Most of us will admit to having difficulty at times in hearing God and discerning His heart and mind in the moment. Yet, Scripture tells us that God is closer to us than our very breath, and that His Spirit is in us and around us. Fortunately, there are many spiritual disciplines, exercises, and practices that the Spirit can work through to help us discern rightly. And, most certainly there is God’s Word and the counsel of Godly friends and family. But, God has also blessed us with three distinct centers of intelligence that allow us to personally access God in the moment. Those are the head, heart, and body. Each of these Intelligence Centers offers us a distinct and different way of experiencing the loving presence, hearing the still quiet voice, and discerning the will of God.
Discerning Through Our Intelligence Centers
Because we are made in God’s image, Spirit guided discernment can originate in one or more of our Intelligence Centers. Our Intelligence Centers include:
- The Body (instinctive or gut) Center
- The Heart (feeling or emotion) Center
- The Head (mind, thinking, or rational) Center
Chris Heuertz, who writes and speaks extensively on the Enneagram tradition, says this of discernment through the Three Intelligence Centers: “Discernment is our ability to judge what is good, true, and beautiful. Discernment is also the inner knowledge of how to act on that which we perceive. Our use of discernment relies on the clarity of our centered minds, the objectivity of peace-filled hearts, and the unobstructed impulses or instincts of our bodies.”
Therefore, Spirit guided discernment distinguishes not only what is right (that which is aligned with God’s purposes, plans, and principles), but also provides us knowledge on how to act on or implement what we perceive. And, the effectiveness of our discernment relies on our ability to clearly receive input from our minds, hearts, and bodies.
We all have one dominant Intelligence Center. Some of us lean more on our rational mind to discern what God is up to. Others of us are better at listening to the matters of the heart, our feelings. While others rely more on what their gut or their body is saying to them. But, there is a danger in getting stuck in only one Center. If we fail to include and integrate all three Centers into our discernment process, we miss the entirety of what God has made available to us. Yes, we all have a dominant Center, but with practice and experience we can awaken, access, and allow the other two Centers to support our dominant Center.
Bringing our Three Intelligence Centers together in an integrated way requires extended times of prayer, introspection, and reflection that awakens these inner sources of God given intuition and discernment. Discernment doesn’t usually just zap us out of the blue, but is something that emerges from hard inner work and close attention. It’s a challenging and disciplined journey to experience the wholeness of our God given senses, but it is a worthy one.
God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
More of Jesus let me learn
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be
Showing the things of Christ to me.
Posted on March 3, 2020