific instructions. As far as we know, God didn’t tell Moses’ mother to place her son in a basket and lay him among the reeds of the crocodile infested Nile, yet she did just that. What caused a mother to literally send her beloved baby down the river? Yet, that very action furthered God’s plan; as the son of an Egyptian princess, Moses received a royal upbringing and an excellent education, all of which he needed in his later confrontations with Pharaoh.
There’s no mention of God telling Joshua’s spies how to get their information about Jericho. Granted, Rahab was a prostitute which might explain why they stopped there. Still, she probably wasn’t the only harlot in town and hers wasn’t the only house near the city wall. What made the men choose the one house where they’d find a woman who believed enough in the Israelites’ God to lie to the king’s men and save their lives?
Did the spies and Moses just catch lucky breaks? My husband often says, “Luck is better than skill!” but I don’t think luck had anything to do with it. We can’t truly comprehend God and, since we’re created in His image, it would seem that there is a part of us that also is beyond our understanding. An EEG can’t detect it and neither CT scan nor MRI can show it; nevertheless, it is what provides us with inner guidance and enables us to discern right from wrong, recognize danger, and become suspicious when things don’t seem quite right. It goes way beyond experience, aptitude, and skills. God has blessed us all with an innate intuition through which He steers our minds, changes our perspective, reveals opportunities, and helps us rethink situations so that we can choose His plan, even when we’re not sure what it is. It’s that strong inner feeling that something is the right thing to do, not just for our benefit but also for the benefit of those around us. It was what brought the spies to Rahab and caused Moses’ mother to place him in the river.
Unfortunately, not all of our inner feelings come from God; the enemy also is whispering into our ears. Being mortal, we are prone to errors in judgment and not every hunch, feeling, or instinct should be heeded. The Book of Judges tells us that, when there was no king in Israel, “All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” [17:6] In fact, after listing all of the nation’s appalling moral failures, Judges reiterates that thought in its last words. When God provided us with intuition, he did not abdicate his authority over us. The Israelites needed a king to govern them and we certainly need our King to rule us. Whatever we think intuition is telling us should be in line with what God has already told us.
Intuition isn’t our problem; it’s not adding God and prayer to it that is. We all will have intuitive moments but must discern their source by going to God’s word in the Bible and to His throne in prayer. The closer we are to God, the more likely we are to know whether or not that feeling in our gut comes from Him or from the spicy burritos we ate for lunch.