God’s Ways are Higher than Our Ways

Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares 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.”

This world that we now live in is one day going to disappear. These bodies which we reside in are one day going to die. We are all on borrowed time. Not one of us knows if he has tomorrow. We are not even promised today. So, this is why this says to seek the Lord while he may be found and to call upon him while he is near, for not one of us knows when we will breathe our last breath. So don’t gamble with your life thinking you always have tomorrow. You may die in the next 30 seconds. Someone will.

So, what does it mean to seek the Lord and to call upon him? This is not something casual, and it is not a quick in and quick out so you can check it off your list of things to do, either. To seek the Lord means to go after him, to pursue him, to desire him, and to want to know him and his will for your life so that you can follow him in his ways. And it is not a one-time thing you do in your life and then it is a done deal and now you will go to heaven when you die. We don’t stop seeking him or calling upon him. We continue!

And if you are presently living in sin and for self and not for the Lord – either because you don’t have a genuine relationship with him or you have wandered from your pure devotion to him and you need to be brought back to repentance, to return to the Lord – this is a call to you to forsake your wicked ways, and to forsake your unrighteous (and impure) thoughts, and to turn to (or return to) the Lord in submission and in surrender to his will. For it is not the will of God that you should live in habitual and deliberate sin.

Many people today have been sold a lie, and they have believed in an altered gospel message which is telling them that they can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven, guaranteed, but that it doesn’t have to change how they live. In fact, many are being told that God does not require them to repent of their sins or to walk in obedience to his commands or to submit to Christ as Lord or to surrender their lives to the Lord as living sacrifices, holy unto God.

But that is a lie from hell, and it is Satan who is behind that lie which is permeating what is called “church” here in America. All throughout the New Testament we read that we must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and that we must live to him and to his righteousness, for that is the purpose for which he died on that cross (1 Peter 2:24). And he died to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin, not to coddle us in our sins, but so we would now follow him in obedience to his commands (Romans 6:1-23).

The whole point of why Jesus died on that cross was to free us from our addiction to sin and to free us to live godly and holy lives for his glory and praise. It was so that we might now honor him with our bodies, and that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves. For his grace, which brings salvation, trains us to renounce (say “No!” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Jesus to return (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; Titus 2:11-14).

So, Jesus did not die on that cross just to forgive us our sins and so we would escape hell and now go to heaven when we die. In fact, forgiveness of sins is not promised to the unrepentant. Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament repentance (turning away from sin) and walks of obedience to the Lord are required for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God.

[Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14; Galatians 5:16-21; Galatians 6:7-8; Romans 2:6-8; Ephesians 5:3-6; Colossians 3:5-11; 1 John 1:5-9; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10; Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 10:26-31]

Remember the Lord’s example he gave us of the children of Israel who wandered from him in the wilderness? They were idolaters, and revelers, the sexually immoral, those who put Christ to the test, the rebellious, and those who grumbled against God and against his servant Moses. They who rebelled and who continued in their deliberate sinful practices did not enter into God’s eternal rest because of their unbelief, i.e. because of their disobedience to God (1 Corinthians 10:1-22; Hebrews 3:1-19; Hebrews 4:1-13).

For human thinking and reasoning are not the same as God’s ways and his thinking. And in our flesh, the ways we want to go are not God’s ways. So we have to leave human thinking, reasoning, and the ways of the flesh behind us and we need to follow after the ways of God in walks of obedience and in holiness and in righteousness for the remainder of our days. Amen!

Jesus, Lead Me

An Original Work / July 22, 2011

Jesus, lead me all the way.
Be my hope and be my stay.
Gently lead me where I should go,
So Your Spirit, I want to know.
Open up my heart to You.
Fill me with Your love and truth.
Make my heart want to obey.
Be my Lord today. Gently lead always.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleanse my heart, and make me whole;
Be transformed in my heart today,
As I turn from my sin and pray.
Make Your will known to my heart.
May I not from You depart.
How I long to hear You now,
As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.

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