What role does human reasoning and intellect play when it comes to one’s faith in Jesus Christ? Does greater intellect mean greater faith? Does God give us reasoning so we can best decide how to live out our faith on this Earth?
What if our own intellect, understanding and reasoning are actually hindrances when it comes to living for the Lord? But you may ask, “Doesn’t God give us a brain so we can think for ourselves?” “We aren’t just supposed to follow blindly are we?” Are we just supposed to shut off our brains?? Well no…and yes. Let me explain.
We were definitely born with a brain and intellect for a reason. If we didn’t have them, we would all be zombies walking around running into things and probably never get passed that first year out of the womb to be honest. We definitely are to grow in our understanding and knowledge – especially when it comes to God’s Word, the Bible. The Word of God is the Lord’s voice to us. It’s our instruction manual. It’s our guide on how to live this Christian thing out. But it’s way more than that. It’s not JUST an instruction manual. It’s a living, breathing letter from our God to us and how we receive it is just as important as what is written.
The Bible is the written Word of God. Jesus was the living Word of God. They are in essence one in the same. Our faith stems from the words off those pages.
“Faith comes through hearing the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
There is one big problem to all this. Our own brains and minds. The kingdom of God doesn’t work on the same principles as here on this Earth. It’s often inverted in the way things get done. For example: The greatest leader will be the greatest servant; When we give away, we actually receive more; as we humble ourselves we are lifted up; we deny our own lives to actually find them. We can see the inverse relationship here in the examples. This is where we need to get our of our own way if we want to truly live in the supernatural, serving a supernatural God.
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
“The person without the Spirit does not receive the things that come from the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to him. He cannot receive them because they are only received by the wisdom given by God’s Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
“For everything the flesh desires goes against the Spirit and everything the Spirit desires goes against the flesh. There is a constant battle raging between them that prevent you from doing the good you want to do.” Galatians 5:17
We can see from these few verses of scripture, that our own flesh and understanding are in opposition to the Spirit of God. The two are at times like oil and water. The Bible tells us to be ‘led by the Spirit’. The only way to do that, is to believe by faith what is written in the Word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This will often be contrary to what seems like the right thing to do – at least by our own reasoning and thinking process. God wants us to follow His lead. He placed His Spirit in our hearts so that we would be altogether like Him and have the propensity to connect to God because of the God nature deposited within us. Because of this conflict between our own intellect and what the Lord would have us do, we do need at times, to shut off our brain and what we think is right, and follow the leading of the Word of God and His desire for our lives.
Simply put, we have to get out of our own way. We need to believe unswervingly to what is in the Word of God and listen closely to His voice transmitting through our spirit – not through our mind. God doesn’t speak to our minds. He speaks into our spirit man within. We are spirit, soul and body. The soul and body are carnal and are what’s called the flesh. The spirit is what has been born again when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior.
Let go of what you think is the right thing to do and start basing the decisions you make on what is written in God’s Word. And listen for His voice to you within. It may seem completely contrary to what makes sense in the natural but when we begin applying this in our lives, we will see the hand of God and the miraculous on a daily basis.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t rely on your own understanding but rather, acknolwedge the Lord in everything you do and He (alone) will show you the right way to go.” Proverbs 3:5-6