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Bible Topics: Carnal Reasoning
Definitions: Being guided by or trusting in our own human understanding, reasoning, logic, or experience, rather than by the Lord through prayer and His Word.
1. Secret of success: Trust the Lord for His leading and guidance.
- 2 Chronicles 26:5 [Sixteen-year-old King Uzziah found the key to success:] And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
- Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
- Proverbs 23:4b Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
- Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
- Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.
- Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
- Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 7a Be not wise in thine own eyes.
- Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
- Acts 5:38b,39 [What God directs and ordains will be successful regardless!] If this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
2. We cannot find our way through life without the Lord's direct guidance.
- Jeremiah 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
- Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
- Proverbs 20:24 Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?
- John 15:5 I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.
- Acts 17:21-23,27,28,30,31 [The worldly wise men at Mars' hill in Athens were ignorant of the Lord, but Paul attempts to enlighten them.] (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. … 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: 28 For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as
certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. … 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by That Man [Jesus] Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
3. If we lean to our own understanding, we're doomed to disappointment and final failure.
- Psalm 127:1a Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
- Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
- Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
- Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
- 1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
- Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4. Carnal reasoning is foolish and displeasing to God.
- Proverbs 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
- Proverbs 28:26a He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.
- Isaiah 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.
- Jeremiah 8:8-9 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made He it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?
- Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
- Romans 1:21,22 When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
- Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [animosity, hostility] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
- 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
- 1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 Knowledge puffeth up, but charity [love] edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.
- 2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
5. We can't even do things that seem good, reasonable and common sense, unless we're sure they are God's will.
- Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
- Romans 12:16b Be not wise in your own conceits.
- 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
- James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
6. Only by seeking the Lord's solutions can we understand situations as He does.
- 1 Samuel 16:7b Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
- Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
- Ecclesiastes 2:26a For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy.
- Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
- Isaiah 55:8,9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
- John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
7. The Word shows us the way by shedding light on the subject.
- Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
- Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
- Psalm 119:130 The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
- Proverbs 6:22,23 When thou goest, it [the Word] shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.
- John 1:1b,4, 9 The Word was God. … 4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. … 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
- 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure Word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
8. God has all the answers, and delights to give them to you. So pray!
- Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
- Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
- Isaiah 58:9a Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.
- Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
- Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
- John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
- James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not [without finding fault]; and it shall be given him.
- James 4:2b [Don't neglect to ask God for help.] Ye have not, because ye ask not.
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