Typically, the saying goes, “go with your gut,” and it’s said and heard frequently. Can we bring this one home, though, and claim it as biblical? You betcha. But not so fast. There’s more to it than simply trusting what our gut, or instinct, tells us and going along with it. There’s more to take into consideration as we let our gut lead us into decisive action. All of us, at different phases of our lives, can learn to decipher the messages our guts are relaying and, with practice, with failures, and victories, we can take steps toward growing into the reliance of trusting where our instincts guide us. This may be starting to sound antithetical, but as I grow, ever so slowly, strictly by the grace of God, I’m just now beginning to realize that what my gut is telling me, many times, is actually the leading of the Holy Spirit. Yeah. It took me awhile, huh?
In the Reformed tradition, of which I warmly behold, we tend to disregard the ever present power of the third person of the Trinity. Reformers have been called, “the frozen chosen,” because of their beliefs, in part, regarding election and cessation. Perhaps some hold to a rigid and fixed presence of the Spirit of God among us, unmoving and not intimately engaged in the decision making process in the lives of believers, but this cannot be so. God is not only with us, He is in us. Yes, His Word is our only clear representation of Him, but when we’re immersed in it, it begins to take over more of our inner “voice.” That little prick pecking inside us that we call our gut instinct, when miraculously mixed with a mind that’s been intentionally seeking His revealed will through Scripture, can be transformed from the secular view of our gut instinct, to a supernatural habitat for God and His promptings. I’ve known others to have experiences ranging from audibly hearing God speak to them, to seeing sights that God is showing them. I’ve had neither. I have, over time, had Him show me that I can begin to trust my gut more now than ever before; for me, that’s big, because the decisions only get more dire as we age. The chosen, yes, but the frozen, not a chance.
Surely, each and every one of us has decisions to make, on a daily basis, some seemingly big, some appearing to be minor; how common it can be to cave and settle on one option before us because our heads are so bombarded with all of the “what ifs,” doubts, fears, and, often the very worst, whether our decisions are the right ones. I must divulge the wisest words of wisdom from one who’s walked alongside me over the years, advice as I struggled with such a decision that I doubted, feared, and desperately hoped to make the right one; “God’s not going to zap you,” she said. She elaborated, of course, adding that as long as we’re consulting, seeking, depending, and relying on God through our decision making process, with biblical integrity, He will know this. Such a pithy little statement, those six short words, but they’ve been stuck in my gut ever since and I’m hopeful, that by sharing them, they can be stuck in yours.
I’m certainly not advocating that we proceed by making hasty and reckless choices, without regard of the consequences of them all, but when we can’t find a definitive answer to our proposed conundrums in our Bible, we can be assured that whichever decision we make, as long as it’s with Him at the head, we cannot go wrong. If this weren’t the case, wouldn’t logic lead us to assume that we could make a move that isn’t within God’s ordained will? To even consider that this could be so is folly; not one event can happen outside of His will and holding that fact close, always, gives us a firm grasp on the freedom He gives us and will inevitably end with our decisions being His decisions. This is also true for those who seem to be acting, or making decisions, outside the boundaries of His plan; but these also come to fruition as He deems them to be. Those in that decisive bunch are not who I’m addressing here, as that’d be a whole separate post.
We can go with our gut, especially when our gut is growing in the knowledge of Him. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. This implies that we ought to attain some semblance of knowledge so that we can assign wisdom in our decisions. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Wisdom, knowledge, understanding…all under the guise of God, of fearing God. Not one ingredient of this recipe of response can be left out and when we utilize them all to garner up which way we should go, in this or that, we can decide, not with a fear that the Lord will zap us if we make the wrong decision, but with a proper fear of the Lord that leads our logic, guides our guts, causes us to pause, and recognizes that, in instances where we feel as though we made the wrong decision, He can make it right.