Free Falling - The One Year Unlocking the Bible Devotional

Free Falling

God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts.   Romans 1:24, NIV

When people think about the wrath of God, they sometimes envision God targeting bad people with lightning or causing volcanoes to erupt over rebellious communities, but that’s not what we find in Romans 1. We may wish that God would directly strike the perpetrators of torture and mass murder, and one day he will. But that is rarely how God’s wrath operates today.

Where an individual or a society says, “We don’t want and won’t obey God,” God expresses his wrath by allowing their choice—he gives them over. God stands back from those who don’t want him and won’t obey him, and he allows them to live with the reality of their choice.

God surrounded our first parents with good gifts in the Garden, but they chose not to obey him—this was an expression of godlessness and wickedness. They suppressed the truth by choosing the knowledge of evil, and God gave them over to it.

I brought a crystal vase into the pulpit one Sunday, held it up high, and asked the congregation what would happen if I “gave it up.” If I gave up the vase, it would become subject to the pull of gravity. The vase would have no way of overcoming the powers that surround it, and it would fall like a stone and shatter.

What happens when God “gives up” the godless and wicked? They find themselves at the mercy of powers greater than themselves. Paul identifies these powers as “sinful desires” (Romans 1:24, NIV), “shameful desires” (1:26) and “foolish thinking” (1:28). If the evidence that God’s wrath is being revealed in a society is that those who don’t want and won’t obey God find themselves in the grip of these powers, I can’t avoid the conclusion that the wrath of God is being revealed in our nation today.

Maybe you can see how sinful and shameful desires and foolish thinking are pulling you down. God has given you over to what you have chosen. Your only hope is that he may have mercy and save you. That opportunity is open to you today, but if you keep saying to God, “I don’t want and won’t obey you,” the powers that now hold you will lead to your destruction.

For further reading, see Romans 1

From the Book:

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The One Year Unlocking the Bible Devotional
By Colin S. Smith and Tim Augustyn

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