In Our Gut

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-7, ESV)

Have you ever had a gut feeling about a decision but didn’t trust it?

We will never know if the miracle shot Francesco Molinari attempted at the fifteenth on Sunday of the Masters cost him the win or not, but we do know that his caddie had a gut feeling it was the wrong decision. Molinari did not heed his caddie’s advice and later said, “I did a few things I wish I had done differently now, but I learn from my mistakes.”

I have been in many situations where I have both trusted and not trusted my gut feelings. On the positive side, I made my decision to play collegiate golf at San Jose State in a moment of intuition and it was the right decision. One ignored gut feeling left me treading the waters of regret for more than a decade after I left my mother’s bedside to play a three-week stretch of tournaments. Today, I hold kindness and grace for my heart for why I decided to leave, but the consequence was harsh: I was not present when my mom passed a week later.

Gut feelings and intuition are real facets of our subconscious. The scientific explanation for intuition is that as we grow and retain knowledge, our brains see patterns in the knowledge and lock it into our long-term memory. Gut feelings and intuition then draw on this knowledge, helping us make instant decisions.

For those of us who, like Paul, believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, an additional explanation is that the Holy Spirit guides us on a gut level in making instant or important decisions.

I believe our gut feelings and intuition are a combination of both explanations—developed over time based on learned knowledge and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The nudge of the Spirit of Jesus led Paul and Timothy on a 1,000-mile road trip that took about two months and probably made no sense to them. Their decision to obey their gut feeling and intuition led them through the exact region that the Spirit prohibited them to preach in, passing key cities and people who needed to hear the Gospel. The Spirit stopped them a second time from entering Bithynia, nearly halfway through the journey, where they were forced to backtrack. The terrain was rugged, desolate, filled with danger, and ended on the western coast in Troas.

Learning to trust our gut feelings and intuition can feel scary and may even take us on a long, rugged, and unknown journey. God eventually led Paul and Timothy back to Asia, but it was in his perfect timing, not Paul’s.

The Holy Spirit is real and active in our lives. Will you trust his nudge through your gut feelings and intuition?

Tracy Hanson
August 29, 2019
Copyright 2019 Links Players International
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