Romans 1:18-27 (NIV) 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
To me, this passage can be summed up to “Left to our own devices, we will always turn to wickedness.” We cannot escape wicked behavior, but we can be forgiven if we repent humbly. We have to WANT God to escape this pattern of idolatry and impurity. Only He can provide a way out.
In this passage Paul is telling us what happens when men turn away from God. “When men lose God, they always lose themselves.” It’s as if God has said, “All right. If you want to turn away from me, I’ll let you go. I won’t try to stop you. But you’ll have to face the consequences of your own actions.” We can push God away to the point where He won’t intervene in our lives. And what a scary place that would be!
This is a difficult passage for us since we all fall victim of this behavior. How does this scripture speak to you?
Heavenly Father, please forgive us for our wickedness and our idols. We want only You and we ask that you remove the barriers we have established between us and You so that we can receive Your forgiveness and be restored in You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Amen