For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith 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 (Isaiah 55:8-9)
God’s ways are unsearchable, for those, who don’t know Him personally and don’t spend time with Him. In the Old Testament, we read about the people of Israel, and that they constantly went astray from the way, which the Lord had prepared for them and wanted them to go. Every time, their flesh ensured, that they derived from the words of God and went the opposite way and left the way of the Lord, and engaged with strange people and other cultures and served other gods. This continued, until someone arose, who sought the Lord, showed repentance and removed all idolatry and all heathen practices out of their midst. But this was only temporal, because within a matter of time, someone else arose, who didn’t seek and served the Lord, but became rebellious against the will of God and ensured that the people of God became apostate. The people of God didn’t see, that God wanted the best for them and that His way, was the best way to walk upon. No, they compared themselves with other nations, and looked at other people and cultures and were envious and wanted, what they had and therefore they adapted their customs and rituals. But by their behavior, they hurt God. Because by their actions, they showed God, that He wasn’t enough for them. Because, if He would have been enough for them, then they would have listened to Him, relied on Him, stayed loyal and obedient to Him, and would follow His way.
In a previous blogpost, God’s thoughts were discussed, and that His thoughts were not in agreement with the thoughts of the old carnal man, who is being led by the flesh, in which evil is still present.
But the new man has received God’s Holy Spirit and He abides in the new man.
The Holy Spirit knows the depths of God and if a person walks after the Spirit instead of the flesh and spend time with Jesus; the Word, then (s)he shall get to know God, and His will and thoughts. It’s the same with His ways.
If you spend time to the things of this world and feed your mind with the things of this world, then your way shall become the way of the world. You shall go your own way and decide the direction you want to go in life. But oftentimes, the way that you want to go is not the way of God. Only when you spend time with Jesus and the Father and take His words and feed your mind with the things, which are above, then your way and the direction you want to go, will line up with the way of God and you shall walk in His will.
The difficulty of submission
Submitting yourself to others is for many people a difficult thing to do. You already see this behaviour in the lives of children and the way they rebel against the authority of their parents or their teachers. Children don’t want to submit themselves, but they want to go their own way. And you know what The world approves this behaviour. The scholars of this world not only approve this behaviour, but they also encourage this behavior. They say, that you must give your child some space and listen to the needs and let them make their own choices. But as long as a child is not being corrected and raised in the right manner, the child shall become and unguided missile, who doesn’t want to be told what to do. If a child doesn’t learn to submit to parents, the child shall never be able to submit to others (elders, authorities, employers etc.). When the child grows up into adolescence, (s)he shall always exalt him/herself above others, rebel against others and keep doing his/her own way.
If someone is not able cannot to submit to others, how can someone submit him/herself to Jesus and His authority? Exactly, you can’t. And that’s exactly what happens in the lives of many believers. Everyone goes his/her own way, has its own faith and think that only (s)he is right and possess the truth. They don’t take the words of God and apply them to their lives, so that their lives will be changed, but they take the words out of their context and adjust the words of God to their lifestyle. They twist the Word and adjust the Word to their carnal lusts and desires. They proclaim random scriptures and proclaim them in order to receive something.
The Word is their Servant
The Word is their Servant, instead that they are the servants of the Word. They decide what to do and what is right and wrong. The believers decide which way, they want to go. They don’t care about the will of God and don’t listen to the Word, Who leads them and warns them for (spiritual) dangers. They are not submissive, because that could mean, that they have to go another way, instead of the way, they want to go. And that’s something, what many believers don’t want to do. They’ve made their own plans for the future and are not willing to give up their own plans and their own dreams and put them upon the altar and give it up for Jesus.
But who is willing and bold enough to lay down his/her own dreams and will on the altar and give it up for Jesus? Who loves Jesus so much, that (s)he is willing to lay down his/her will, in order to follow Him?
Many believer confess with their mouth, that they love Jesus and that they want to follow Him, but their actions and their way of life, don’t line up with the words they confess. Because they go their own way, make their own decisions, and follow their own dreams and decide the way they want to go.
They go their own way and execute their own plan for their lives. But…. As soon as something happens and things don’t go they way they planned them to go, and their plans and dreams are disrupted, they become angry, rebellious or become dejected, absorbed in self-pity and blame it on God. They murmur and complain: “why God, do You allow this to happen?”, “Why God, don’t you do this? Why God, ………. (fill in the blanks yourself).”
