“Not Doing God”
Mighty God, with the psalmist, my heart clamors for Your courts and to be in Your presence.
Read ROMANS 1:18–32
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If we are not careful we can be so embedded in popular culture that we embrace culture’s views, even if these views are direct violations of God’s Word.
The policy advisor to a former national leader once announced that as a government they did not “do God.” Secularists continually press for the expulsion of God and his spokespersons from the public square. Paul tells us that we should be more concerned when God gives us up than when humans declare that they have given God up. We are familiar with the wrath of God shown in history, when he pours out judgment directly on sinful people, as he did at Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19), but here Paul tells us that another way in which we see the wrath of God working out in society is when he gives us up to our own sinful desires and does not intervene to protect us from the consequences. One of the most frightening aspects of God’s dealings with people is God letting us have our own way.
As we look at the world today we see many people in the grip of their own desires. Paul traces the problem back to our first ancestors. In the garden, they knew God’s self-revelation and deliberately rejected it when they chose to believe the lies of the snake. It is what their descendants have been doing ever since, as we worship idols of our own making rather than God.
Even more awful than the behavior of those whom God gives up to their depravity is the debased mind of intellectuals who think that their own cleverness allows them not only to condone such actions, but to persuade others that such behavior is more right than obedience to God’s commands. Thinking that we are wise and not being aware that our logic is perverted by sin is a present experience of the wrath of God. It shuts our mind to the possibility that the grace of God is still there if we repent.
Do you think our society has changed for the better or for the worse since Paul wrote this description?
Lord Jesus, the Solid Rock, I trust myself to You as I navigate the shifting tides of life.
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