THE WAYS OF GOD Part 1 (1)
By Ps. Jerry
Are you in a storm in your life? Is there trouble, anxiety, ups and downs? Do you know which course to take when there is a difficult decision to make? Is this the will of God? Does this action please God? Sometimes we cannot fathom why God allows certain things to happen in this world and in our personal lives. But not knowing the ways of God has adverse effects. Sometimes it can be fatal. The following are two examples of this.
King Uzziah was a great king. You can read about him in 2 Chronicles 26. Unlike many kings before him, King Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He removed the high places, instituted worship and God prospered him. He served the Lord faithfully for fifty-two years. But one day, Uzziah decided to go into the temple and worship God. He entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. And there stood the priests, eighty mighty valiant men of God and they said, Uzziah, it is not for you to burn incense. This is not the way of God. But Uzziah’s heart was enraged. He said, I am the king, I can do it and he continued to burn incense. But as the incense went up, leprosy broke out on his forehead. The priests saw this, and they pulled him out of the temple. Uzziah did not know the ways of God. So, one can be close with God, be blessed and still make an error that brings serious consequences, sometimes even fatal.
The second example is Korah. The sons of Korah wrote some of the psalms in the book of Psalms. So, he was a worshipper. He was somebody who knew God. Numbers 16:1-5. Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. So, this is a worship leader. This is 250 people with him saying listen, we don’t agree. We speak to God and we know God too. Why do you put yourself in this high position? And God reacted. You can read the rest of the story in Numbers 16. But I feel for Korah. I feel for the 250 people because they and their household, it cost them their lives. They were taken straight to hell, for the ground opened up and took them in. They thought they were doing the right thing. So, thinking that what we are doing is right will not help in a situation like that! You must know the ways of God. You must know who you are dealing with. This is so important that you have to pay strict attention.
THE WAYS OF GOD vs THE ACTS OF GOD
When you talk about the acts of God, you are referring to events. You are talking about the parting of the Red Sea. Miriam getting leprosy because she rose up against Moses, and what happened to Korah. It’s about something that has taken place. But it still doesn’t tell you why it happened. What was God thinking? Why did He do that? What is the rationale?
The WAYS OF GOD refer to something more personal. It encompasses God’s thoughts, character and nature. It reveals why God did something and His way of doing it. It reveals His very nature and why He reacted in a certain way. If you do not know why God did what He did, and you do not know the factors that God considered which caused Him to do what He did, you will assume wrongly. As the result, you will act and behave wrongly.
The children of Israel knew the acts of God, but they did not know His ways. God’s word is very clear: He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel (Psalm 103:7).
God will enlighten you. He will open your mind to know His ways. But knowing God’s ways is a privilege granted by God. It is not a given. If He does not grant you that privilege you will never know His ways. But you may say, “But God wants everybody to know His ways.” Again, is that God we follow? Let me show you where that is not true, from Jesus Himself. Matthew 13:10-11 shows us that God doesn’t want some people to know: The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them”. The reason He speaks in parables is to hide the secrets. The knowledge has been given to a specific group of people. And you are counted worthy to be that specific group of people. So, it’s a very special thing when God reveals His ways. He does this in degrees. He does it in installments. That is why we have progressive revelation. So, this applies in our lives too. It is an honor and a privilege. And we want to learn and know His ways.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DO NOT KNOW HIS WAYS?
Hosea 4:6 says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me. In Isaiah 5:12, it says, The harp, the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands. It is important to recognize that one can be destroyed for the lack of knowledge. Because you reject knowledge. Knowledge of what? Isaiah 5:12 goes on to say, but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands. Why He does it, how He does it. I suggest to you, if you do not know His ways, it means you do not know Him. You may know the song but you do not know the singer or the composer. You may know what is written but you do not know the author. You have got to know Him. He is a relationship-based God.
People become Christians and join a church for various reasons. But the scripture is clear that only one reason truly counts: it must be Him and Him alone. When you do not want to regard the work of the Lord’s hands nor want to know the operation of His hands, His ways and His thoughts, you do not really want to know Him. The truth is, He will reject you. You may say, “But we are under grace!” Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name and done many wonders in your name.’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from you, you who practices lawlessness!’ So we may prophesy, pray for the sick, but Jesus says, I never knew you! This is clearly recorded in the New Testament too, not only in the Old Testament. We must know God and God us.
Christianity is not about what you do or how long you do it. It’s about the God you know and the God who knows you. It is about who you know and who knows you. You must know this God. It’s a personal relationship. It’s a walking, talking, LIVING relationship. He directs you and He guides you. It is a constant relationship with Him. Remember, that is Christianity.