Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?

Word of the Day.  An encouraging word from God's Word.  SmellingCoffee.com

This summer I’ve been enjoying praising God through Romans 11:33-36 (from the New Living Translation) each morning.  Aren’t these the most praiseworthy of truths?

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions
and his ways!

For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much
    that he needs to pay it back?

For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36   (NLT)


To me, it’s so comforting to be reminded everyday of several things that put me back in my place (or “back in my britches” as my daddy would say) before the day begins:

1) I don’t have to understand God’s decisions and His ways.  Whew!  That really is a load-lifter… especially as I lie awake at night trying to figure out what God is “up to” in certain circumstances!

2) It’s impossible to understand, anyway!  

3) No one knows and understands the Lord’s thoughts – so I ought to stop worrying over trying to figure them out – and just stick to what I do know of His thoughts and ways that He HAS chosen to reveal through His WORD. 😉

4) {WARNING – PREPARE FOR BIG SHOCK} God doesn’t need my advice.  There.  I said it.  Can you believe this?  God does NOT need our advice?  DID I JUST GO THERE? As good and wise as our advice may be… God actually knows more than we do, and knows better how to handle things (our husbands, children, coworkers, neighbors, church situations, financial decisions, even politics – gasp!) better than we know how to handle these people and situations.  I think… just maybe…instead of giving God advice, He is waiting for us to ask Him for it??? What say you?

5.  {ANOTHER SHOCKER ON THE WAY} God doesn’t OWE me ANYTHING!  Not a single one of us have out-given God.  None of us have given Him so much of ourselves or our lives, our treasures, our hearts, our families, our obedience, our sacrifices, or our everythings that we would put Him in the position of needing to pay us back.  Think about that.  But if we are honest, don’t we sometimes begin to feel like He owes us something for our sufferings?  I have.  And sometimes now, if I’m indulging in a cycle of selfishness, I’ll catch myself with this stinky, demanding, entitlement attitude that sickens the heart of the Father!  What spoiled brats we are to think that our filthy rags are enough to demand a righteous reward!


That’s why I love this passage so much!  It reminds me that there is NO WAY that I can figure out what God is doing, or manipulate Him, or understand God’s ways, or demand of Him, or control Him.  And honestly, in the strangest of ways, that is a comfort to me.  If I had the responsibility of controlling God, I’d be stressed all of the time.  But since He is Wisdom and Power itself, along with also being Love… I can relax and trust that even the most difficult days God allows/allowed me to walk on this somewhat shaky ground are days that have been purposed and empowered by Him for His glory.

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”  Romans 11:36

This frees me to look to God (instead of to myself) for answers and for help.  And that’s a good thing!  Because… I might fool myself and others in thinking and acting like I have all the answers, and pretending that when push comes to shove I’ll be able to deliver… but when it comes right down to it, I’m a lot like Prissy from Gone With the Wind.

“I know how to do it.  I’s done it lots and lots.  Let me, Doctor.  Let me.  I can do everythin’.”  

~hours later, when the real need arises~

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies.”

Haha!  And then, if I’m not careful, I’ll be just like her after it’s all over – check out the bottom of this pic:


Anyway… all that is to say this:

It’s a wonderful thing to awaken every morning and be reminded that we don’t know God’s thoughts for the day – and that’s why we must seek Him!  His Ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

It’s a beautiful release to begin each day remembering that God isn’t waiting on our advice.

And it’s a humbling freedom to not be looking over our shoulders all day wondering when God is going to “pay up” all that is “owed” us. (Whew!  That’s a relief – think about all of the “bad” that is “owed” us that, Praise God, Jesus already covered!!!)

What Wisdom, what Knowledge, what Love God has poured into and over us!

“The Lord by skillful and godly Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding He has established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies distill the dew…For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught in a trap or some hidden danger.” Proverbs 3:19-20, 26 (AMP)

What Peace!

All glory to him forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36)


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com