God Gave You a Brain, Use It
Have you ever marveled at the incredible capabilities of our brains? They are truly extraordinary, enabling us to process vast amounts of information and forge connections between seemingly unrelated data points. It’s a gift from God, a marvelous tool that I absolutely love to use. However, let’s pause for a moment and ponder this: Are we perhaps relying on our brains a bit too much?
As Christians, we often find ourselves facing ridicule from those who believe that faith lacks a logical foundation. When confronted, we tend to defend our faith by presenting reasoned arguments, showcasing the mountains of evidence supporting the life of Jesus or the historical accuracy of the Bible. But in doing so, are we unintentionally doing a disservice to these individuals? You see, faith, by its very nature, involves an element that defies explanation (Hebrews 11:1).
The Bible tells us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). God’s ways are unfathomable, far beyond our human comprehension (Isaiah 55:9). He delights in using the foolish to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Embracing the notion that “God gave you a brain, use it” can sometimes lead us astray.
Abraham Used His Brain to Create Ishmael
Remember Abraham? He received a divine promise from the Lord that he would become the father of many nations and have a son. He held onto this promise for years, but then he let his own reasoning kick in. Abraham convinced himself that there must be other ways to have a child, not solely through Sarah. Consequently, he took Hagar as his wife and fathered Ishmael. Yet, God had to remind Abraham that the promised son would indeed come through Sarah.
In the beginning, when we are uncertain about God’s will for our lives, we eagerly listen to His word. However, once we receive that word, we often feel compelled to rely on our own minds to piece everything together.
My Temptation to Use My Brain
Allow me to share a personal experience. Two and a half years ago, my family received a clear message from the Lord: Pack up and move to Asia. We didn’t know where or why, but we were certain of the call to move. We started making plans and continued to listen attentively for further guidance. We felt led to a specific city to work with teenage orphan girls, and things seemed to fall perfectly into place. We could sense the guiding hand of the Lord propelling us forward.
Fast forward a couple of years. We had been diligently studying the language and establishing a foundation for the work we felt called to do. Yet, amidst it all, our personal finances dwindled to zero, and we had no clear direction on how that would change. Although my wife and I had been trained in effective strategies for raising support, we felt a deep conviction that we were not to directly ask anyone for financial assistance. We could make it known that support was needed, but the usual tactics we had learned were off-limits.
I don’t believe there’s anything inherently wrong with raising support, but God had a different plan for us—to trust Him entirely with our finances. I share this story because my wife and I continually find ourselves returning to God for confirmation of this direction. Our minds often scream at us, warning of impending financial ruin, our children’s education being compromised, and a lack of provision for our needs.
God Wants Us to Trust Him
Our brains crave logical answers, yet God is not always interested in what seems practical. He believes He can receive more glory when a shepherd boy, without armor, defeats a towering, undefeated warrior. He knows that He can conquer satan through the sacrificial death of His Son on a cross. And He desires that we die to ourselves so that we may truly live.
How many of us, in our attempt to rationalize God’s plans, end up creating our own “Ishmaels”? These are the offspring of our human reasoning, rather than the result of clinging to God’s promises with unwavering love. Let us release the slave woman and her son, as they will never share in the inheritance of the free woman’s son (Galatians 4:28-31). Our inheritance is too vast, too grand to ever be grasped through mere logic and reason. God is capable of far more than our minds can conceive (Ephesians 3:20).
Please understand, I am not suggesting that our brains are inherently evil. Rather, we should humbly submit them to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. While God did bless us with brilliant minds, anything we trust above Him will lead us into sin and draw us away from His presence. Let us create space for God to direct our steps. Then, even when His guidance defies all human understanding, let us trust Him and faithfully follow His lead. This is the surefire formula for experiencing the abundant blessings that God promises are within our reach.