• When You Don’t Need Teaching To Know Your Purpose: Instincts – PDL Insights (Part 18)


    When You Don’t Need Teaching To Know Your Purpose: Instincts – PDL Insights (Part 18)

    When you were born, with a little slapping or without you started crying and that was a sign of life and normality to those attending to your birth.  Without any teaching you started sucking milk from your mother’s breasts. How come everyone, with the exception of a few understood to be defective cry and suck milk naturally. This is instinctive behaviour. There are many things that living things (including human beings) do that they are not taught. The subject of instincts is a subject that has been under studies for the past two centuries as many tried to explain human motivation and behaviour. Not going into much details of the debate, it is clear from the light of truth in the bible that there is an in built motivation in God’s creation that works in living beings that guide certain functions.

    Some discoveries enlightened by truth have come to the conclusion that human beings are created with three major inborn desires or instincts that provide the needed energies to be fruitful and fulfil our purposes. These are; the desire to procreate, desire to rule and desire to provide [Genesis 1: 28-29]. These desires work in interrelation to provide whatever energy needed for any endeavour. In as much as these are general to all, the God who has created all human beings as unique individuals with unique figure prints cannot be imagined to be unable to wire us differently in how these instincts operate.

    With the guidance of the three basic instincts described here, we have different branches of these instincts according to our differences in wiring that help us to be different as we pursue our purposes and fulfil the unique mandates that we are uniquely designed for. If our uniqueness is not by accident, then the one who has made us unique has different goals that he sees of every one of us. These goals or ends can be instinctively understood by every individual and everyone is designed with an instinctive mechanism that draws us towards the different ends. We are happy and fulfilled to the degree that we are walking towards those goals and walking in agreement with the instincts wired in every one of us to fulfil those goals.

    When we continue on the aspect of personal power, we cannot comprehensively discuss what we are naturally endowed with that helps us fulfil our purposes by original design without talking about these instincts. Early research and writings of the 20th century describe instincts as innate tendencies to certain kind of human actions and the source of human motivation. They further describe them as expressed in circumstances in which in the absence of experience and taking into consideration the level of mentality otherwise attained by the organism in question, there can be no knowledge of the end nor deliberate and conscious contrivance on the part of the individual according Ginsberg (1931)

    To motivate behaviour, in addition to instincts, our environments contribute to what we do and the goals that we chase. The environment in this case includes the natural environment and the culture and learning that we are exposed to. Some of it is consistent with our natural instincts but some of it is contrary. The environmental factors, culture, learning and training that is consistent with our instincts and purposes sharpen us and empower us to live peacefully and joyfully, but when these are contradictory they divert us from understanding the voice of instinct and push us to live otherwise.


    As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace —  if someone speaks, let him speak God’s words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah — to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. [1 Peter 4:10-11 Complete Jewish Bible]


    The text shows us that everyone has received some spiritual gift. Without learning we find ourselves operating in this gift. We may do different things to sharpen our gifts but we instinctively know what to do and how to do it. Some environments help us so that it is easy and natural to operate in our gifts and fulfil our purposes but some environment work against these natural inclinations. The bible does not show us how we are to use the gifts but sometimes shows the good ends to be realised. The ends are spelt in our values that clearly illustrated as expressing love and service to others. The how part is in our instincts.

    Some have tried to teach from their experiences on how to do certain things, like finding a partner or finding your purpose. This has helped some but this has also not helped everyone. This is because the ‘how’ is unique to every individual. There may be similarities with those who have been ahead of us but they are not meant to be standards and absolutes. This Purpose Driven Life (PDL) journey has therefore been showing us some pointers that help us identify our purposes like the gift, passion and values clusters but the three clusters are not complete without talking about instincts. In one way or the other you have to learn to follow your instincts and take all forms of instruction through teaching and training as guides.

    I will give the illustration through a text earlier referred to in the journey about Spiritual Gifts. One dimension of Spiritual gifts is called the gifts of the Holy Spirit discussed in the text below,
    For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: [1 Corinthians 12:8-10 KJV]

    The interesting thing in this portion and every other part of the bible is that we never see where the bible explains how the gifts operate. We are not told how the word of knowledge comes or the word of wisdom or any of the other remaining seven gifts. That is instinctive and Spirit led. Taking the word of knowledge for example, the knowledge can come in the form of a dream, an audible voice, inward witness, vision, something that you feel on your body this is not important. The important thing is that you got a word that gave you knowledge that you could not have gotten on your own without the help of the Holy Spirit. The how part is instinctive.

