Monday, August 11, 2008

Words of Encouragement

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6

God's Way. How do I understand God? This scripture played in my head over and over again early Sunday morning. I would drift off to sleep and then wake up to this scripture again playing in my mind.

Lord what is it you want me to understand and see, was my thoughts? There were several people he placed on my heart to pray for. As I thought about this scripture again today, I thought about the fact that we must be careful if we are to understand God's ways.

This scripture gives us one of the important steps me must take to understand the things of God. We cannot depend on ourselves. This means I cannot depend on my intelligence, or my ideas or even my thoughts alone. Yes it is good to have a good mind and to think, because I know I am always thinking about things. Yet I am very careful not to allow my own thoughts to take me in directions that are contrary to God's word.

Every thought and idea I have, I ask God to show me if this is in line with what his way is. This is done in two parts, through prayer and the reading of God's word. When I do that, this scripture confirms for me that God will help me to understand his ways.

He will make my path straight. This means when I have an idea or thought if I acknowledge God through trusting his word and his Spirit he will make my path lead straight to him. He will keep me from going in areas that would confuse me and lead me to destruction or cause me to invent my own theology. When this has happened in men and women before, out of it came many of the cults we see today. People were not willing to discern God's word his way. Because their human understanding could not grasp God's way, they hardened their hearts and God allowed them to continue to believed things their own way. ( They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. - 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

So you and I cannot depend on our own understanding because our thoughts are not the same as God's. ("For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "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).

So while you and I may want to believe we have the intelligence and the capacity to understand the things of God, we cannot do it alone in our own understand nor can we understand it without the Spirit of God's help. (The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Corinthians 2:14).

Today I pray for us that we seek God's ways, by his standard. May our hearts be softened to hear the things of God and to accept his ways, even when we may not fully understand them yet. God give us the ability to discern your truth your way. Help us not to puff ourselves up and depend on our own way of thinking, but to come to you and ask you, what does your word require of me. This I ask in Jesus' name. AMEN.