THE WAYS OF GOD Part 1 (2)
By Ps. Jerry
Psalm 103:7 says, HE made known his ways to Moses, HIS acts to the children of Israel. Christianity is not about what you do or how long you do it. It is about the God you know and the God who knows you. When you know God’s Ways, you know God.
In Luke 10:38-42, we have the story of Martha and Mary. Martha is busy doing everything for Jesus. Sometimes it can be the ministry, church and legitimate things, but Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, getting to know Him, learning about Him and growing in the knowledge of Him. Martha then complains about Mary to Jesus but He says to her, “But only one thing is necessary, and Mary has chosen the good portion and it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus didn’t rebuke Mary. Jesus says she is doing the right thing. She knows the priority. This is what is needed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, not running around doing all kinds of things in the hierarchy of importance. It’s all about knowing Jesus, and believing in Him. You cannot believe in someone if you do not know that person.
The Bible says that Abraham’s belief in God was reckoned unto him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 says, “Abraham believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness.” What does that mean? It means, if I believe in God, God credits it as righteousness. Just as Jesus said, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18) That is the way of God. It’s not by works, it is by belief in God, for without faith it is impossible to please God. You need to believe and trust in your God. It’s not by works but through belief and faith that righteousness is credited to you.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “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 higher than your thoughts” God is saying, My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways are not your ways. How you think is not how I think. God has a higher way of doing things. God also gives us a scale of how high His ways are. It is as high as the heavens are from the earth. That is pretty high!
THE PHARISEE & THE TAX COLLECTOR
Jesus explained God’s way in Luke 18:9-14, two men went to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other, a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed, God, I thank you I am not like other men, thieves, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. But the tax collector didn’t even look up to heaven. He said, God, have mercy on me, I am a sinner. God blessed the Tax collector, and not the Pharisee! The Pharisee is someone who follows the law of God, dedicates himself to the study of scriptures, prays 5 times a day, etc. but the Tax Collector works for the enemy, the Romans, he extorts money, does wrong and evil but God’s judgment is different from ours. Matthew, the Tax collector recognized he was a sinner and that he was doing wrong. With God, this one factor trumps everything! It is the way of God and this is how God thinks. He will not bless you if you are self-righteous or proud. Recognize that you are a sinner, that your good deeds are like filthy rags in HIS sight and then when you pray, God receives and blesses you. A humble spirit pleases the Lord. It is God’s way. When we come to God, it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us, not our own righteousness. Psalm 51:16-17 says, “For you do not desire sacrifice or else I would give it. You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, this O God you will not despise.” It’s not about sacrifices. It’s not about how hard you work. It is not about how long you fast or pray. It is about the attitude of your heart.
Romans 12:3 says, For by grace given me I say to every one of you do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance to the faith God has distributed to each of you. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of a low position. Do not be conceited. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. So remember, pride is a major issue. Charles Colson in his book, Living at the Ragged Edge, says, Sin has no degrees but if there were to be degrees then the one sin that would be the highest, the one that God hates, it would be pride, because it reminds Him of the devil. The scriptures are full of warnings against pride. God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud of heart.
GOD’S WAY OF CHOOSING A PERSON
Prophet Samuel was one of the greatest prophets in Israel who knew the ways of God at least to a high degree. In 1 Samuel 16:1-13, the Lord sent him to Jesse of Bethlehem to anoint one of his sons as king. When Samuel saw Eliab, the eldest son, he says, surely this is the Lord’s anointed who is before me. Eliab was masculine, he was a captain in Saul’s army. He looked good and fitted the bill. But the Lord said to Samuel, do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as a man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Again, God is looking at your heart. So, Jesse brought out all his sons and Samuel says, no, no, no, not this one but there is a boy back there in the desert, and the Lord has weighed his heart and has chosen him to lead Israel. So, God’s way of choosing is by looking at the kind of heart you have, your character and your values, not your outward appearance. When we choose a man for a job, we ensure he has experience in that field, a proven track record, expertise, talents, abilities and is also educated in that area. I suggest God does it differently: God chooses the man first. After choosing the man whom God believes has the heart, values and character He wants, He then trains him for the job that He wants him to do and gives him the gifts, abilities, talents and authority to do it . It is not the other way round. He says, this is the man I want because I have weighed his heart. I want this boy, David. He is only sixteen years old but I want him because I know his heart. God then begins to train him and make him what he wants him to be, to accomplish the assignment that God wants him to fulfill and accomplish on earth.
ELIJAH’S SUCCESSOR, ELISHA IS APPOINTED
Elijah was another great prophet. God did not choose Elijah’s successor from the school of the prophets where Elijah was a lecturer. There were at least a few thousand prophets to choose from, who were training to become his successor. These prophets dedicated their lives to the study of God’s word, praying and hoping that they would one day be chosen and appointed the successor to Elijah. Instead, God told Elijah to anoint Elisha. So, he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat who was plowing with twelve yokes of oxen before him and he was with the twelve. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. (1 Kings 19:19) Where was Elisha? Elisha was looking after his father’s field. He was very rich, with twelve teams of oxen and they were plowing. Elisha was in the marketplace, not a priest or prophet, he was doing business. Elijah goes and puts a mantle on him. God had chosen Elisha. God bypasses the school of prophets, saying to Elijah, there is a man there in the marketplace and I want you to appoint him as your successor to be the national and international prophet of God. And you know what happened, Elisha received the double anointing! He did twice the amount of miracles Elijah did!
Remember always that “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him. (2 Chron. 16:9) It is always a heart issue. The heart has to be fully devoted to Him. It does not matter what type of job you do or what field you are in. What matters is the condition of your heart. Serving God does not mean that you must serve in church. You can serve Him in whatever job or position He places you in. Just do it to the best of your ability, with all your heart, unto the Lord.
Colossian 3:22 – 25 says, Slaves, obey your earthly master in everything and do it not only when their eyes are on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord, whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man. From this, we see how important it is to work with all your heart and to do it all unto the Lord. When you do that, God sees you and the work you do with all your heart, and God will promote you. Remember, when you are faithful with little, you will be faithful in much. God will place you over much. That is the way of God. THAT IS GOD’S WAY!