    The same also applies to the Gifts of Christ in, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. We can have guides and clues of what they are supposed to accomplish generalised as equipping the saints for the work of ministry but there is no definitive blue print on how they do it and the stages of development because the rest is unique for every individual and is supposed to be pursued by instinct. The two examples of the operation of Spiritual gifts gives us an understanding of why understanding the role of instincts is important in pursuing The Purpose Driven Life (PDL).

    The PDL takes into consideration one’s uniqueness that deals with different gifts, skills, talents, abilities, passions, desires, convictions and values. Trying to find a blue print that gives you three steps towards what sort or seven steps towards what ends will not work for you. Using clues and pointers like what this book is doing is just to guide you but at the end of the day you have to follow the instincts within. They tell you that there is more to be done. They give you the energy and motivation to continue when you pass through dark moments.

    On your PDL you will come across dark moments, situations where the facts will tell you it is impossible, science will show you impossibility. It is only instinct that will make sense and will guide you to the realisation of your goals. Most of us have been through different situations where everything was not making sense but our instincts speaking otherwise. When we followed instincts we realised successes or victories that gave us more joy. This is why I say Instincts are part of the personal power that have to be understood and harnessed in the PDL journey. When everything is not making sense it is the energies released by our instincts that power us to soldier on.

    This is not however an instruction or a license to despise learning, teachings, advice and counsel but this shows us how to balance the two for success. The PDL journey will have a lot of setbacks and failures. You might follow the environment and learning and fail or follow instincts and fail but it is instincts that will give you the energy to rise and continue because the instincts for increase, growth and purpose will be speaking from within. This discussion on instincts is meant to awaken you to the reality of their existence and also that you can harness them and follow them on the PDL journey because they are an important tool never to be ignored.

    Instincts are also important in a world where there is competition and where the environment pushes us to compare ourselves with others. When we listen more to the voices in the environment they can be an inspiration showing us what is possible but they can be a hindrance when we try to match up to the standards they set. As I earlier highlighted, our purposes are unique and so are the journeys and processes. Our instincts speak to us to be at peace with wherever we are as long as we are not going ahead or staying behind them. Listening to them is important when the world around us is comparing us to the standards it sets.

    Your age mates might all be married and you are not, they may have children and you are yet to have any. Someone leading a business, church or organisation might be achieving more than you are according to natural measurement and this could be discouraging. Listening to the internal voices might be showing you peace and tranquillity, awareness of instincts will make you live to measure up with the internal standard and not external ideas that can push you out of the PDL path.

    Looking at some living practical examples of the working of instinct and the need to balance with information and instruction that we get from outside, we will look at a biblical example.

    Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm.  Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn't get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. [Genesis 4:3-5 THE MESSAGE Bible]

    In the above text we see the children of the first couple bringing an offering to God. We never hear God speaking to the first couple about offerings. How did they come to the understanding of the need to worship? The need to worship is instinctive in all human beings. It takes a lot of teaching and brainwashing or a number of experiences to silence the voice of instinct that show people of this desire to worship something or someone.

    This instinct to worship is what I believe was behind the Cain and Abel’s worship with offerings. Abel got the right kind of worship but Cain did not. This shows us why sometimes our instincts need the information and instruction for a good balance. The problem with Cain was not that he did not bring the best offering in the first place but the attitude that he had after his offerings had not been received. He could just have asked God why it had not been received and get instruction and teaching to direct his instincts to correct worship. He responded by hatred to his brother.

