Thursday, May 21, 2009

Devotions: More Than Meets The Eye

Good morning one and all. We are continuing with our look at Romans 8. This morning we will consider three things Paul puts forward; all of creation is also in bondage, we do not yet possess what has been promised, the mystery of the interceding Spirit.

People always seem surprised whenever I mention that creation has paid a price for our sin:

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. vv. 19-21

This is an easy matter to understand. God had to put his creation in bondage in order to fulfill the curse that was pronounced on Adam for his sin. He told Adam that it would only be by sweat that he would be able to produce crops. Up to this point things grew readily. Creation was bountiful. God's original design was so much different then what it has become. Why is this important? Because this thought starts with:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. v. 18

Don't ever consider what you see is what you get. We have always been intended for much more. Sin has deformed us. We are in bondage. We are nothing compared to God's original design. A day is coming when all this will change, when we will be freed along with all of creation, to bare the glory of our Father.

This realization is important because we need to understand that we are not yet in possession of these things:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. vv. 22-25

Again people are surprised to discover that we are waiting eagerly for our adoption because they think it has already happened. Neither are we saved yet. These are all promises that we possess and we speak of them as if we already possess them. But teh reality is that we have the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. The Father's promises are sure so that is why we speak as we do but we will not receive the full measure until the day of Jesus' return. Why is this important to know? Because what we see is not what we get. The best is yet to come.

There are many things we do not know and cannot understand, the Father's will being one of these. We are children who have much to learn and we need to be patient in our learning. This is one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit in us:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. vv. 26-27

Isn't that amazing? The Holy Spirit interprets our needs to the Father. When we cannot even figure out what we should be praying the Spirit is working on our behalf. We cannot see our condition because we have not seen God's glory. We cannot see where we fit in or even understand our future. How could we ever understand our needs when we cannot put ourselves in the proper context? But the Spirit knows these things and he interprets our needs accordingly and speaks to the Father for us. So there may be times when we feel taht we are only speaking words because we cannot convey the aching of our heart but be encouraged, that ache is understood and is presented to the only One who can respond.

So some mysteries are revealled, telling us that there is more than meets they eye. There is so much more going on around us than we could ever possibly understand. So when you are feeling down, discouraged by circumstances understand that this is not all there is; there is so much more to come. So be patient and wait in eager anticipation; do not let go of our hope.

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