Romans 1:21-22 – For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.
I find it interesting that we haven’t evolved at all, since the beginning of creation. Read that first line: “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks.” Adam and Eve did it in the Garden. And we’re still doing it today.
Which person is more accepted by the general public? The one who professes a faith in God and desires to obey and honor Him, or the one who is bold and brave enough to dismiss Him, and proclaim themselves free? Free to believe or do whatever they think is right. Free of the “shackles” of religion. Free to think “rationally.” Free to make themselves the ruler of their own lives.
In our 21st century culture (just as in all of history), the person who believes in God is seen as less evolved by the more “advanced” thinker, but the reality is the exact opposite. Those who dismiss God, even though they know He exists, will become the fool.
“Futile” is vain or empty. “Speculations” are the inner reasonings of a man within himself. Your ability to think diminishes. Instead of becoming wise, your inward thoughts end up foolishness. You lose the ability of rational thought, and your heart is darkened. Our heart is the center and seat of spiritual life. It is the soul or mind, the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors. It is the faculty and seat of intelligence and understanding, and of the will and character. Sadly, we do not recognize that our heart has been darkened, often until it’s too late.
You know this is true. Once you make the commitment in your mind to dismiss what you know to be true about God (because God made you with eternity in your heart and a moral conscience that gives evidence He exists), it’s like stepping off a downward slope. Your heart soon follows what your mind accepts. It becomes easier and easier to dismiss the doubts about God and pursue your own religion of self-worship. Just as the rest of Romans 1 says, dismissing God leads to worshipping the creation (self, the created world), and descends into depraved thinking.
The man who knelt with his knee on another man made in God’s image didn’t start out that way. He once was an innocent little boy, the joy of his mother’s heart. But somewhere along the way, he decided to dismiss God and become the god of his own world. His foolish heart was darkened. He believed himself wise and powerful; in reality, he was a fool. Sadly, he was surrounded by others who had made the same poor decisions as him. Romans 1:32 describes exactly how things turned out:
And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
You might think you won’t be the one who “goes too far.” I’m sure the police officer sitting in jail right now never believed he would deliberately and publicly take a man’s life in such a cruel way. But that’s the thing about dismissing God. When we kick Him out of our lives, we are left only with our fallen, broken, faulty human reasoning that will end in the destruction of both our own lives and the lives of others.
Just because a person gives “lip service” to God doesn’t mean their hearts are with Him. People have been twisting the Bible to serve their own faulty thinking since it was written. Men will always twist God’s Word; that started in the Garden, too, with Satan’s question to Eve, “Did God really say?” True faith is not putting on a good show or saying the right things. True faith comes from a transformed heart, the result of repentance from sin, and complete surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Anything less is simply religion, and we all know that religion has nothing to do with worshipping God but is a form of self-worship (my good deeds earn God’s favor).
Do you recognize the danger that lies in your foolish heart?
Have you dismissed God or failed to honor Him in any part of your life?
Do you believe the word of the One who created you, or have you already become futile in your reasoning?
Has your heart been darkened, one small space at a time?
Ask God to shine His light and expose any faulty reasoning. Ask Him to reveal if you’re following your own logic and reasoning in any way. The road back is simple; repent and believe, and have your mind and heart restored to the way God always intended it to be.