The Cloying of the Sixth Sense

In the middle of a mundane vacation meal, as I sat with an ice cream and rum concoction in front of me and watched another reach for an extra fry, I was struck with a knowing realization: a spiritual sensitivity is often (perhaps always) accompanied by a powerful desire for sensual satisfaction.

For days now, I have puzzled and prayed over this. What is the connection? I suspect people with a sensitivity to the Spirit’s voice have a powerful longing to know and to be known that can only be satisfied by intimate relationship with the Triune God. But learning to relate spirit to Spirit is difficult work; we are awash in a flood of media for our other receptors, so our eyes, ears, nose, skin and taste buds are more readily trained to receive than our spirit.

So, longing to sense the Spirit’s presence, we settle instead for more food, more music, more acquisition, more entertainment, more easily attained temporary satiation of desire, the satisfaction of which grows ever more elusive. Little realizing that over-indulgence clouds the spirit receptors, and starving our greatest longing in the undisciplined pursuit of our yearning.

This, then, may reveal the value of fasting the other senses, in order that the sixth sense—our most sensitive in every way—may take a deep breath from the barrage of intake not tuned to it, and perceive more clearly the still, small Voice which is always speaking to our inner, that is to say, our new man.


1 Kings 19:11-13

1 Thessalonians 5:19

Psalm 46:10

2 Corinthians 4:16

1 Corinthians 15:42-49

Romans 7:22-25

Romans 8:5-8

Ephesians 3:16