I’m convinced convinced that one of the biggest hindrances of personal prayer life in the corporate life of the church is the religion of common sense, which is what the dictionary defines as: “good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.” In this definition, we see the adjectives of good and sound. So, based on common, conventional wisdom, decisions are made based on personal experience and the experiences of the collective herd.
Yet, while God certainly gives the knowledge that can fuel common sense, to be sure, God often has a way of leading that stands outside of the conventions of common sense.
Oswald Chambers puts it this way:
Faith in active opposition to common sense is mistaken enthusiasm and narrow-mindedness, and common sense in opposition to faith demonstrates a mistaken reliance on reason as the basis for truth. The life of faith brings the two of these into the proper relationship. Common sense and faith are as different from each other as the natural life is from the spiritual, and as impulsiveness is from inspiration. Nothing that Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, but is revelation sense, and is complete, whereas common sense falls short. Yet faith must be tested and tried before it becomes real in your life.
When relying on common sense, we rely less on faith in trust. Instead of relying on what God sees, we confine ourselves to only what we can see and know and experience. Yet, all of us are touched by sin and the fall–“all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, we must pursue the glory of God in all our decisions, not operating by fear, but by faith in the promises that Christ gave His church.
Common sense is helpful. Yet, let’s not use it in place of prayer and the pursuit of Christ and His Will.
(ADDENDUM: After writing this post, I can across another post with some interesting memes of a ‘Common Sense Jesus.’ Thoughts?)