Romans 8:26-27 ESV
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The subject prior to this is that of suffering as humans on this earth, and suffering as Christians for the sake of righteousness, and that of eagerly waiting the time when our Lord will return for us when our lives of suffering will be over. So, the encouragement here is that, if we are the Lord’s, by genuine faith in him, which is described for us in vv. 1-17, the Spirit will help us in our weakness, in our times of suffering, when we have no strength.
And yes, in our times of suffering, when we are weak physically, and tired mentally, and thus weak emotionally, too, we are sometimes at a loss for words, and we don’t really know what to pray. Sometimes all I can pray is “Help!” And the Lord comes to the rescue. So, it is a comforting thought to know that we don’t have to have all the right words to say, for the Spirit knows what is in our hearts, and he will intercede for us. Amen!
But the Holy Spirit is not going to intercede for us for our selfish desires or for our demands or for what we want, in our flesh, but only according to the will of God. So, just because we ask something of the Lord it doesn’t mean that we are going to get what we ask for. If it is not according to the will of God, it isn’t going to happen, even if it seems like a good thing, and even if it is us praying for healing when the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient.”
And if we are praying against the will of God because we don’t really want to do what we know God is calling us to do, God is not going to change his mind. Now, he may let us go our own stubborn way, and he may allow us to fall flat on our faces before we finally look up and we say, “Yes, Lord.” But God is not a genie in the sky at our “beck and call” to grant us our every wish and desire. He is there to lead us in the way of righteousness.
In other words, we don’t “call the shots.” God does! He is not there to do our will, at our whim and desire, but he is there to lead us to do his will, at his “beck and call.” So, when we pray, it is not to be, “Lord, give me this,” but it is to be “Lord, how can I serve you today?” It is to be, “Lord, show me your will. Give me the words you want me to say today. Use me today for your purposes and for your glory to spread your love and grace to all people.”
Romans 8:28-30 ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 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 among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Romans 8:28 is one Scripture that is quoted often by many people professing faith in Jesus Christ. But there is a qualifier here. God’s promises always (or most always) have conditions to them, so we need to pay close attention to those conditions. For, if we do not meet those conditions, then we can’t claim those promises, even if we profess faith in Jesus Christ. So, please note the condition here and what that means.
The condition is, “for those who love God”. So, what does it mean to love God? It means to obey him. Jesus said that if we love him, we will keep (obey) his commandments. And then we will be loved by God the Father and Jesus will love us and manifest himself to us and they will come to us and make their home with us. So, if we do not obey his commandments, we do not love him, and therefore God will not make their home with us.
Also Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one doing (obeying) the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For, he said, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
So, please take this seriously! And it wasn’t just Jesus’ words, either. Paul and the other apostles taught the same thing. Check out these verses:
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13]
So, for us who love God, who are obeying him in conduct and in practice, all things work together for good, for those of us who are called according to his purpose. Now, if we are truly obeying the Lord, not just in obedience to the teachings of Scripture (New Covenant teaching), but in fulfilling his specific callings on our lives individually, which can only be revealed to us by the Spirit, then we are obeying the Lord in answering his call upon our lives, the calling of which is according to his will and purpose for our lives. And the “good” being spoken of here will also be according to his will and purpose.
Now, God’s will and purpose for our lives is that we should be conformed to the likeness (character) of Christ, that we should be holy in all of our conduct, and that we should die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power of God. It is that we should live holy lives, pleasing to God, free from slavery to sin, and free now to walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. So, if we choose not to obey the Lord, and to not forsake our sins, then we don’t have life with God.
[Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Romans 8:31-34 ESV
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
So, we must read these promises here in light of God’s stated conditions in the previous verses, including within the whole chapter of Romans 8, and the whole of the book of Romans, also. So, when this says, “If God is for us,” the “us” then refers back to those who love and obey the Lord, who are called according to God’s will and purpose for our lives, which is that we be conformed to the likeness of Christ in holy and godly living.
We will have enemies because Jesus said so. Thus, people will come against us, especially if we are walking in obedience to the Lord, and if we are doing the will of God, according to his will and purpose for our lives. And some or many of those enemies may come from within the gatherings of the church, and they may be our fellow Christians, and even pastors, and even our friends and family members, for Jesus said this would take place.
Yet, our Lord will be gracious to us, and he will supply all that we need to endure unjust suffering and to keep obeying him in doing what he has called us to do. We just have to trust him fully with our lives, and we have to be willing to be hated, rejected, misunderstood, falsely accused, slandered, and persecuted for the sake of righteousness and for the sake of the salvation of human lives, and for the sake of the spiritual growth of the body of Christ.
Hear my Voice
An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27
The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.
Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.
I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.