    This text shows the foundation of all false and misinformed religion. It is instinctive in them to worship their Creator or whatever they deify to be God. The problem is when they don’t bother to hear from the creator how he wants to be worshipped and force the creator to accept whatever kind of worship they are willing to give him. This is clearly illustrated by Jesus instruction on worship who said,

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." [John 4:23-24 NIV]

    Worshipping God in spirit is a broad subject that needs a whole book to explain. In the context of this discussion I would call worshipping God in spirit as the instinctive part of worship like what pushed Cain and Abel to bring offerings. The truth part is the part that shows the revelation part of how God instructs us of worship. Cain did not have this understanding and was supposed to ask God. To date many people, worship in different ways and to different gods. Some are sincere in their worship and I would say they may to some extent worshipping in spirit but it is not in truth because they have not known or have rejected the truth part that was revealed by Jesus Christ and passed on to us in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

    The same applies to the issue of The Purpose Driven Life (PDL). It requires both the spirit (instinct) and truth (instruction, guidance, training, teaching, advise or counsel). The PDL may be picked by instinct. There are many aspects of one’s purpose that people will get by instinct. This may happen whether they are walking in the truth of worshipping God or not. Many people who are not in conscious fellowship of a walk with God have aspects of the PDL that they can pursue and fulfil but it is usually not complete without the truth that comes from the word of God which is an instruction manual for humanity and also an intimate relationship with the one who created them for His purpose. We see an example of people who can walk in many aspects of their pre-set purposes without a relationship with God in Cyrus the King.


    God's Message to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he took by the hand to give the task of taming the nations, of terrifying their kings — He gave him free rein, no restrictions:  "I'll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I'll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances. I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables —  Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. It's because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, That I've singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work. And you don't even know me!  [Isaiah 45:1-4 THE MESSAGE Bible]

    This demonstrates that many people can live purpose driven lives without a relationship with the creator even though this does not guarantee eternal destiny except the prescribed way which is salvation in Christ Jesus. The above text clearly shows that Cyrus did not personally know and acknowledge the true God of Israel in the last sentence of the text. ‘And you don't even know me!’ He discovered and walked in his purpose by instinct.

    Some believers know the truth and are in a relationship with the Maker but are not fulfilling their purposes because they have been instructed by religion and the system of the world to an extent that they are no longer hearing their instincts. The religiously follow doctrines of man that take them away from understanding their internal worlds where there are voices of passion, values and convictions. This explains why religion as explained in earlier insights can stand in the way of the PDL and also why some non-believers can live out Purpose Driven Lives that make a greater impact that believers.

    The ideal situation would be maximising on the spirit and truth balance. With insight playing its part in our purposes the equation is complete if we follow our purposes with the truth of a relationship with the creator and his revealed truth of His Word. The truth will show us the way, will give us values that will direct the pursuit of our values and desires. It will show us ideal practical examples of those who walked the PDL in a good relationship with the Master. In the word of God, we will get instruction and direction on how to get the best out of ourselves and a lot that is at our disposal to maximise our potential.

    In the word of God, we will also get instruction and empowerment on integrity which guarantees fruit as we pursue our purposes, which will in the long run will give us a cutting edge. The word of truth will also show us how to do the best in this life while securing our eternal destiny and how to walk the PDL in a way that will earn eternal rewards from the Heavenly Father who is our master. Many who are used by God to fulfil his purposes are sometimes used because the rightful people are not responding, but these are in the long run not rewarded for their efforts and the manual calls them vessels without honour.

    Instincts are part of the personal power that we have that is relevant to the full PDL. Harnessing this power is necessary for maximum fruitfulness but several times we look at what we do not have and find reasons to justify our lack of productivity. We can appease our consciences with the justifications but this is temporary as the consequences are difficult to bear. Many live with bitterness and frustration because they have not learnt to follow their instincts.

    It is our instinct that drive us to desire growth. Our instincts will tell us when we have arrived. Our instincts will tell us when we meet the right partner or when we find the ideal role that allows us to express our values and gifts. It is instinctive to multiply and bring increase to what we have. We need instincts to live the PDL but they will need balance from the outside world and the help of other people. Wisdom is the perfect guide for instincts to discern times, seasons, destinations and tools to help us be the best. Instincts are part of the power that works within that God is willing to work with to see us maximise our potential and make the difference that we were created to have.

    Look for more insights on the PDL on www.coachtarie.com or request to be added on the PURPOSE DRIVEN LIVING (PDL) WhatsApp group. Inbox any of the following numbers. +263773301267, +263783573784, +263784456314, +263779924607

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