Cultivating Spiritual Sense
WE can all probably remember times when some activity or possible course of action felt right to us, as though it were the most natural thing in the world to do. On the other hand, there may also have been instances when we wrestled with a decision, not knowing which way to go. Answers aren't always clear-cut. Yet we don't have to be victims of indecision or turmoil. A feeling of peace is natural, and we can gain that feeling through cultivating our God-given spiritual sense. Obviously, a false peace is not desirable. To be comfortable in sin, for instance, is a deception. But utilizing spiritual sense shows us the way to genuine peace.
Spiritual sense is our inherent ability to understand God, to discern His presence and direction. This perceptiveness enables us to recognize our creator's guidance. It steers us in the most appropriate path and confers that feeling of rightness we have when we know our lives are in harmony with the divine will.
St. Paul indicates the naturalness of spiritual sense as the God-derived means by which we can perceive and experience His goodness: ``We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God....The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.''1
It's clear that ``the spirit of the world'' doesn't promote spiritual sense. Sensuality, egotism, dishonesty, and so forth don't help us feel closer to God but blind us to His direction and foster confusion. The remedy? Maybe it's best summarized in Christ Jesus' teaching ``Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.''2 Prayer and purity of thought help silence fear and enable us to look beyond the confusion reported by worldly, physical sense. They enable us to discern God's thoughts, His healing messages, which lead us in the right direction. It's not always easy to feel God's presence. But persistence in prayer and a willingness to turn away from a preoccupation with the moment's circumstances will help us feel nearer Him.
There have been many occasions over the years when I've confronted a difficult decision or an illness with prayer. Even when there have at first been severe struggles, I've inevitably felt the peaceful assurance of spiritual sense, pointing me in the right direction, enabling me to experience God's healing power.
Spiritual sense shows us what is really going on -- what is true in divine reality. What's really going on is God's uninterrupted care for man; the harmony of everyone's authentic identity as God's spiritual offspring. What the one God, universal Love, has created is ``very good,'' as the first chapter of the Bible tells us. By exercising spiritual perceptiveness we can discern that good of God's creating and help bring it to light. This is not to be naive about evil or to ignore it but to forward its destruction.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says succinctly, ``Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth.''3 We can begin today to cultivate more of this God-given, healing faculty. As we do, we'll see our way out of the maze of worldly, material sense and feel the peace that comes from God alone.
1I Corinthians 2:12, 14. 2Matthew 5:8. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 95.