I’m sad to be wrapping up our time in Romans. It’s a book that I go back to frequently and one that has meant so much to me over the years. I especially love chapter 12 and am in the process of committing it to memory this year. When I was a teenager I learned “The Roman Road” which was a way to lead someone to Christ (much like the bridge drawing) using verses from different parts of the book of Romans. All that to say, I’ve camped out in Romans a lot. But I’m amazed by the new things that God shows me within its chapters nearly every time I read it.
As I read through Romans this time, I was struck by the deeply rooted demands that I often carry in my heart. Paul’s letter to the Romans leaves me bare as my motivations are stripped away and much that God sees within me is brought to the surface. I conform to the way the world works much more frequently than I would like to admit and I struggle to put in the hard work that renewing my mind requires. Deep down, I just want God to give me holiness and not have to do the excruciating work of dying to myself that true holiness requires. I want to run my own show, but Romans shows me that I’m incapable of doing it.
I love how chapter 16 ends referring to God as “the only wise God”. I do well to remember that; to remember that God created me and because of that, He knows me inside and out. God is the only one who is truly wise and because of that, He knows what’s best for me and what makes me the very best that I can be. And that’s where true freedom resides. When we recognize that we are fully and completely known by the only one in the universe who is truly wise and we begin to orient our lives around Him instead of around ourselves, amazing things begin to happen. But that requires less demand and more surrender; surrendering my need to be in control, surrendering my desire to have my own way, surrendering everything that I am to all that He is, every moment of the day. I’m working on it. See you in Ephesians.
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