Several things are key to a proper spiritual presence of mind and we will cover them in this article.
SPIRITUAL PRESENCE OF MIND IS VITAL BUT OFTEN LACKING. The German military in WW2 recognized situational awareness as one of the most important skills their men could have. U.S. combat pilots have also recognized this. And the Illum.’s secret Assassination Bureau is trained in situational awareness. I have never seen Christians trained this way, and yet we are in a vicious spiritual war where a cruel enemy stalks us like a lion to rip us to threads.
AWARENESS IS A CHOICE. Situational awareness and a spiritual presence of mind is a choice. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be added.(A) You must choose spiritual growth over vanity. You must choose to master your lower carnal nature. You must choose not to be blinded by pride and darkness. You must choose to love truth over lies. You must choose not be distracted. You can’t have situational awareness if you allow yourself to be distracted. (Cell phones are such an obvious example of a modern distraction away from situational awareness, but there are millions of distractions out there in the world.) As Christ says, “He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness.”(B) He promises good things, “if ye abide in me” (JN 15:7) So choose Christ every moment.
PEOPLE WITH GOOD SITUATIONAL AWARENESS & SPIRITUAL PRESENCE OF MIND USE EXTRA SENSES. Soldiers in combat survived using the instincts & 6th senses, call these gut feelings & intuition if you like. Likewise, a Christian in spiritual warfare must uses senses beyond the normal 5 senses. This is why we are commanded to “pray without ceasing”.(C) The Holy Spirit will guide us correctly, but only if we abide in Christ and are pure in spirit. If we let sin & pride rule us, our hearing will be distorted & weak. God speaks in many ways. He will use the things & people in our lives to speak to us…so situational awareness is key to hearing Him. Christ at times used nature as a lesson in wisdom. An example today would be watching how the animals around Yellowstone National Park are acting. If they run, they will warn of a volcano eruption. A good example of how the apostles in the early church chose situational awareness over doing good is in ACTS 6:2-4. People wanted the apostles to help, and they said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the Word of God….select among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer…” King David, a man after God’s own heart, repeatedly surprised those around him, because he had a spiritual presence of mind that went beyond the normal person. People have a normalcy bias where they want to reframe problems, spiritual dangers as “that’s no problem”. The Word says: can a man take fire into his heart and not get burned!?(D)
PATTERN RECOGNITION. Situational presence of mind means being aware of what is normal, and what the variations in the environment signal. As spiritual awareness is part of the spiritual presence of mind, knowing yourself is key. What does it feel like to be clean of demonic spirits?…we must know what it feels to be clean to realize when we are dirty. Am I beginning to weaken towards a certain temptation?? (You know this by the subtle or not so subtle signs)…Then I had better shore up my defenses in that weak area. Another way to describe this is interpretation of one’s situation. How can we measure things accurately? Wisdom is often achieved the hard way, so it is beneficial if we learn from the wise, that we ask questions & study because life is too short to learn everything the hard way. The Word of God is there for us to learn wisdom, but we must rightly divide it by using the Spirit of God to guide us into spiritual truths. Paul said the Law of God was beneficial to him. And so it is. Use the full Word of God…don’t allow false teachers to keep you from learning it all by their inaccurate label “the Old Testament”—which is something God never called the Scriptures written in Hebrew. Spiritual Pattern Recognition also includes seeing what is noble and praiseworthy…being able to see someone as God sees them, with their potential value. What are the spiritual possibilities in this situation???
POTENTIAL HAZARDS. Where are our spiritual threats?? What do they look like?? Are we able to get into our opponents’ heads?? Do we realize how Satan & his minions masquerade as angels of light? (E)—politicians being just one easy example. Many things are not good for the soul. There are limitations of knowledge. There are limitations to book learning. There is a spiritual war going on all around us…and in and through us. During combat operations, soldiers must keep their weapons at hand. This is how Gideon was instructed to separate the men God wanted him to use—by seeing which ones kept their weapons at hand when they drank.(F) So always have your spiritual weapons at hand. When we think about spiritual hazards…we need to think about what is sin…what weakens us spiritually…and what happens when we fail to fear & reverence our Lord God Almighty. These are little decisions every moment. If we ask, What would Jesus do?, then we could avoid grievous hazards. Spotting hazard is only part of situational awareness, spotting opportunities is the other half. When we stand firm in Christ, we give God an opportunity to work in a situation. Judge not that ye be not judged. We need to cut others the same slack we cut ourselves. We need to attend to our own faults, and not others’. It is a hazard to focus on what others should do, and neglect what we should ourselves do.
LOVE. Love the truth. Love your heavenly Father with all your might & soul.(G) Men come & go, but God lasts forever. Do what you can, love where you can, & God will assist you. So we need to humble ourselves under the hand of God. When your heart is prayed up & and fine tuned, when instantaneous decisions need to be made, what is in the heart will govern that split second decision. A pure conscience will give you clarity. Peace will come from God (& your clean conscience), not the World. There will be moment to moment changes that demand a spiritual presence of mind. You can’t run from this spiritual war…we were born into a World at war, so we must spiritually bloom where we are at. May the God of love & mercy, richly bless you my friend. Love, peace and faith, and Happy Mother’s day to all you mothers! thank you.
(A) MT 6:33 (B) JN 8:12 (C) 1 THS 5:17 cf. 1 TIM 2:8, JAS 5:13 (D) PRV 6:27 (E) 2 COR 11:14 (F) JDG chap. 7 (G) LK 10:27 & others.