“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26 – 27)
In times past this passage would remind me that I only have to pray – or even thinking about praying – or, even tell the Divine that I have things, issues, and concerns that I need to pray about. And that simple thought would lead to my prayers and intercession by the Holy Presence.
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Verse 28)
And I knew also that what may at first seem to be a set back or an obstacle, or even a challenge – would end up working out in the end, and better than I could have imagined or hoped. So I had faith.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Verses 29 – 30)
And so, thus comforted, I would set aside the further teaching/verses that Paul spoke. But you know, commenting on a scripture passage means reading through the whole section. And quite honestly, I was on shaky ground trying to place the opening five verses under the topic I had chosen (or the one that chose me). Intercession of the Spirit is good for comforting us in the now, and a assurance for the future. But moving us along? Not sure it does that.
Paul’s theology of humanity being predestined to be conformed to the Son of God (and don’t even start me on explaining why ALL of humanity is predestined); and that all humanity is/will be a part of the family of God (again, don’t start!). Furthermore we are (or can be) called & chosen, and justified & glorified. That, beloved reader, moves us along!
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Verses 31 – 37)
There is nothing in this world that will stop us, if we are conformed to the image and example of Jesus Christ. Yes, we may not accomplish the goals and dreams that we had set up for ourselves. Yes, we may not succeed in the eyes of the world. But the Christian life is not made up of such things. Woe to you if you consider such things more important that living an authentic Christian life. Jesus did not set out to conquer the world. That was not his Divine style. The Jewish world that he was born into expected a conquering avenging Messiah. They got Jesus Christ who died on the cross. But . . . that was not the end of Jesus. It was the beginning! The greatest intercession of the Spirit was the resurrection of Jesus. And the love and compassion that motivated and set that intercession into motion is available to us.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Verses 38 – 39)
There is no question that our world, our lives, have had set backs. We are reeling from what has happened in the past five to six months. And that years before that were not so easy either. Some may question whether the Divine is still involved in our world. As for me, I stake my faith on Paul’s assurance above. For I have experienced it myself.
I am still moving forward, albeit more slowly and with more difficulty. Some days grind on and on. And I grow weary. But my faith, beloved reader, my faith soars! Shalom & Selah!