February 21, 2017 – David Niquette, Teaching Pastor
Oh, wait. Here we go again! The pastor is going to throw this Bible verse at us in the midst of our problems and trials in a well-intended attempt to cheer us up in the midst of our mess. “Buck up, pilgrim,” He says, with a playful sock in your shoulder. Yah, sure. Easy for you to say.
Paul’s words, so often quoted sincerely to distressed people, are from Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Did you notice the word “And?” Paul had just been talking about the wonderful way the Holy Spirit prays to the Father from within us, even when we don’t know how to pray. This experience is called “praying in the Spirit.” The Spirit prays, and we groan. Without words, we sense deep in our hearts a passion for the will of God to come about. Here are his words:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; > and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
Now, let’s look at this familiar passage from its positive application. God is at work in us. His plan is unfolding in His time. And it is wise. Yet we walk one step at a time. And there are times we love God so much that we ache deep within because of something welling up in us. We want to ask for it, but we aren’t able to articulate it clearly prayer. So, God take over. God talks to God from within our heart, to the very throne room of God on high. And we wait, listening.
We may also observe that the only part we play at such times is to “love God.” When God is ready, all things come together, and work together, in accordance with our calling according to His purpose.
Just love God!
When we do, His heart moves our heart. We find a burgeoning passion inside us. We love God so much that we long for His presence, His power, His glory, His kingdom to come. We thinks of a person, a problem, a church, a family, a missionary – it could be anything that the Spirit brings to our attention for intercessory prayer. So, “Lord, what? Help me to pray your will.”
Here’s the point I want to make clear. There is a sequence in our coming to participate in the unfolding plan of God for us. It starts with love. Love increased as a fruit of the Spirit to an intensity that we seek Him with all our heart. Then, having been prepared by love and passion, God moves. He brings all things together purposefully. In His time, He makes all things happen by His power, His presence, and His wisdom. I guarantee that you will love His will as much as you love him.
Need an example? Consider the journey of two pastors and churches who loved God intently. God is working all things together. Do you see that?