But God doesn’t answer and keeps quiet and waits……… until the person is prepared and willing to go His way instead of his own way, which is focused upon the flesh and the world.
The way of the world is not Gods way
The dreams and plans of this world, are not God’s dreams and plans. His way is the way of the Spirit and not the way of the flesh. His purpose for man is not to become highly educated, acquire the highest positions or ranks at work or in society, acquire fame, like the world does. His purpose and plan for the new man is not to be focused upon him/herself and invest all his/her time in the things of the world.
But His purpose is to save as many souls as possible from death and hell, who keeps them in bondage and to redeem them and set them free in the Name of Jesus. God has given His Son and His Holy Spirit to the new man, and therefore He has given all power and all authority to the new man to make the Kingdom of God visible to those, who live in darkness and are on their way to eternal death.
Ever soul needs Jesus! There isn’t a soul on this earth, who doesn’t need Jesus. God has appointed the new man to represent and preach Jesus Christ, by living after the Spirit. The heart of the new man should have compassion with all those people, who are lost.
But often times, this isn’t the case, because the believers are too busy with themselves. They don’t care about others, and therefore they approve sin, and allow them to keep walking in sin and keep their mouth shut. But the Word says, that the fruit of sin is death.
Therefore, everyone, it doesn’t matter if you call yourself a Christian or not, who keeps walking in sin, is on his/her way to eternal death.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23)
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (Jam 1:14-15)
Jesus is the Way and the Life
Jesus is the Way and the Life, and if you abide and stay in Him, by living after His will and His commandments, you shall walk on God’s path, which is a small path, but leads to eternal life. But you can only walk on this small path, if you have said farewell to your own path; your will, desires, dreams, plans etc. Because oftentimes these dreams and plans have been derived out of the will of the flesh and not out of the will of the Spirit.
Paul had an encounter with Jesus Christ
According to the world, Paul was a wise and learned man, but when he had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, he laid down his carnal knowledge and wisdom, which he had obtained in life, and gave his life to Jesus (Acts 9). He made Jesus Christ Lord of his life and decided to follow Him. Paul knew, what the consequences would be and would mean for his life, by making this decision. He knew, that if he decided to follow Jesus, that he would suffer resistance, persecution and imprisonment. Because Jesus had shown this to him (Acts 9:16) and also the Holy Spirit had shown this to him (Acts 20:22-28). When the time arrived, that he would be taken captive for the Name of Jesus, his brothers warned him to not go to Jerusalem, because they knew what would happen to him, because one of them had received a revelation. But Paul knew, that it was the will of God to go to Jerusalem. Why? Because this was the way, to be a witness and testify of Jesus Christ to the Roman officials (Acts 27:23-24)
If Paul would have been carnal and would have walked after the flesh, he might have listened to his brothers and not go to Jerusalem.
But Paul had laid down his own will and walked after the Spirit; after God’s will and was willing to suffer and die for the Name of Jesus. That’s why, he kept walking in the will of God. He didn’t go his own way, but he went Gods way, that God had prepared for him (Acts 21:11-14)
Paul had a free will, just like anyone else, but he submitted himself and listened to the Holy Spirit and didn’t rebel. Paul didn’t rebel when the Holy Spirit prevented Paul to go to a specific country and when He instructed him to go to another country (Acts 16:6-10). Paul was fully submissive to Him.
Due to the fact, that Paul had laid down his own life in word and deed, he was able to follow Jesus. Maybe he also had dreams and plans for his life, but at the moment that he had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, he only had one purpose for his life, and that was to follow Jesus, and go His way, preaching and representing the Kingdom of God, so that Jesus, and through Him, the Father would be honored and exalted.
The will and thoughts of God had become his will and thoughts, and that’s why Gods way became Paul’s way. The way of God led to persecution, sufferings and imprisonment, but Paul went Gods way.
The way of God is many times not the easiest and nicest way for the flesh to go, but it is the right way to go in this life. Because the way of God is the only way to eternal life. There is only one way, to walk on this path of life, and that’s through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Way and the Life. Are you willing and do you dare to give up your will, dreams and plans for Him?
‘Be the salt of the earth’