My Thoughts are not Your Thoughts

 

I have been writing over the last month about all that stands in the way of our relationship with God: 1)our negative self-images; 2)the need for trust in God and for our listening for the Indwelling Spirit of God; 3)the need for a full surrender of who we are to God and 4)the need to own all that we are. Until we can make major strides in these four areas, we cannot begin to see God clearly at all. We only have what we’ve assimilated from the culture, our families, our churches, what we’ve read and what we’ve assumed from our reading of the Bible.

That’s all very fine and good, but it will not substitute for the intimate knowledge of God that living with our hearts, souls and minds on God throughout our days will bring us. Then we will have our own personal knowledge of what God has shown us about himself. And that personal, dependent relationship on and with God, my friends, is everything. EVERYTHING!!!

            I’ve been drawn to look at two passages in the Bible in writing this post: Isaiah 55 and a longer one from Job. Isaiah 55 starts with this, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!”[1] From this invitation the Lord moves to explain the difference between Him and us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”[2]

God is very clear that what we think is no competition for what he thinks. We can hardly imagine what he has in mind for any situation. Our thoughts are too earth-bound, too culturally conditioned to even imagine what God would have happen either in our lives or in the world.

And so we can judge what God does or doesn’t do wrongly, misunderstanding what he is going for. With our small brains(not in our estimation!) we cannot wrap our minds around who God is or what God would want either in our lives or in our hearts or in the purpose we would serve in his kingdom. We need God’s Mind with the largest perspective there is to set our goals, to inspire our actions, because He can see our own potential as well as the risks and benefits of moving in any direction—all at the same time. What we see for ourselves and for this world will always be influenced by our own cultural biases and our own desires and our own vision for how things should play out.

I think that this is why so many people are disappointed in God—he didn’t do what we wanted him to do. We can’t see with his higher mind the effects in us and others that he is working for. We think peace and imagine that there are no challenges. We think hope and see our hopes for ourselves or our families, especially material things, being fulfilled. We see love and see ourselves as the beneficiaries. We see with our very human eyes and lenses, definitely not with God’s purpose in mind.

God is seeing the broadest possible picture which includes the whole universe and every plant and creature in it. He expresses the differences between Him and us so beautifully to Job. He takes three chapters of Job to express how grand He is and how we are so small. Here is a short summary of what he says to Job towards the end of this story: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?[3]…Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?[4]…Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you?[5]…Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?[6]…Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt?”[7]

Job answers him: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know…My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”[8] Humbled, humiliated even, Job responds. And so should we if we are in the proper relationship to God in which we are the ones to learn and he is the one teaching us.

Humility is not something we’re taught in our culture, unless it is self-abasement or putting ourselves down. We’re good at that. We’re also good at telling God what we want for ourselves and others. But true humility where we are a mere creature in this vast universe vis-à-vis the One who created it all is not common at all. And boy, did Job ever have it at the end of God’s soliloquy!

It is our job to fit into God’s plans for us which means we have to shed all the objections we have to living in his kingdom, to obeying his laws, to holding as precious all that he tells us, to living in gratitude for what he has given us all our lives, to completing our purpose in his Kingdom on this earth. Now there is a task of a lifetime. Let’s get started right now! It’s going to take the rest of our lives!

And how did God respond to Job’s humility? God affirmed that Job had never lied about God, but his three friends had. So they were punished,[9] but the Lord “blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.”[10] So with Job in alignment with God’s plan for him, he was blessed more than he had been before. That is what awaits us—and I am not talking about money or material things—blessings and grace and all that God would give us!

 

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Questions to ponder over the week: What do I believe about God? And what have I learned about God from God himself? Am I humble? Or is my idea of myself inflated? How do I fit into the universe, the scheme of things? Am I aligned with God’s will for me? Or am I still promoting my own?

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Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who are aligned with God’s will for us. May we serve God who created the universe and ourselves as well. May we listen to and obey God.

 

*****I’m doing more research for my book. If you have had the experience of God revealing to you what your purpose is, would you write me in the Messages and tell me what that purpose is and how it came about. I would greatly appreciate your help. I’ll use it in my book, but the writer will remain anonymous.

 

My book, “Thy Kingdom Come!”, is up on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions. Look under Patricia Said Adams.

 

I have an essay published in an anthology of writings by Christian authors, entitled “What Can We Learn About Suffering From the Exodus Story.” The book is entitled Let Hope Arise  by Authors for Christ and is available on Amazon.

 

Check the archives from my post at www.bythewaters.net/blog/html. They go back to 2011.

 

[1] Isaiah 55:1

[2] Isaiah 55:8-9

[3] Job 38:4

[4] Job 38:12-13

[5] Job 38:16-17

[6] Job 38:18-19

[7] Job 38-41

[8] Job 42:2-6

 

[9] Job 42:7-8

[10] Job 42:12

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