“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
Rarely does God do something exactly as we think He should or will. We don’t see what God sees or know what He knows. His plans often do not match with our wisdom and His timing. He has a timetable all His own. Because He is God, and we are not, there will be times that we don’t get it; it doesn’t compute, or register, or it doesn’t make sense.
As is often the case in life, those looking from the outside can usually see more than the one in the circumstance. Moses experienced this as he learned how God was going to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. God told him He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. Yet, the result was not what Moses expected. Rather than allowing God’s people to leave, Pharaoh increased their hardship. Moses went from hero to goat. “Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me?”(Exodus 5:22).
Much of the frustration we experience as Christians has nothing to do with what God does or doesn’t do. It has everything to do, rather, with the false assumptions we make about how we think God will and should act. It is foolish to attempt to do God’s work using our own “common sense.” We can never fully appreciate let alone understand His ways.
The point is this. When you and I fully surrender to God’s will in our lives, it’s not always going to make sense. We won’t always understand what God is doing and why. But be assured, that He has a plan and is working that plan precisely as He wishes. Sometimes that plan calls for radical changes and sometimes we seem in limbo. But even when we think nothing is happening, God is moving, working, lining things up, and maybe working on our patience and heart at the same time. C.S. Lewis said,“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” God calls us to be faithful, not successful. He wants our heart more than our accomplishments. Our job is simply to follow. Where we go, when, and why is up to Him.
We should stop second guessing God, or growing frustrated and discouraged when His plans don’t match up to our plans. We should not be questioning His motives. As you look forward to what God may do, be careful you do not try to predict what He will do next. You may find yourself completely off the mark.
- Why do you think we expect God to act and work the same way we do?
- The ways of our God are mysterious, perfect, unfathomable, inscrutable and unexplainable. What other words would you use to describe God’s ways?
- It’s so easy to get caught up in what we want and how we want it done, but we must remember that we are here on earth to do God’s will – not ours. Agree or disagree and why?
- What can we do this week to gain wisdom in understanding His ways?