Ways and Means, Part Two
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says 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.”
The best way of doing anything is simply to obey God. And whatever He tells us to do is the best way for now. Yet even if we have clearly heard God’s will, and we have obeyed, and seen the good fruit of it, we can learn the wrong lesson. What works when we obey is that we obeyed God, not that we did anything in particular in any given way. We are never to learn a specific course of action as much as we are to learn obedience. There are few things more dangerous than a Christian who has learned the wrong lesson here, and has “learned” a successful way. What worked yesterday is not guaranteed to work tomorrow, even if we desire God’s will. The unlearning of that can be painful.
There are tools to use to streamline processes. Statistical process control, Ishakawa diagrams, etc., can help us get an overview of a particular process in the business world. In the Kingdom of God, only the Lord sees the whole picture, and only He can improve the “production” of our walk in Christ so that it is most effective. The most efficient thing we can do is lean into the Lord, find His will, and obey it.
He sees the whole thing—not just our idea of the end product. Perhaps God’s end product is not even what we think it is. Maybe whatever we have working in our lives at the moment involves someone else coming to a saving knowledge of Christ, or perhaps it’s about our learning something we don’t even know we have to learn yet—or both. Perhaps we are just a small part of a much bigger thing that God is doing.
Did you ever miss an ingredient in a recipe? Did you ever measure something incorrectly while making it? Did you ever skip a step?
Perhaps your obeying God is an important ingredient, or perhaps everything you are is the part that is missing right now in something God is working. Don’t assume that you are either essential or unimportant. Yes, He can do anything He wants. But He wants, and has chosen, to use us! The way to do anything is to get as close as possible to Jesus and do what He shows us to the best of our ability. Then He gets His end product, and by His grace, we get a blessing!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for looking for the formula sometimes when I should just be looking for You. Thank you for working through me in the past. Help me never to take the attitude of “I’ll take things from here, Lord.” Let my lesson be that You are faithful and merciful, and that You desire us to continue to come and seek You.
Amen ! Not learning process, but God Himself !
On learning the wrong thing, I always think of Mark Twain’s observation: a cat that sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again…or on a cold stove either.