<<insight, discernment>>

In the natural world we obtain information from our five senses (taste, hearing, touch, smell, sight). When we analyse this input, using our biased attitudes and prejudices, we often arrive at a faulty conclusion as we have limited understanding and comprehension. The interpretation of the same facts varies from person to person – one person sees problems, another sees opportunities to growth. Many things, including learning and personality, influence our perceptions. The Word of God should also influence the way we see life, so we go beyond the natural sphere of understanding to the more powerful but unseen spiritual dimension.

In the spiritual realm the Holy Spirit can bring enlightenment by a ‘word of knowledge’, a ‘word of wisdom’ or other spiritual gift that supersedes the natural faculties of humans. We need to understand God’s heart and timing so we can effectively pray into situations and act strategically. “The men of Issachar understood the times and knew what Israel

The Bible and truth should direct our perceptions

should do” (1 Chr 12:32). In these days of compelling and contradicting voices, pray you too will have divine insight and the courage to do His will.

God spoke to the Israelites saying, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?" (Isa 43:19). We too should not try to predict how God will act on the behalf of those who wait or are in tune with Him (Isa 64:4). Even in these increasingly troublesome last days of world history there can be a tendency to contemplate and focus on the rumours, possibilities and conspiracy theories that abound. While we should be abreast of world events our spirits should be in tune with what God's Spirit is saying and doing.

Peter came to the realisation that God doesn't show favourtism but accepts anyone who respects Him and does right (Act 10:38,39).

As you glimpse into the spirit realm and see things as they really are you will see God’s provision for us (2 Kgs 6:16,17). Paul prayed that the spiritual eyes of the believers would be enlightened to receive revelation and insight so that they might know God better (Eph 1:17-19; Phil 1:9). Even as we study the Bible this should be our prayer, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Word” (Ps 119:18). Pray for sensitivity so you will see things more from God’s perspective than the natural world’s angle. Jacob, although initially unaware of the Lord’s presence came into a greater realization of it (Gen 28:16). “Jesus knew in His Spirit” but said of the crowds, although they saw and heard they did not truly see or hear (Mt 13:13-15; Lk 8:43-48).

As the world system deteriorates, people are being deceived and adopt a wrong perception by “calling good evil, and evil good”, exchanging the truth for a lie (Isa 5:20; Rom 1:25). The result is thinking they don’t need a thing when in God’s sight they are pitiful and poor (Rev 3:17). We need a solid foundation of the Word of God and genuine facts not hearsay or myths of man’s imagination as a basis for life.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP) is the alleged ability to receive information mentally rather than through the five physical senses. The Bible recognises there is a spiritual realm, and there are evil spiritual forces we must fight (Eph 6:12). Yet we are not to interact with or seek wisdom from any spiritual entity apart from God (Lev 19:31, 20:27). It is not ESP but the Holy Spirit within that is to provide guidance, conviction of sin and brings comfort to the Christian's heart and speaks godly thoughts into our heart and mind (Jn 16:13). As believers, our connection to God should not be confused with human psychic ability, that relies on occult practices. We must be grounded in the revealed truth of God's Word, and not be lead astray by deception in whatever form it comes including voices in one's head suggesting ungodly urges (1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:16,17; 1 Pet 5:8). We are to develop Christ likeness, a hunger for righteousness and can ask God for wisdom, but do not try to obtain it by ungodly means (Mt 5:6; Jas 1:5).

See also: assumptions, discernment, extra-sensory perceptioninsight, intuition, occult, perspective, spirit realm, spiritual gifts, understand/understanding.