Over the last two months we’ve looked at the different ways God guides us. We reflected on Commanding Scripture, the Compelling Spirit, the Counsel of the Saints and this month we’re going to look at Common Sense or more precisely, reason.
What I mean by that is this: God has given us minds with which we think and reason and come to decisions. Before we knew Christ, we were ‘alienated from God and enemies of God in our minds’ (Col 1:21). When we were reconciled with God through Christ, our sin was forgiven and our minds began to be renewed (Rom 12:1). We can begin to think in godly ways because we have been given the ‘mind of Christ’ (1 Cor 2:16). When we allow the Spirit of God to be active in every facet of our lives, then our thinking will also be guided by the Spirit. So Paul says, ‘those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Rom 8:5). However, none of this guarantees the rightness of our thinking or intellect. Reason, though a gift of God in creation and touched by the new creation, is not infallible.
And so we must commit ourselves to spending time in fellowship with God and God’s people, and we will start to think more like God. As we ‘set our minds on things above’ (Col 3:2) and commit to thinking about those things that are ‘true, noble, lovely, right, pure, admirable and excellent’ (Phil 4:8), as God’s written Word permeates our minds and hearts, we will treasure the things of God and think the thoughts of God. As we prayerfully ask the Lord to inspire our thinking, the Holy Spirit will lead us. Then we can have even greater confidence that our human reasoning, transformed by the Spirit to be more like what God intended it to be, will guide us in God’s paths.
Reason often guides us, but I would never suggest that reason alone is adequate for spiritual discernment, but it does supply a crucial link in the chain of divine guidance.
May we then know that transforming of our minds and thinking and apply that renewed ‘common sense’ as we seek the guidance of God.
Your friend and Pastor
Rev Colin MacLeod