HE WAYS OF GOD Part 3 (2)
By Ps. Jerry
As we conclude this three-part series, you will begin to know some of God’s ways; to know Him, His ways of doing things and His value system. You begin to understand His hierarchy, His priority, His protocol, what God likes and what He dislikes. It is my hope that you will grab the principles shared on God’s ways and not just the examples. What is the difference? A principle applies in every circumstance. Once you know it, it applies every time. Whereas, if you look at an example, you will try to look out for the same thing happening again before you know what to do and how to apply it.
God’s Way is to Submit to Authority
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls. And they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow as that would certainly not be for your benefit.” (NLT) This is a command of the Lord. Obey your spiritual leaders. When we do that, spiritual and divine blessings come our way. It will go well with us.
Romans 13:1 further exhorts, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities, for all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” God’s way is, obedience is better than sacrifice. We need to get that into our spirit.
God’s way is that in my weakness, His strength is made perfect
We look down on weaknesses. We say, you shouldn’t be weak. Weaknesses can be anything. It can be a physical problem, like difficulty in hearing or seeing, or a sickness. It can be an addiction you cannot get rid of. Weaknesses are not confined to “sinners”, they are also present in the life of believers, pastors, prophets, preachers and apostles. We have Apostle Paul who had a weakness, he called it a thorn in his flesh. He said, I sought the Lord three times to take it away. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul went on to say, Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Yes, this is God’s way! We look at weaknesses as a disqualification but God sees weaknesses as an opportunity to make His strength perfect and manifest His power in us. If you have been seeking the Lord about your particular ‘thorn in the flesh’, God may not take it away. But as with the apostle Paul, His grace is sufficient for you and His strength is made perfect in your weakness!
What about repetitive sin? What about things we keep doing and we keep falling? Does God overlook that? Could it be a lust situation that I am struggling with? Or a sin that I am fighting, regularly? Let’s see what it says in Jeremiah 2:35: “Yet you say, ‘Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will plead My case against you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ So, the charge here is, you did not acknowledge your sin, maintaining your innocence. You say, I have not sinned.
Then in Jeremiah 3:12-13, we read, “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord” But now God is saying, acknowledge your sin for I am a merciful God. So, I am suggesting that every time you have a particular problem or sin that you are fighting, or a particular failure or weakness, acknowledge that it is a sin first, don’t say, it is okay. Sin is offensive to God. Only acknowledge your iniquity, He says. He is a merciful God and He will forgive you. Don’t stop fighting the sin. For you are more than an overcomer! 1 John 1:9 says very clearly: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So do not disqualify yourself just because you have some weakness. Always remember Christ in you is your defense and you are righteousness.
Does God respond immediately? When you need God so badly and urgently, does He come immediately? Does He solve your problem quickly or does He wait and delay, sometimes until all hope is gone and lost? Is He a God of the last minute? What is His way?
Let’s look at what Moses and the Israelites faced in Exodus 14:10-12:
And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” Here, the Israelites are caught between the Egyptian army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. But suddenly, Moses lifts up his rod and a miracle takes place! The Red Sea parted and the Israelites crossed over and were saved while the entire Egyptian army drowned. God came through for them! But the point I am making is, is He a last-minute God?
Daniel 6:1-28 narrates the story of Daniel who was put into the lions’ den to die because he did not obey the king’s decree. Did Daniel perish in the lion’s den? Where is God, will He come through? Maybe at the last minute, God will intervene to stop Daniel from entering the den. But no, he goes into the lions’ den. You know the story. God doesn’t stop him from going into the lions’ den. What God did at the last minute was to close the mouths of the lions. “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.” (Daniel 6:23) Then the king gave Daniel a promotion and he prospered in the land.
In Daniel 3:1-30, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. For that they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Then the king says, didn’t we throw three men into the fire, lo, I see the fourth one! God was with them in the fire! So, no matter what difficulty you are going through, if you are standing for God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, the Lord will be with you in the fire. He may not put out the fire but He will definitely be with you in the fire!
But what if the situation has come and gone? What if the story is over? This was the case with Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother as recorded in John 11:1-48. Lazarus was very sick and they sent word to Jesus. But Jesus does not come on time, or even the last minute. He arrived after Lazarus died and was in the tomb for four days. Jesus was four days late! Yet, with the Lord, it is never too late. For He called forth Lazarus and raised him from the dead. Sometimes in your life, things may seem to be at a point of no return. You may have lost your job, your house may have been auctioned off. You may have gone through a divorce or a separation. You think it’s over. All hope is gone.
But God’s way is not yours or mine. When He was four days ‘late’ as in Lazarus’ case, He was still on time! God’s way and God’s timing is always the best for us. God never fails those who obey and trust Him to the end. But the requirement is to trust and obey Him “to the end”. Hebrews 3:14 says, For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
So, you cannot give up half-way in trusting God. Matthew 10:22 says, And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Amen!