“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 NLT).
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During my children’s elementary school years, they had chore charts to give them structure and responsibility. However, when one of them didn’t accomplish all their tasks, my husband and I would have a conversation about allowance reduction or possible consequences. Can you imagine if one of my children said, “I know I’ve been slacking off recently, if I get all my chores done every day this week and even do some of my sibling’s chores, can I remain your child?” They understood that they were assigned work because they were part of our family, not that they were working to stay in it. Sometimes I can bring a “working to earn my place in the family” mentality into my relationship with the Lord.
In Isaiah 6, we find a progression of belief, which leads to a sense of belonging, which then results in transformed behavior. The order of this progression is important. I often desire clarity in decisions but first need to focus on the Lord, and myself in relation to Him, so that I can have a proper perspective to receive direction.
Isaiah’s message came out of a personal vision of God. He encountered seraphs, smoke, and words that shook the room. If you were Isaiah and actually witnessed this with your own eyes, what reactions might you have had? I think I would have been overcome with the “otherness” of it all. No movie, novel, or dream could compare with a glimpse of the living God.
While God forgives and loves us as sinners, and desires a relationship with us, we should not be tempted to bring Him down to our human level. These verses remind us that He is holy. To say God is holy means He is set apart; He is not like us. He is perfect in all He does. He rules supremely and receives the worship of an array of heavenly beings.
His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Later in his book, Isaiah wrote these same truths: “’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).
I wonder if you can look back and see something in your past from the perspective that God’s thoughts and ways were higher than yours. You may not always understand what God is doing in the moment, but you can always trust Him! The God of Isaiah is the same God who invites you to be close to Him. He knows you don’t always follow all His instructions, and thankfully, you don’t have to earn your way into His family. If you have believed in Him by faith, then you belong to Him. He loves you and knows better than you do what is best for your life because His thoughts and ways are higher than yours.
Lord, thank You for reminding me of Your holiness. Help me not to forget Your greatness and power, especially when it comes to trusting You with real life situations. When I drift into grappling for power over my circumstances, help me to remember that Your thoughts and ways are higher than mine so I can trust You!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How have you experienced God’s ways being higher than your ways in a difficult situation?
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Melissa’s new Bible study titled Isaiah: Striving Less and Trusting God More for an in-depth study of the book of Isaiah.
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