Common Sense & God’s Will

Today I’d like to share with you one of my biggest pet peeves about Christians. It’s this whole idea that God’s will for a specific situation must always be the logical, rational, “smart” plan of attack. Oh, I’ve heard the line of reasoning more times than I can begin to remember: “God gave man common sense, and so it’s only right that I make the move here that makes the most common sense. I mean, after all, God wouldn’t want me to do anything stupid, would He?” Once you’ve got this reasoning settled in your mind, you can then head right out and do whatever seems to you like the right thing.

Now, I’ll grant you that 2 Timothy 1:7 does say that God gives the Christian a “sound mind.” The Holman Christian Standard translation even renders the Greek as “sound judgment.” Furthermore, the Bible offers us an exceedingly practical and commonsensical book (Proverbs) on the subject of worldly wisdom. So I’m not saying that you always have to check your brains at the door in order to choose God’s will. But what I am saying is that you’d be amazed at how illogical, irrational, implausible, incongruous, and inconvenient God’s will can be. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a quick tour through the Bible:

1. It made no sense to Cain to kill a defenseless animal just to bring an offering. (Genesis 4:1-7; Jude 11)

2. It made no sense to Noah to build a gigantic ark in a world that had never seen rain. (Genesis 2:4-6; Genesis 6:13-22)

3. It made no sense to Abram (Abraham) to leave his country and his family and travel to an unknown land that God would show him. (Genesis 12:1)

4. It made no sense to Abraham to take his son Isaac and offer him up as a burnt offering atop Mount Moriah. (Genesis 22:1-19)

5. It made no sense to Joseph that it would be God’s will for his father Jacob to pronounce the patriarchal blessing upon Ephraim (Joseph’s youngest son) rather than upon Manasseh (Joseph’s oldest son). (Genesis 48:8-20)

6. It made no sense to Moses that God would want him to return to Egypt after forty years away and lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. (Exodus chapters 3 and 4).

7. It made no sense that God would lead Moses and the Israelites to the shore of the Red Sea, a place where Pharaoh’s army could easily close in behind them and trap them. (Exodus 14:1-12)

8. It made no sense to the majority of the people of Israel that God would want them to enter into the land of Canaan and fight against the giants who lived there. (Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

9. It made no sense to Gideon that God would want him to lead the people of Israel against the Midianites. (Judges 6:11-24)

10. It made no sense to Jesse that God would chose David (his youngest son) over all his other sons to be king of Israel. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

11. It made no sense that the young David, armed with nothing but a sling and some stones, would take on the giant Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:1-54)

12. It made no sense to Naaman to go wash in the Jordan river seven times to cure him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:1-19)

13. It made no sense that God would allow Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to be thrown into Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:1-30)

14. It made no sense that God would allow Daniel to be thrown into the den of lions. (Daniel 6:1-28)

15. It made no sense for Jesus to command His disciples to get into a boat and row to the other side of the Sea of Galilee when a tremendous wind storm would prevent them from doing so. (Mark 6:45-52)

16. It made no sense to Peter to let down his fishing nets in the deeper water during the day when fish were usually caught in the shallower waters at night. (Luke 5:1-11)

17. It made no sense for Jesus to delay in going to visit His gravely ill friend Lazarus. (John 11:1-44)

18. It made no sense for God to pull Phillip away from a tremendously fruitful evangelistic work that he was doing in Samaria just so he could go and witness to one Ethiopian eunuch in Gaza. (Acts 8:4-13, 26-40)

19. It made no sense to Ananias for God to command him to pay a visit to Saul of Tarsus, a notorious persecutor of Christians. (Acts 9:10-19)

20. It made no sense to Peter for God to show him that he no longer had to abide by the dietary regulations of the Old Testament law. (Acts 10:9-48)

I trust that this list of examples makes my point. And the fact is, the list is not even remotely near being all-inclusive. You see, it’s quite common for God to mess up our neat, ordered little lives by asking us to do things totally unexpected, things that don’t add up on paper. That is when we must step out on faith and do what He is asking. If your own logic keeps you from stepping out, you’ll never know the thrilling experience of watching God make a way where there seems to be no way. You’ll also miss out on the incredible blessings that can only be found in walking with God out on the edge. Think of it this way: Your logic, human reasoning, and common sense will never take you to those God-anointed places where the human race is preserved via one family aboard an ark, you become the forefather of God’s chosen nation (Israel), you see the Red Sea parted, you come out unscathed from a fiery furnace or a lions’ den, you get cured of leprosy, you experience a miraculous catch of fish, you see Christ walking on the water, or you see Lazarus raised from the dead. Such illogical blessings only stem from you obeying illogical commands. Keep that in mind the next time you are faced with a choice concerning God’s will.

This entry was posted in Choices, Courage, Faith, God's Will, Obedience, Reward, Trusting In God and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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