I’m currently participating in a men’s Bible study that meets on Saturday mornings at 7:00am. I’ll say right off the bat that it’s a serious challenge for me to get up on Saturday mornings at 6:15 to get ready and drive to Bible study. My normal schedule puts me in bed usually well after midnight, so getting up early on a Saturday is definitely a sacrifice, but it’s well worth it. I need more of what I get each week meeting with these men. Most men need more of that in their lives.
We’re currently working through the book “No More Excuses” by Tony Evans. Also a good book title to try and motivate you when you’re lying in bed and don’t want to get up. Lots of excuses come through my mind in the early mornings while I’m in bed. Last week part of our study centered around the story of Nehemiah and his efforts in rebuilding the destroyed walls of Jerusalem. We talked about him being “spiritually perceptive”. As we got to discussing what that means, I good analogy come to my mind.
I currently have a 15-year old in the family who’s learning to drive. One of the roads to our home is through the country and rolling hills of Tennessee. The road (well, the entire area!) is frequented by deer that you’ve got to watch out for while you’re driving. One evening we were coming home and decided to our son drive home at night on this back road. I was sitting in the back seats and my wife and both reminded and encouraged our son to remain alert and be on the look-out for deer. When we arrived home he proudly announced that he saw three deer on the trip. I told him that he then missed the other nine. He was aghast at what he missed. He asked me how I saw them and what I was looking for to see them so well. Did their eyes reflect in the headlights?
Here’s where I tie this back to our Bible study…
I told my son that while I’m driving on roads like this I’m looking in expectation of seeing deer. It’s not necessarily that I know where they are, but I take my previous experiences of where I’ve seen them on previous drives and look in those places. I also pay attention to the surroundings along the drive and think about areas where I believe deer would more than likely frequent. I tried to remember and don’t think I look for their eyes. I look for their general outline and shape breaking up the normal darkness surrounding me.
I shared with the men’s group that I believe that’s how we should be looking at the world around us as Christians and try to be spiritually perceptive. We need to be looking and watching in expectation of what God is doing and where He may be working along our journey. We should be familiar with how He’s worked in the past and the areas of our lives and the lives of others where he frequently shows up and breaks through the darkness surrounding us.
We also shared in our most recent study this morning that we also need to be aware that being perceptive to the world around us involves much more than sight as well. We need to listen with anticipation. We need to feel deeply about the people we’re close to and the struggles in their lives. We need to sense and trust our feelings when we’re prompted that someone isn’t themselves or seems to be struggling. We need to always be looking for opportunities to be a blessing, encouragement and help to others in our lives.
What do you think? How do you see yourself being spiritually perceptive? What can you do this week to heighten those senses in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.