Godís Ways Are Not Our Ways
ďFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,Ē declares the LORD. ďAs the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.Ē
-Isaiah 55: 8-9
We first learned when we were young Christians that God didn't answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to. Why not? Because God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. Now we know that everything is in God's hands and He has a purpose for us and asks us to trust Him. But that still doesn't stop us from trying to understand God, His thoughts and His ways.
Churches and ministers have told us all about God. They've taught us what to believe, how to please Him, what to expect from Him and how to serve Him. Of course, that all can vary depending on the church, the denomination and the minister teaching you.
When we search the Scripture and see His dealings with His people, we get clues about God's thoughts and ways. We see God’s wonder, intelligence, creativity and love in His creation of the world. In the Old Testament we read of God’s frustration, anger and wrath in the stories of Noah, Sodom, Pharaoh and the Israelites. And in the New Testament, we encounter Jesus Christ, God’s Son who served God with faith, humility, compassion and strength all because of LOVE for us, His children.
Many of us today believe that if we are good, God will bless us. That is sort of universal. Yet in the story of Job, we see God doing a number on Job. He was a good and faithful man who loved and honored God in every way, yet God permitted the devil to pour pain, loss, injury and suffering onto him as a test of Jobís faith. It all sounds pretty extreme, but God had a plan and a greater purpose for Job that Job didnít understand. Godís ways are not our ways.
And after centuries of studying Scripture, the Jewish religious scholars believed that their messiah would come as a king to lead the Jewish people to victory. But when Jesus arrived, He didnít fulfill their centuries of interpretations and expectations because God thought differently.
In Jesus’ ministry He taught His followers to live in a way that is OPPOSITE of how the world thinks and operates. Jesus asks us to forgive while the world never forgives. He taught us to give, while the world only wants to take. And He taught us to love everyone around us while the world only cares for itself. No one would have ever imaged that the Messiah, the King of the Jews, would be concerned with the entire world and salvation for ALL of humanity. Jesus came not as a "Warrior Hero" to establish His kingdom and destroy their enemies, but as a humble servant who gave healing to the sick, comfort to the poor and forgiveness for the sinners. In the end, He sacrificed Himself for the entire human race, including their enemies. He was the opposite of who they thought a king should be.
That is why the Pharisees, Rabbis and Sadducees could not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They had created a picture of exactly who their messiah would be, and Jesus did not fit that picture because God's ways are not our ways. So they still await their messiah.
Because of the selfish ways of humankind, our world is filled with corruption, greed, violence, suffering and despair. Everywhere we turn, things are falling apart. Christians see all these as signs of the End of the Age. Just as the Jewish scholars predicted how their Messiah would come, modern day Christian scholars also predict how Jesus will return. As it stands now, Christians are awaiting the destruction of the Earth in a fiery judgment with earthquakes, falling stars, a bloody moon, warriors, a beast, devils, angels, trumpets, sinners thrown into hell, saints lifted to heaven and Jesus arriving on a sun-filled cloud into Godís heavenly glory. A spectacle like nothing we've ever seen in any mega-million dollar Hollywood extravaganza.
Or could it be that when He returnsÖGod will surprise us again, arriving in a way contrary to how we expect Him to?
So many of us really don't understand God because we live with one foot in the world. And the longer we think the way the world thinks and live the way the world lives, the longer God will remain a mystery to us.
But then how can we ever know God? How can our thoughts come closer to His thoughts and our ways closer to His ways?
Through His Son Jesus Christ:
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” - John 14: 15-21
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. -John 15: 9-17
“I and the Father are one.” - John 10:30.
Truly God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. They are much, much HIGHER.
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