Devotional: Our fundamental decision
We have seen that the New Testament extends an invitation to us to share and fellowship with God, and this fellowship is pictured frequently in the Bible as ‘walking with God.’
In order to walk with God, we must ‘agree’ with God. This is put before us in Amos, chapter 3, verse 3, which says: "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?" And the implication clearly is, "No, they cannot." Now to ‘agree’, I would define simply as to harmonize in ways and thoughts. So, in order to walk together with God, we have to learn to harmonize with God's ways and God's thoughts. However, by nature, the Scripture makes it very clear: God's ways and God's thoughts are different from ours. They're not in harmony with ours. And, furthermore, God does not change. He says that so emphatically in Malachi 3:6: "I the Lord do not change.” So, logically, there's only one option left to us if we're going to accept this invitation to walk with God and meet the conditions: We have to change our ways and our thoughts.
Today I'm going to share with you how God has made provision for us to do this. That's what I love about the Bible, it not merely tells us where we're wrong, but it also tells us how we can put things right. Its ultimate thrust is always positive, not negative. It brings out the negative only to show us our need for the positive.
We’ve read yesterday in Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 6 through 9. Just by way of refreshing our memories, this is the passage in which God says so emphatically that His ways and thoughts are not like ours. Isaiah 55:6 through 9:
"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. [That's a certain urgency in that.] Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. [Notice our basic problem is not just our outward actions, but it's our inner ways and thoughts.] Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. [Thank God for that promise. And then the Lord goes on:] "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." (NIV)
So the gap is as great as that between heaven and earth, and the Scripture tells man that he cannot measure the height of the heavens which we know today, scientifically, as well. So there's a measureless gap between God's ways and thoughts and ours. How can we bridge that gap? We will see that tomorrow.
Father, help me to renew my thinking because that will determine my words and the things I do. But even if I make wrong choices, You will freely pardon me and have mercy on me. Thank you Lord, that You have bridged this measureless gap between us. Amen!