by Ernest O’Neill
Has your mother ever said to you, “It’s just a woman’s intuition!”, when you asked her how she knew what you were going to do? Often women seem to have a sixth sense that is more developed in them than in men. They seem to have an insight into people’s characters that appears to be deeper than just intellectual analysis. Indeed, sometimes people with little intellectual training have a livelier intuition.
The word “intuition” comes etymologically from the Latin word “intuor” which means “see”; it refers to an inherent, innate ability to perceive what is true or what ought to be done-apart from any conscious analysis of the situation. This faculty resides in the mysterious part of our personality that we are discussing these months-the human spirit.
Foretelling the Future
Our spirit is that level of our personalities that lies under the conscious level of our intellects and emotions and wills. It’s the part of us that can communicate with the Spirit of our Creator. Conscience, which we’ve just been discussing, is part of the human spirit; and conscience convicts or nudges us in the light of what our intuitions are saying.
Just as conscience is still partially alive even in a person who has no belief in or relationship to God, so intuition is often partially alive in many human beings who have no belief in God at all. This is simply because the human spirit still exists even though it is not vitally energized by God’s Spirit. This helps to explain why people with certain personalities (not just women) seem to be “spiritual” in a non-Christian sense. They are very aware of the spiritual world that is governed by the “principalities and powers” mentioned by Paul in Colossians 2:15. Just as there is an eternal spiritual world ruled by Christ, so there is a temporal spiritual world that has been given the same freedom as human beings. People with sensitive spirits can be influenced by that spirit-world that imitates and counterfeits the real spiritual life of God.
This is why the witch at Endor (in the history of Saul in the Old Testament: 1 Samuel 28:12) was taken aback when Samuel miraculously appeared himself instead of the counterfeit spirit she expected to call up. This also helps us to understand why clairvoyants, spiritualists, and psychics appear to be able to foretell the future. This gift belongs to the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), but it is counterfeited by deceptive spirits which manipulate human wills and circumstances to fulfil their prophecies.
Purpose of Intuition
Nevertheless, the existence of such a network of spirit-activity serves to draw attention to the existence of a genuine “intuition” which exists in each of us. It remains weak and inactive in most of us until we become aware of the real world of God which is all around us. Then, as we take our first tottering steps of faith in Jesus, we sense urges to do and say things that seem to come from somewhere other than our own reason. Somehow we just “know” what we should do. Even in situations that are new to us, we seem to sense what we must do-without advice from others-and at times without prior thought on our part. God’s Spirit always enlivens our spiritual intuition whenever we make a real, honest, heartfelt move towards Him. This is why we begin to receive these inner impressions that we’ve never experienced before.
What is happening to us is the effect of God’s Spirit upon ours as we begin to believe and act in accordance with reality. His Spirit then commences to communicate to our spirits what our Creator wishes for us: this is because “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of men conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 2:9-11).
This is the way our lives were meant to work-by the guidance of our intuitions. The Creator did not make us and put us here on earth to find our own way through life as best we could. He put within us a receiver that is able to register the specific plans He has for our lives. Let’s study in the next article how this works in real-life situations.