His way not our ways

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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.”  Isa 55:8-9

Too many churches today profess to be ministries, however they act more like businesses then houses of God.  They make decisions based on the principles of business rather than the scriptures.  They view parishioners more as customers they desire to attract and keep, rather than as members of the body of Christ who need to be discipled in order to grow into mature men and women of God.  I believe this is the main reasons many churches have little power or influence in the world.  They are trying to do things using the wisdom of the world, rather than the wisdom of God.

Many churches are turning to church growth professionals to help them grow and prosper.  The trouble with most of these groups is that they use business and corporate strategies to bring more numbers, resulting in increased donations.  The goal is merely to increase numbers, thinking this is the measure of success.  But they are wrong.  Success is measured in doing God’s will and yielding completely to Him no matter what that means.  We must always look to God’s wisdom and not man’s.  And many times, the wisdom of God is viewed as foolishness in the eyes of man.  Let’s look at a few examples.

  • Man’s way in destroying a city is explosives and huge armies.  God’s way is marching around it 13 times and then shouting.
  • Man’s idea of getting rich is by saving, God’s idea of getting rich is giving away.
  • Man’s idea of salvation is to work until you earn it, God’s way is to receive a free gift from Him, making Christ the Lord of our life.

Just from these three examples, we see that God’s ways are not our’s and vice-versa.  And we also know that God’s success rate is 100%, and ours is significantly less.  So, would it not be wise to follow the ways of one who has a perfect track record?  I would think so.  However, many choose to do things their own way.  They have God, who created everything that exists, available for guidance and help, and they go to one infinitely less capable and wise.  It is like having a brain tumor and choosing to ask a baby baboon to remove it rather than a neurosurgeon. And this does not even come close to approaching the vast difference between man and God.  However,  the difference in this analogy is that man is able to take advise from God, where a baby baboon is incapable of taking advise from a neurosurgeon.   The point though is clear.  We should be more inclined to go to God.  But often we do not, instead we rely on our own wisdom.  And there are only a few reasons why we do, and any of these, if true to us, should cause us much consternation.

  • We do not truly believe God is out there.
  • We do not truly believe God speaks to us.
  • What we believe is God speaking is really our own desires.
  • We believe we know better.

Do we trust Him more than ourselves?  Do we think that we know more than God?  This last week, my son Christiaan was trying to get an internship at some local church as a requirement for one of His classes at Seminary.  He is pursuing his Master of Divinity.  He tried his own church, then our church, and then another.  But the first two could not do it, and time was running out.  My wife, Linda, was upset and wanted to get involved, but I told her to let God handle this through Christiaan.  She acquiesced and started praying. Then God asked her, “Do you love him more that I do?”  She had no answer at first, so He said it again.  “Do you love him more than I do?”  She said “I am his mother.”  Then He asked her a third time.  “Do you love him more than I do?”  She finally said “No”, and decided to put it in His hands, knowing He loves him more than she did..  Within five minutes, Christiaan notifies Linda that the third church got back with him and agreed to have him as an intern.  And also, it was pretty much what Christiaan wanted.  Letting God take charge always works, taking matters into our own hands does not.  Remember Hagar and Ishmael?

God told Abraham and Sara that they would be having a son, and Sara would be the one to bear him.  But both knew that Sara was beyond child bearing age, so they chose to take matters into their own hands and they used Hagar, Sara’s Egyptian handmaid, to bring the promised child into the world.   But that was not what God had in mind.  In fact, the child Hagar gave birth to would father enemies of Israel.  Not exactly an ideal resolution.  How many times have we missed out on God’s best because we decided to do it our own way?  Or how many times have we made matters worse?  We may never know.   However, we can mitigate future issues by following His ways.  How can we do that?  First, we must believe.  Even as Christians, we can have doubts.  We sometimes are reticent to just let God handle it, because we think He needs our help.  That is where we get into problems.  For some reason, we think that we know better, or that God is faraway.  Or maybe that He is not interested in our issues.  But I think the biggest issue is that we forget that He is there to help us.  What a shame.  The most important person in our life, and we sometimes forget He is available to help us, and we just do it ourselves.

It is important that we develop a close relationship with God that will help us know we can trust Him.  He is extremely trustworthy.  He cannot lie, He can do anything.  And He loves us and always has our best at heart. But we need to believe that at the very core of our being.  It must be something that comes natural.  That is how the first century Christians endured the persecution they suffered, they did it God’s way.  That is how the apostles were able to reach the world with the gospel.  They did it God’s way.  That is how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were able to survive the king’s death sentence, they did it God’s way.  And that is how we will overcome all obstacles we face, by doing it God’s way.

Many times in our Christian walk, we will be tempted to do God’s work our way.  We will look to take control of situations using the wisdom of men, rather than the wisdom of God.  We cannot let ourselves fall into this trap.  We must do things the way our Lord wants things done, or we may end up creating a giant mess, and missing out on God’s best for us.  His plans our perfect, and ours are always flawed.  We must be in a constant attitude of prayer, ready to hear His voice in any way He chooses to speak to us, in any fashion He chooses to reveal His will.  We must not try to circumvent what God wants done with our own designs and ways.  He knows best.  Why would we settle for less than the best.

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