LifeLink Devotions (Click for audio version)
Monday, January 17, 2021
A very well-known verse in Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.“ Most of us might tend to apply this verse to the circumstances of life and claim that they all have to turn out right. But there is a deeper understanding to this passage than that. I believe that the “things” that are at work for our good are the things that Paul mentions earlier in the 8th chapter of Romans verses one through four.
Romans 8:1-4 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
When we simply define “things” as the circumstances of life, it becomes very difficult to find the faith to believe they are doing any good when they are so humanly bad. That is why we need to look at the things of God that are constantly at work in our lives regardless of the circumstances so that we can stand in faith during the tough times.
Circumstances can be binding and suppressive. We begin to focus on solutions rather than substance. We turn our attention from who we are becoming to what we should be getting. I am reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, What About Bob, starring Bill Murray. Bob is an emotional and psychological wreck, living in the bondage of constant fear. At one point in his recovery process the daughter of his psychologist convinces Bob to go with them to the lake to go sailing. Bob is scared to death of water, but wants to be free and says he will trust the daughter and the boat. The next thing you hear is Bob yelling, “I’m sailing! I’m sailing!” The camera zooms in on the boat and we see Bob lashed to the main mast of the boat with multiple ropes and covered with numerous life preservers strapped to every part of his body.
Now in Bob’s mind he was sailing because he was on the boat, but he was far from free. That describes far too many Christians today. They are on the boat but they are not free from all of the emotional and physical bondage of a previous lifestyle or experience. A current contemporary Christian music group called Casting Crowns has a song called Voice of Truth, and one of the verses of the song goes like this:
Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in, onto the crashing waves.
To step out of my comfort zone Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is, and He’s holding out His hand.
But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me, reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed. The waves, they keep on telling me, time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win!” “You’ll never win!”
But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory.” Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.
We all have the same choice. We can listen to the voice of the circumstances and believe the worst, or we can listen to the voice of truth and be set free. God’s truth of freedom is constantly at work in us, regardless of the circumstances. We are no longer condemned. We are free from the penalty and the power of sin. You can choose today to live according to the Spirit of God’s freedom and not according to the sinful nature’s bondage.