Doing Things God’s Way

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”  Prov 3:5-8

When God calls us to work with Him in building His kingdom, He has a very specific way He wants it accomplished.  Quoting Henry Blackaby from his book, Experiencing God on page 150, we read “A popular teaching says God does not give people specific directives.  It claims He gave us brains and the Bible, and these two things are sufficient to guide us in all decision making.  This position implies that a Christian always thinks correctly, according to God’s will.  It doesn’t take into account that the old nature is constantly at odds with the spiritual nature (Rom 7), and it neglects the important fact that our ways are not God’s ways (see Isa 55:8).”  We do not think the way God does.  His ways are perfect, our ways are not.  So, the best way to do anything He commands is His way.  In fact, it is the only way God will have it.

If we would listen to Him, we would hear Him tell us exactly how He wants us to serve Him, down to the minute details.  Let us look at how God told Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness.  “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker.  All the curtains are to be the same size —twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.  Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five.  Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set.  Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other.  Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.  Make curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven altogether.   All eleven curtains are to be the same size —thirty cubits long and four cubits wide.   Join five of the curtains together into one set and the other six into another set. Fold the sixth curtain double at the front of the tent. Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set.  Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit.  As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle.  The tent curtains will be a cubit longer on both sides; what is left will hang over the sides of the tabernacle so as to cover it.  Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of the other durable leather.”  Ex 26:1-14  

This is, of course, only a brief snippet of what God told Moses.  But let’s look at the amazing details here.  There is no room for our ideas; every aspect of the building of the tabernacle was laid out by God.  When God said ten linen curtains, He did not mean nine, or eleven.  They did not have the right to change the number of curtains from God’s perfect plan.  When God said to put fifty loops on the end curtain, He did not mean forty or sixty.  They had no right to change the number of loops on the end curtain from God’s plan.  If anything they did deviated from the perfect plan God put together, it would not have been perfect, and would have been unacceptable. 

Another thing we need to remember is that God will not command us to do anything we are not able to accomplish.  We may not have the skills or experience, but God will ensure we have what we need to bring about His desired result.  “So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”  Ex 36:1  God gave each person the skill to do what He wanted done.  Did they have the skills before the calling to build the tabernacle?  No, as we see from the following passage.  “Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills — 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” Ex 35:30-35   The skills required to build the tabernacle did not exist in Israel.  But that was not a problem, because God has the skills, and is able to work through people to accomplish His commands.  And not only the skills, but the desire to accomplish it.  “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Phi 2:13  

This is not just a picture of how the Israelites were to respond, but God’s people throughout all time.  This includes us as well.  God knows exactly how He wants things, and if we are willing to listen to what He says, we can take part by yielding and allowing Him to work through us.  Think about a rich man, who talks to you about building him a house.  You talk with him and get an idea about what he wants, but you leave to begin work before he is finished giving you the details.  You know you can tap into his resources and workers, but you are convinced you can do it without any help, with your own resources.  So, three months later, the rich man comes back to see his new home, and you have built him a nice two bedroom, one bath house.  You delivered much less than would have been possible if you had used the rich man’s resources.   And this happens in doing God’s work.  If we rely on our own resources, we accomplish little if anything in comparison to what was expected, and could have been done if we had listened and completely obeyed God. 

God is looking for a people who will yield themselves to Him so that He can accomplish His will through them.  It is not about us doing things for Him.  He has called His people to a life of spreading the gospel and helping those who need our help, but in His way, not ours.  He will communicate exactly what and how we are to accomplish His commands if we would only take the time to listen.  And He will enable us to do everything He commands, and therefore we should not settle for less by doing things in our own strength and with our own resources.   God does not want this, and we will not please Him if we do.  This is the reason so many ministries fail, fall into heresy, or accomplish much less than God desires.  His standard is perfection, and anything less falls short.  This is why Christ’s righteousness is required for salvation, and why the only way to fulfill the calling God places on us is to yield to Him and doing it His way through His power.  Anything else is but forty loops on the end curtain of the tabernacle.

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