Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Following Instincts

My mother-in-law and I were talking about "instincts" the other day in regard to her cat.  Her cats, Betsy and Henry, have never been "outdoors" or been around other animals (as far as interaction goes).    They sit and look out the windows in the kitchen and front living room and watch the cars go by, spy on squirrels and birds in the backyard, and my favorite... look attentively at falling leaves!    The other day Mom noticed that Betsy was looking out the back yard at a squirrel or something and it set off the "cackling" instinct that cats do sometimes when they are getting ready to hunt.  How strange that even though she's never had to hunt for her food, the instinct just came out! 

I find it amazing that God orchestrated His creation to have instincts.   Instincts are only there because God ordained them to be.  When I see a bird building a nest in a tree, a squirrel hunting for acorns to store away in its nest for winter, or even the busy little ants working away... it testifies to the awesomeness of our Heavenly Father.  If He cares for the birds of the air and creatures of the field, how much more does he care for YOU?  He'll lead and direct us by divine providence to live our lives holy and acceptable before Him.

I laugh at my dog, Winston, sometimes because he has habits.  For instance, while I am sitting here at my computer desk visiting with you, my faithful companion is curled up on his navy blue pillow next to the downstairs couch.  He does the same thing every day.  I guarantee as soon as I quit clicking away at the keyboard and push back in my chair, he'll  know I'm finished.  He'll jump up and we'll head off to the kitchen.

One other thing he does every single day is sit and soak in the sun for awhile.  Either he'll go to the screened in porch or he'll lay out on the back deck.  To me, this is an example of instinct.  Not only does he like the warmth of the sun, but vitamin D is probably just as important to dogs as it is to us humans.  Vitamin D lifts our moods, too.  Does a dog's mood need lifting sometimes?  I don't know for sure, but I imagine sometimes it would.


There are things we just do by instinct; a natural or inherit attitude, impulse, or capacity.  We do things without any natural reason and react on what would seem a subconscious level.  

We all know examples of instinct, like blinking when something is thrown at us or even the "Fight or Flight" reflex - but is there such a thing as instinct when it comes to the spiritual?   YES!  We all have the sin "instinct", but because God's Spirit resides in us because of Christ's work on the cross, we must understand that the sin (instinct) no longer has dominion (supreme authority) over us. 

Romans 6:15 says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. "

The attributes of the Spirit, such as grace mentioned in Romans 6:15, are inherently instinctive to God.  When His Spirit resides in us because of salvation, we are given the power to live righteous lives.  It's also the whole concept of bearing "fruits".  Being in Christ instinctively bears "Spirit" qualities in us.   We are also responsible to make good choices (bring every thought captive) and to walk in obedience... but because God has given us the Spirit, we no longer have to act in sinful instincts which bring death, but rather instincts of the Spirit that bring liberty and life.

I don't know about you, but I want to walk so close to God and be so full of His Spirit that I begin to serve the Lord and respond to others as though it's mere instinct- not something that I have to think about or train myself to do!  I want the Spirit to flow through me instinctively.    That is my prayer for all of us today..... that we would follow HIS instincts.

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