“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV).
You buy something and drive it home with high expectations. But there on the box are those three dreaded words “some assembly required.” Uh oh.
Well, maybe, just maybe, this time the instructions will be thorough. You open the box and let out a sigh. They are not. Just a few sketches that look nothing like the final product. OK, maybe I don’t need instructions. I can figure this out. Four hours and five bottles of Gatorade later, you realize that you did it all wrong? You sigh, sigh again and find the instructions to begin again.
Most of us have done this in our spiritual life as well. We try to do things our way, only to realize it doesn’t work all that well. We need to do things God’s way. Fortunately God has given us instructions on how to do things God’s way. We can start with the word of Jesus. “…for apart from me you can do nothing..” (John 15:5) But, Paul gives us the positive side of that coin. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
There are people who believe everyone’s way is equally valid. So why would I abandon my way of doing things and hand it over to God? Let me give you two reasons.
First of all, God’s way is better—“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). As Proverbs 14:12 tells us “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” But God’s way is life. God’s way is better than ours. As hard as it is to let go of what is natural and comfortable to us, we really need to because there is a better way.
Second of all, God’s way works. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). God’s Word accomplishes what God sends it out to accomplish. We have fallen on our face more often than not when we do things our way. We thought what we were doing was going to provide lasting happiness, long-term fulfillment, or significant meaning to our lives. Instead, we had a moment of escape and pleasure followed by an empty feeling. Then we look for the next things to add meaning to our lives. This is not God’s way.
God’s way works. When we pursue His way, we will find peace and joy regardless of our circumstances. Even though we have experienced trials in our lives, His way is the best way.
- Do you believe God’s way is always better than our way? Why or why not?
- What can you do to grow more in your knowledge of God’s Word?
- How does the knowledge that God’s way is better shape our expectations of God? Our generosity?
- How easy is it for you to be generous when confronted with a specific need? Why?
- What can we do this week to make God’s way our way?