What does it mean to be intuitive?

The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day: what to wear, when to start turning the steering wheel, how high to turn the heat on the stove. Though many of them seem frivolous, every decision we make determines the reality of our future. 

As children, the majority of our decisions we make are based on our emotions. We didn’t eat our vegetables because they made us feel gross, we hit our sibling because they made us feel angry, we liked watching TV because it made us feel entertained. As we mature, our decisions begin to be formed by the wisdom we gain with lived experience.

Decisions are undeniably important, as they dictate the circumstances of our lives. This importance lends itself to the difficulty of making them—making one decision means not making another. Going through one doorway means leaving behind the others open to us. When faced with a decision, we are scared of the responsibility and the regret we could face.

There are some decisions in life that are so difficult to make, they require us to embrace our intuition. Intuition is the ability to make a decision without conscious reasoning. It is a somewhat unexplainable experience that forces us to betray logic and rely on that supernatural gut feeling. It’s independent of tangibility, and that’s what makes us hesitant to embrace it. There is nothing one can see, hear, or touch to assure them of their decision. Instead, it demands courage to step into the unknown. Though it seems unpredictable, intuition is a skill, and it is worthy of putting in the work to strengthen it.

For the Christian, intuition can become the communication of God’s guidance. We know that God can communicate with us internally, that He knows more than us, and that faith is the courage to act on His voice. Oftentimes, the fear of responding to that intuition is overthrown by a lack of trust that God is paving the best path.

In the Bible, a primary example of intuitive faith is Moses. As Moses was guiding the Israelites out of Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, Pharaoh and his army pursued them. When the Israelites reached the Red Sea, they were trapped and left vulnerable to Pharaoh. Moses then stretched out his hand, and the waters divided, forming a passage for the Israelites across the sea. The Egyptians tried to follow, but then God commanded Moses to stretch out his hand, and the sea consumed Pharaoh’s army (Exodus 14:19-31).

Moses’ faith outweighed the insurmountable logistics of parting the Red Sea, erasing all space for operational thinking. There was no learned behavior that led Moses to associate raising his hand and splitting the sea in two. Instead, his actions were a response to the internal voice of God. His trust and obedience led the Israelites to miraculously be saved.

Intuition is a quiet whisper that often falls victim to suppression and goes ignored. But intuition by nature demands attention. External incentives and temptations such as money, comfort, or time divert our attention away from it. Logical thinking does the same because it fosters predictability, and predictability is comforting. As humans, we love knowing the future because it is safe, whereas the unknown could potentially be harmful. But fear disguises intuition. Fear is loud. Intuition is quiet.

In a crowded room a whisper goes unnoticed, but in a deserted field a whisper is all that can be heard. The work of strengthening intuition begins with clearing away distractions, and it is ingrained in us by repeatedly obeying it. Daniel was a Jewish man taken into captivity by the King of Babylon. He was on the path to gaining great power in the kingdom, but could not do so if he prayed to God, as the king had prohibited it. When Daniel prayed, he was thrown into the lion’s den, but the lion did not eat him. 

Because of Daniel’s tireless practice of prayer and obedience to God’s Word, he had the confidence to remain loyal to Him. It was because of this that he was saved. When we devote ourselves to strengthening our communication with God, we align our hearts more with His own. Proverbs 2:6-10 tells us that the Lord’s wisdom is offered to us:

For the Lord gives wisdom; 
from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Fortunately for us, we have access to know Him through His Word. We have means to speak to Him and ask for His wisdom through prayer. It is then that we can hear His commands and better identify His voice when He is speaking to us. Our ears become in tune with His voice, better at weeding out the temptations and distractions. And when we seek and hear what He is saying, we can follow the plan He has in store for us.

Decisions are important, and we face thousands of them on a daily basis. When decisions are hard to make, we have the ability to rely on our intuition. But in a highly stimulated world, we can easily brush it aside. Most importantly, intuition is a skill that demands work to strengthen and practice to develop confidence. When we can align ourselves more with God, getting to know what He says, we can better hear His voice and act on it with confidence. It may seem quiet to us, but we can learn to listen more intently, becoming more of who God wants us to be.

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