Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Alive In Christ Part 08 - "C" Common Sense

I said some things I shouldn’t have and she heard me. I knew the Holy Spirit was nudging me to apologize to the lady I had spoken about. I mentioned it to a friend and she immediately told me I was too sensitive, it was nothing and I should just forget it. So I did. From time to time it crossed my mind. In my heart I knew I should have carried through with my sense of what the Holy Spirit was telling me.

Sure it had seemed like a little thing, but God specializes in cleaning out little things that do not reflect His character in our lives. Sometimes it is our own “common sense” that over rules the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. I didn’t really understand this until years later when I read a story from God’s own Word in Matthew 16:16-23.

Jesus walked and talked with His close followers. They saw Him do miracles of healing and miraculously feed the 5000 from one small lunch. They shared the dusty road together, shared simple meals together and talked long into the night. Jesus had just singled out Peter and blessed him in a profound way. He saw that Peter had understood the revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The disciples began to understand, in a deeper way, just who Jesus really was.

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hand of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

Peter was appalled by this thought. Surely it could not be so!

“Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (16:22)

Peter knew who Jesus was and it was unthinkable to him that the Son of God would be treated in such a way! His common sense told him this could not possibly be right!

Jesus responded in a very surprising way even though Peter had just been affirmed by Jesus in his new position.

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”(16:23)

“You have in mind the things of men!” It is clear that when we see things in our own wisdom we can actually be a stumbling block to God’s plan. We can never assume “position” guarantees wisdom.

Peter’s common sense and that of my friend both had in mind the things of men. Both made sense from a human perspective. Both seemed to be just good common sense. Yet both were stumbling blocks to God’s plan.

Think about it…how many times do we respond to an email or to a person or situation with wisdom that we have gained from our experience of life? We see through the filters of our own experience. God can use that experience to help others yet we need to check with Him first. Even our common sense needs to be committed to God for His insight into individual situations.

God reminds us not to lean on our own understanding, not to assume we have the wisdom for the situation. He calls us to commit everything to Him, to check with Him first and He will direct us. (Proverbs 3: 5 & 6) This includes our “common sense”.

prayer & reflection

Father God,
I thank you for the privilege of being a mentor in this amazing on line ministry. Please help me to approach this opportunity with a fresh understanding of leaning not on my own common sense but checking with You first as I respond. Help me to be more keenly aware of having in mind the things of God and not of men in all areas of my life. Keep me from offering my own wisdom at the risk of causing someone to stumble. Thank you for Your promise to direct even my common sense.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.