“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:8-11
This week we are looking at the the general idea of our thoughts and how to make them more pleasing to God. We also talked about taking small steps at first and building on those small steps over time to make a big difference in our life. In this devotional, I want to look at a famous and important passage of scripture that is referenced almost every time the subject of thoughts is discussed.
In Isaiah 55, God makes a declaration that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. That is a very easy premise to believe and accept. He is God and we are not. But here is the rub with that statement. Yes, it is easy for me to accept that as theory, however it is more difficult sometimes to accept it as reality in every facet of our lives.
The thoughts stored in my heart are what determines my thoughts and how I view life. If I can replace my thoughts with His, I can change my heart. But Marty, we all readily agree that His thoughts are higher than ours. So how can I think His thoughts? The answer is yes, you can.
God’s thoughts are higher than ours, but thank God He wrote his thoughts down. Just as our minds contain rational thoughts we think every day and “heart” thoughts that make up the underlying pattern of how we think, the Bible contains what God thinks about any subject as well. So no, we cannot instinctively think God’s thoughts, but we can read His thoughts.
God’s thoughts from His written word have the ability to impart life to us and transform our thoughts to be more like His. Jesus said His words are spirit and life. (John 6:63) Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is a powerful living thing. The Word of God has been given the power by God to change how we think.
It does not happen overnight, but it does happen if we give ourselves to it. Step by step toward your heavenly Father. God doesn’t expect you to know how to live a perfect Christian life. But God does want us to try. Just try to take a few new steps every day. Start to read the Bible a little each day, and ask God to help you do what it says. Talk to God and tell Him you need help to make His thoughts your thoughts. When you mess up (which you will, we all do) quickly ask Him to forgive you. As you seek God and obey Him, you will see some big changes. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
1. How does a bigger, more accurate picture of God help us gain perspective on ourselves and our limitations?
2. What is comforting about the fact that His “thoughts are not (our) thoughts, neither are (our) ways (His ways)?” What is, at the same time, unnerving about that statement?
3. How can we align ourselves with God’s ways, when His ways seem elusive or unclear?
4. What is an area in your life where you are struggling (or have struggled) to align your thoughts with God’s? How did you fight for control?