Courtesy of mybible.com
By Benjamin H. Liles
“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
Indeed, how can we know His thoughts unless He shows us by revelation? He has to speak to us somehow, whether by His word (the Bible), by His Spirit - which we (can) have [by repentance of sins and accepting free salvation through Jesus Christ], and also through others.
I am no different when it comes to God and His ways. I still can't fathom His love for me. When I go ahead of Him, believing I've seen His love I know I haven't, how can He show me more of Him when I'm doing things without Him? That independence in and of myself will never work.
I can sit and claim, in my worldly position, that "There is no God" (Psalm 14:1) as well, and still His thoughts are for me. He had Jeremiah say these words, for all of us, "For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).
What can be done to know God, to know His thoughts, and to be the kind of person He shows things to? First, it comes down to allowing ourselves to being humbled. He tells us when we "humble ourselves and seek His face, denouncing evil", that He will "hear from heaven" (2 Chronicles 7:14). I wrote, in The Importance of Studying, "Studying God's word allows us to not just see ourselves as He sees us, but it gives us a hope and sure foundation for the hope we have."
Yes, He sees us being helpless against sin and from its corrupting power, but more than that He sees a people, nations of them, desperately crying out to and for Him whether they believe it or not. They just don't call on Him or His name. They worship other things whether it's money, lust or love, or a carved image. God's telling us within the passage of Isaiah that we are incapable of having a relationship with Him due to our own ways.
It means we need to humble ourselves. We need to take a breather and to get our focus where it rightly belongs: on Him. It means we get to know this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He's more than the God of the Hebrews. He's the God for all nations who desires us to come back to Him. In fact, authentic Christ followers put off of themselves worldly constraints. They cast off selfishness for selflessness. They share what they know. They give freely. And most importantly they always show the love of Jesus the Messiah. So much so they lay down their lives not asking for anything in return.
What it boils down to is that if we want to know and have a relationship with God, we truly need to lay aside all our sinfulness. We need to walk in His power and grace by the shed blood of Jesus. But how can we do that if we keep walking back to sin? We need to remember His promise that He gives us peace, His peace, not the world's. We need to call back to remembrance He laid down His life for ours. It's where forgiveness and mercy calls us to live and lead changed hearts and lives. It boils down to walking in Jesus' name and grace. We have Him and His word. And Jesus' word is the same as God's.
Father, I ask that You show others who so desperately need You Your love, grace, and mercy. I know it means having faith in You. Sometimes that's truly hard. Help us in our times of unbelief. Help us to believe. You want us to know You. You wants us to lean and rely on You. Your strength gets us through every day, good or bad. We just need to remain steadfast and confident within You. I ask this in Jesus' name for all who believe. Amen.