Tag Archives: Romans

What Does God Think?

Do you order stuff online?  If you do, you trust the process – you place your order and truly expect to see it on your doorstep in a few days.  If not, you probably have suspicions.  Maybe you started to place an order, got everything filled out online and then thought, “I don’t know about this…” and failed to push the “submit” button.  You didn’t trust it completely.  Consequently, nothing is left at your door.

The same principle is true when it comes to asking God what He thinks.  Maybe you are considering a new job.  Or, “Is this the guy for me?”  Should you volunteer for some cause?  Is that what God wants?  When you pray about it, essentially what you are asking is,”God, please tell me what You think.”  If you pray that question but don’t really expect God to answer, you won’t receive it if He does.  It’s kind of like not pushing the “submit” button.  Your request is tentative.  You are not sure the process will work.  But, if you are fully convinced God wants you to know what He thinks, and is eager to share it with you, then your request is wholeheartedly sent off with the full expectation of an answer.  God says, a prayer like that will get answered.  James, talking about getting wisdom in times of trial, shares the principle:

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.  (James 1:5-8)

Look carefully at what that says. The problem is not that God won’t tell you what He thinks.  It’s that you can’t be sure you have really heard from Him.  Your mind goes back and forth on it, wondering if what you heard was really from Him.  But when you are convinced God will show you, He does and you trust it.

Because God’s wisdom is frequently contrary to the ideas of the world, it takes real faith to hear what God thinks.  Hearing what God thinks requires setting aside the ways of the world, listening and trusting.  Do that, and when God speaks you will know.

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:2)



The Humility of Genuine Expertise

A few years before Kittyhawk, Lord Kelvin, highly respected scientist and President of the Royal Society of England, proclaimed, “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” Some experts come across with a smug, self-satisfied, got-it-all-figured-out arrogance. Others continue to explore their field with childlike wonder, eagerly seeking new insight and information.  These are delighted to be surprised and frequently humbled by what they have discovered.  Avoid the first type and pay attention to the latter.  It’s much more joyful and interesting, and you will discover they are closer to the truth.

From early days, Saul of Tarsus was schooled in biblical studies by one of the most knowlegable men in the field.  He became a  Pharisee, devoting his life to following all of the laws in the Bible, in careful detail.  Later on, he was personally sought out and converted by the risen Jesus, assigned to carry the good news of salvation far and wide.  His writings to early churches form a large chunk of the New Testament.  His letter to the Romans is considered a masterful explanation of the gospel of grace.  You might expect Saul, then known as the Apostle Paul, to act as though he had it all figured out.

But no.  His expertise made him humble, frequently swept away by the enormity and mystery of the majesty of God.  Like this:


“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”  “Who has ever given to God, that God should  repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”  (Romans 11:33–36 – NIV84)