Should we follow our gut? Many would suggest that we need to follow whatever seems right deep down in the bottom of our being. Surely our gut is the purest form of instinct. If we don’t feel right about something deep down in our gut then it probably isn’t right. At least, isn’t that how we operate most of the time? What ever seems best to us is what we do. We use our “gut reaction” to justify ourselves, don’t we? Can anyone really override what we feel? It would be a violation of our conscience would it not?
Let me ask another question. What about our dreams? Dreams seem to at least in part reflect our deepest desires. When we have a really vivid dream we start to wonder. Did that mean anything? We have been taught that our dreams stem from our subconscious. What we dream, we think.
Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. (Jude 1:8-10, ESV)
This was kind of what was going in Jude 8-12. The false teachers were appealing to their gut. They used their dreams to justify their sinful lifestyle. It seems they were claiming that God was revealing things to them by dreams. Now to be sure, the Bible does give accounts of people hearing God through dreams. These should not be viewed as normative though. Claiming this type of revelation leads to debauchery and loose living. Jude 8 lists three results of relying on their own revelation. By relying on their dreams, they were justifying their life of sexual sin. Also, they were rejecting authority. This should be seen as rejecting the authority of Christ. When Christ is Lord, we do not live in unrepentant sexual sin. They reject the Lordship of Christ with their life. These false teachers were also blaspheming the glorious ones. This may be angels.
These people were using what they felt was from God to do whatever they wanting. Moreover, they proved they were not of God. The rejection of God’s authority is key. It is key in all of Jude. Next Jude is tells a story of Michael arguing with Satan. Satan was blatantly wrong but Michael did not rebuke him. Instead, Michael said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Michael saw his place before the Lord. He could have rebuked Satan but instead appealed to his Father. Michael’s acknowledgment of his authority is further contrasted with the false ones.
These people are not like Michael. Instead, they blaspheme all that they do not understand. They have no genuine affection for the Lord. They are not in the love of Christ and do not understand the things of God. How could they? They are following their desires, their passions. They follow their gut, their “instincts.” By following this they are destroyed! They reject the truth of God and are so destroyed.
So, should we follow our gut? I don’t think so, at least not without major qualifications. We have the Spirit, our new hearts desire the things of God. However, our sin nature is still so strong. How do we discern all of the nonsense? The Bible. Experience is dictated by the Word, not the other way around. When we follow what God has said, we are good. If we follow ourselves, we are destroyed and will receive the just punishments for sins. Jude is calling us to believe on Jesus and follow the Bible. God wrote it to transform us, not just to give us rules. Let’s follow Jesus, not ourselves.
soli deo gloria