I have observed often that mental reasoning and a reliance thereon can thwart our response in faith. The entire Humanist religion is founded in reason over faith. Even flimsy ideas like evolution must be continually propped up with twisted reason as new scientific evidence and observations add to the collective error of this theory opposed to creation. However, occasionally sound reason can support faith.
In 2 Kings 5 is the story of Naaman who was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. The King of Aram heard that a prophet of God was in Israel and could heal leprosy. He sent a letter to the King of Israel and sent Naaman to Elisha. “Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, ‘Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’ But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed!” ‘ So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…’ ” (2 Kings 5:10-15).
Naaman first reasoned that a big flashy ceremony would be necessary and thought the muddy Jordan river was unfitting and became mad, but his servants straightened out his reasoning which supported obedience to God’s command. Are there situations in your life where your reason was amiss? Have you ever set expectations upon God’s ways, means, or timing? I think it is very common for us go astray in our assumptions. When we focus on news of war, crime, fraud and other evil in this world, we are prone to fret, worry and fear, but if we reason that God is Sovereign over all and our protector, we correctly trust in His loving care. When we encounter situations and circumstances that challenge us we may consider taking matters into our on hands and trust in our own understanding, but then, if we reason how weak, flawed and limited we truly are, we have reasoned correctly and pray, wait in faith, seek God’s guidance and stand upon His promises.
Many things can only be handled rightly by God, in His way and timing. Our rationalization and reasoning can lead to failure, unless it is founded upon God’s Word, promises, and principles. The Bible says we do not know how to pray as we should, except by the Spirit (Rom. 8:26). It says we have been given the Holy Spirit and gifts enabled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:5-6,13). The fallen human nature is opposed to God, but we live by the Spirit. “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:17-18). “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10). Child of God you are destined for glory in God’s presence, let nothing persuade otherwise.