July 24 - The Three Groaning
Paul mentions three different kinds of groaning coming from the three realities of life: the heaven, the earth and the human. This is the effect of sin in God’s creation causing such pain and groaning to happen. The world under the sway of sin is a terrible place to be in and if the creation could speak, we may hear a great groaning from the created order. Since Satan and his agents are ruling the earth and he is the prince of the air, the whole creation is subjected to emptiness and futility. There is a desire to be freed from its bondage to corruption caused by human sin. The only hope is to have the sons of God ruling creation again, a responsibility taken away by the devil when Adam sinned.
The second kind of groaning is related to the first one for man is also a part of God’s creation. Knowing of his lost position as sons of God, man needs to be adopted back into God’s family, thus becoming the sons of God again. To be adopted as sons of God, we are given our power and inheritance to rule over the earth by expelling Satan’s rule. However, the sons of God are also groaning because of their own weaknesses, not able to carry out the rule through constant failures and weaknesses. We cannot put our flesh under subjection, how can we rule the earth by extending God’s Kingdom? To know who we are but cannot be who we really are until the redemption of our bodies is frustrating, and so we groan.
The third kind of groaning comes from the Holy Spirit who interceded for us in our weaknesses. Such groaning are too deep for words for He prays for us according to the will of God for our lives. Since we do not know how to pray for ourselves due to our self-centeredness, the Holy Spirit has to come and help. So in our prayer, He enters with His own groaning to assist us. The more we pray, the more He participates in our lives. Like the groaning of the creation, the groaning of the Spirit are like birth pangs. As the Spirit moved on the waters in the first creation, the Spirit also moves now moving in groaning for the new creation to be birthed. The direction is towards the new heaven and the new earth where righteousness reigns.
Can you feel the groaning? Do you sigh or groan sometimes in frustration? Know that all creation is groaning with you and the Holy Spirit is groaning for your life. The result of these groaning is that God’s will be done in our lives. Yes, there is a plan of God for your life. Only if you love Him, all things will work out for good. You are called for His purpose because He knew about you before you were born. He has predestined you to be conformed to the image of His Son by justifying you, and eventually you may experience His glory. Do you realize that you are on a path to glory despite your present situation? Do you know that you are the hope of all creation? Pray with the Holy Spirit now and hear His groaning on your behalf.
Ps 78:17-31 2 Chron 11:1-13:22 Rom 8:22-39 Prov 19:27-29