“Stay close to Me. You’ll be smarter for it.” – God
That people may know skillful and godly Wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight. – Proverbs 1:2, Amplified Bible
In his book Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, author Gary Klein detailed his findings after a decade-long study of how people make split-second decisions in high-pressure, high-stakes situations. Some of the professionals he studied included firefighters, critical care nurses, pilots, and nuclear power plant operators. Klein’s research points to several intriguing truths, but one in particular stands out: intuition grows out of experience.
Klein interviewed a fireground commander who, when a lieutenant some years prior, had saved the lives of his hose crew by acting on a hunch. While battling what seemed to be a routine kitchen fire in a single story house, the then lieutenant got the feeling that something wasn’t right. He ordered his crew out of the house, and as soon as they left, the floor where they had been standing collapsed into the basement below.
The lieutenant didn’t know the house had a basement, so he had no clue that a huge fire was seated there. How did he know his men were in danger? Because the fire did not behave as his experience told him it should. When sprayed with water, the fire roared back rather than simmer down, like a small kitchen fire should. The living room was hotter than he would have expected, and it was very quiet. Fires are noisy, and for a fire with that much heat, there should have been more noise. The reality of the situation was not matching up with how experience had taught him a small kitchen fire should act, so he evacuated, just in time. For years the firefighter had claimed he had ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). Dr. Klein helped him to see that he had intuition rooted in experience.
Christians ought to be so experienced with the mind of God that when encountering something that is out of God’s pattern of thinking, they can sense the danger. Satan loves to deceive, he loves to twist, and he loves to misdirect. He will use false teachers, false friends, and false wisdom to trick God’s people into following a wrong path. If we are not experienced in God’s methods, practices, and ways of thinking, then we can easily be led astray. But if we are diligent in studying our Bible to learn God’s mind and purposes for our lives, then our experience in the Word will help us to recognize when Satan’s clutches, not God’s uplifting hands, are upon us.