God's Thoughts, God's Ways
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God’s thoughts and God’s ways are greater than ours. To be sure, there are things with God that are too wonderful, too majestic and too big for us to imagine. However, God has revealed Himself so that we can know His thoughts and ways. In fact, when our ways and thoughts are not His, it is a sign that we are in trouble. It may be a sign we are away from the Lord. When we find our thoughts and our ways are not the Lord’s we need to forsake them and return to Him. In fact, the wicked are wicked because their thoughts and ways are not the Lord’s.
Therefore, when we talk about our thoughts being the Lord’s, we are talking about the real battle ground between God and Satan. Each wants our will. God has revealed His thoughts and His ways so that we will know His thoughts and ways and we can make them ours. God wants the victory of our will brought into submission to His will. We cannot submit ourselves to God completely until every thought has been brought into obedience.
Jesus is the best example when we think about making our will the same as God’s. We are to have His mind (Phil. 2:3-5). People who are developing the mind of Christ are people who think like He thinks. What kind of attitude did Jesus have toward the Father? Did He have the mind of God? Could Christ say, “My thoughts are My Father’s thoughts?” He said, “I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29). We know that the Father and Son had one mind. Christians are to be like Him. We are to have one mind with the Father, value what He values (Phil. 1:9-11). We call excellent what which He calls excellent. Obedience is vital, but we must grow in our thinking so that we obey because His thoughts are our thoughts.
Equally important as God’s thoughts are His ways. God’s ways are to be our ways. That is, our thoughts are to produce a certain manner of life. God has also revealed himself so that our manner of life will be His. When the disciples of Jesus were arguing over who was going to be first in the kingdom of heaven, what did Jesus do? He washed their feet. He did this to teach them a lesson about the course of their life (Jn. 13:12-17). Jesus was their master, above them in authority and honor, yet He lowered Himself to wash their feet, a task ordinarily reserved for slaves. He illustrated to them the need to be humble toward one another and be a servant to others. In fact, He says, “Do as I have done. Happy are you if you do these things.” If we fail to learn the need to serve we fail to learn His ways. The servant is not greater than the master. Therefore, we ought to do as He has done.
Another manner of life we need to emulate is the quality of forgiveness. We are to be forgiving people (Eph. 4:32). This is not optional for God’s people. We forgive just as Christ forgave us. That is making our ways His ways. We cannot be acceptable to the Lord, without a forgiving heart. His ways are our ways. We will have to forgive just as freely as God forgave if we expect to be forgiven by God.
Finally, each day as Christians we are being transformed (2 Cor. 3:18). It may be in the absolute that God’s ways and God thoughts are not ours, but we sure better be trying to make them ours. That is our direction. For that reason He revealed Himself. We are being transformed into the same image. Thus our ways are being matched more completely to the Lord’s ways day by day, little by little, from glory to glory. Christians are people who are trying to make their thoughts and ways His. That is what makes us different from the world. Worldly thinking produces world ways. We are disciples of Christ, our thoughts and our ways are His. Therefore, we are separate from the world, we follow Him. We are growing to think like Him and in our manner of life be like Him. Let us not be satisfied with less than making His thoughts our thoughts and His ways our ways. Let’s grow up to be what God wants us to be!
by Rickie Jenkins