10 Jul 2012
I recently heard a very well-thought-of Bible Scholar say in so many words we are all off a bit. His means of communicating this thought contained considerable more finesse, but his bottom line was that we are all off in our thinking. His theory of our universal off-ness flowed from the fact that we are all flawed by our sin nature. To define correct, or not off, he would point to God. God, he argued is the only entity that is completely correct and all of us who are not God are flawed.
Perhaps this is related to the fact that as God explains in His word His thoughts are not like our thoughts and His ways are not like our ways. We must seem rather foolish to God when we believe we see what needs to be done and move out to accomplish what we believe to be God’s will because it makes sense to us. The scriptures below give us a brief but powerful picture of the “Otherness” of God
Isaiah 40:25-26 (NASB77)
25 "To whom then will you liken Me That I should be his equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power Not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 46:9-10 (NASB77)
9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';
Romans 11:33-36 (NASB77)
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?
35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
One issue between God and man that has apparently been around since nearly the beginning of time is the significant deficiency of man’s grasp of the awesomeness of God. We as mere mortal men cannot seem to grasp the fullness and scope of the magnificence of God. And when we do get a brief view, a miniscule glimpse of the greatness of God, we seem to have a pattern of subsequent amnesia which soon erases our understanding virtually before it has time to take root.
Our completely inadequate understanding of the nature of God abounds with difficulties. Perhaps the foremost of which are our erroneous assumptions concerning our need to come up with our own ideas and plans concerning how to further His kingdom.
It seems that when we are approaching the slightest understanding of God’s unfathomable wisdom and consummate master plan, we will find our hearts deeply longing to understand God’s thoughts and His plan in order to play some small part and insure that we are not working in opposition to God.
Jesus spoke often of having ears to hear. This hearing from God seems to be paramount if we are to be useful as a servant in His kingdom. In our present day culture more admiration is garnered when we plan and organize and are extremely active. Listening, particularly listening to God is not a characteristic that seems to be highly valued by our culture, or even in much of our evangelical community.
One could propose, if we are to be of the most benefit, the most fruitful and productive for God and for His kingdom, we must listen carefully to His specific direction, His personalized prescription in order that we can do the things He has planned out in advance for us.
Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
If we could think of God as a cosmic orchestra conductor and ourselves as a participant playing the triangle, playing a very complex piece without the aid of written music, in this picture we only know to strike the triangle when we see the sign from the conductor. We must always keep our eyes on the conductor. We must be completely submitted to His direction. We must act immediately upon His signal, without hesitation.
This kind of ready submission and listening will without doubt bring great fruitfulness to a submitted servant of the Living God. This same kind of watching and listening is imperative for powerful praying. Our prayers are clearly to be a part of God’s kingdom coming to this earth and His will being done here and now. God has given us His Spirit and His Word to guide us in praying. We must cultivate His Spirit and His word. These are a lot more like gardens than light switches. To pray with great power is every Christian’s opportunity, but this kind of praying is not like your air conditioning system that automatically comes on when the outside temperature moves higher. No it is more like your garden, where you are required to work the soil, plant good seeds, and keep pulling weeds.
Remember God is in charge. He has a plan. He desires that you play a significant part in His plan. Prayer is a huge part of His plan, and little happens without prayer. Prayer has always, yes, always preceded revival. This week we encourage you to make an extra effort to listen to the voice of His Spirit, and search His word and so be guided in your prayers. This will bring us closer, closer to the purpose for which we have been created, to bring Glory to our God!
Isaiah 43:5-7 (AMP)
5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east [where they are dispersed] and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, Give up! and to the south, Keep not back. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.