"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” Romans 8:26-29a


Taken from a sermon by Thomas Nelson, Teaching Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church

When I was a junior in high school, I wanted to be a good wrestler by my senior year because, you know, that’s every boy’s dream. I really wanted to go away to college and wrestle. And that’s saying a lot because my freshman year I only won one match. So anyway, I went and watched these videos on how to be a better wrestler, and learned all these fancy moves and all.  And I did this while lying on the couch. So, one day my dad says, “You know, you might be a better wrestler if you weren’t on the couch.”  And I said, “Hmmm, that is wise.”

I finally got connected with this coach in downtown Atlanta.  And I walked into his gym one day.  The gym was made of cinder block, terrible, paint flaking off the walls, and the heaters were on—it was June and the heaters were on! So, I walked in and the guy, the owner of the gym, shakes my hand and says, “Let’s wrestle around a little bit and let’s see what you’ve got.”  And I was like, “Oh, you scare me very badly.”  Because you could see he had on a wrestling singlet and you could see blood vessels in his thigh through the singlet.  That is the truth.  I’m thinking, “You are the strongest man I’ve ever met.  I don’t want to touch you!”

Any way, he basically threw me around for a few minutes.  Literally, threw me around.  And after it was over he said, “Okay you’re going to have two moves and here’s what they are.”  And they were the most basic, simple moves anybody could have.  And I’m thinking, I don’t know if that will work.  So, he stopped me and said, “Those are going to be your two moves. We’re going to get your really good at those two moves.  You’ll be able to do those moves on anybody.”

That sort of paints a picture for me on how I sometimes approach God – with really confusing ideas and really wordy prayers and sometimes really short prayers that don’t mean anything.  And I’m talking and I’m trying, but I need an expert to come in and say, “This is how things are supposed to be. This is what’s going to make you a champion.”  Well, that’s what the Holy Spirit does.  He comes and intercedes on our behalf.  He knows the mind of God.  He knows our heart, and He’s interceding constantly on our behalf. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel a whole lot safer.

You see, way back before our world ever got started, God knew those of us that would be His.  And way back before you ever had your home or your family, or any of the things that you know, God decided way ahead of time, “I’m going to put these obstacles in their lives, because I want to do something incredible.  I want to work it for good.”

Can we really comprehend this?  No.  God’s Word tells us that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.  But can we believe it through faith in Jesus?  You bet we can.