December 21, 2011

Out of my mind

An intellectual distant cousin posted an idea on his blog that only an atheist can do a pure good deed because he isn’t trying to curry favor with a deity. I responded that no one seeks God or can please God. He isn’t impressed with us even though He continues to love and reach out to us.

Currying God’s favor is a religious idea, but not a Christian one. The Bible says just the opposite. Instead of humanity trying to reach God (religion), God came to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. He had to do this because we cannot do anything to get beyond the barrier created by sin that separates us from Him. We need Him. He does not need us or our good deeds.

Yet even as I try to explain things like this to those who do not know Christ, I realize my own need of the Spirit of God. I cannot please Him or even know anything about Him and spiritual realities by reading, studying, or using my intellect and imagination, or through anything else of my own efforts.

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:10–16)
This morning I’m thinking how useless is the human brain without Jesus. Oh, we come up with marvelous inventions, grand creative projects, vast and complex philosophies, but when life is over and all is said and done, we cannot know a thing about God or where we will spend eternity unless the Spirit of God reveals it to us.

Before Christ came into my life, I do not remember hearing one thing about these matters. I know they were explained to me, but my mind could not grasp them. Others may get bits and pieces, but the puzzle is scrambled and mixed up. Truth is mixed with error. Human reasoning, flawed by the sinfulness we all possess, does not even realize its own folly. Even those with “the mind of Christ” struggle because our sinful nature constantly tosses its wants and suppositions into the mix. Without the Spirit of God, we cannot know the things of God.

Lord, today is like any other day — I need You. I need the clarity that comes from the Holy Spirit. I need Your clear direction concerning Your will. I also need You to reveal my ‘I will nots’ so I can confess them and receive that mysterious wonder that You call forgiveness and cleansing. Grant me today the ability to set aside any pride or reliance upon my own thinking. Only with the mind of Christ can I trust You totally and joyfully.

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