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Taking God's High Road To Heaven
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Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares 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. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” —Isaiah 55:8-10
Do you take the high road very often? The Urban Dictionary defines taking the high road as doing the right thing, even if it's not easy or popular. As a Christian, taking the highway is allowing Father God to teach you his ways and doing your best to walk in his way. The Prophet and spokesman for God, Isaiah proclaimed, "Turn from your sinful ways and I will have compassion on you and forgive your sins. For my ways are higher than yours and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts."
We've been teaching you about God's Will and His Way for a few weeks now. We've learned Father God not only wants us to walk in his will but also his way. When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we leave our ways behind more and more to accept the kingdom of God and his way of doing things, transforming our hearts and minds through His word.
It's hard to grasp how much higher God ways are than ours. But I've discovered the more we submit to the Holy Spirit and die to our old ways, the more we began to walk in God's way.
Remember the little phrase Forest's mother taught him in the popular movie 'Forest Gump,' "Stupid is as stupid does." In a similar way, God is as God does equivalent to his ways. We get to know Father God through his ways. Through his ways, we see his nature and his character on display.
John Paul Jackson said it this way, "God is not separate from what He does. Everything He does speaks of Him. His every action declares His name and nature. This means that we can look at our circumstances, both good and bad, and expect to see a deeper meaning within them:
What is God’s heart in this? What does this situation, or the remedy to this situation, reveal about the Father? What is God saying? What is He declaring about Himself?
Knowing God’s ways is the same as knowing God, and it is one step deeper than knowing “about” God. We need to know His ways so that we won’t be bowled over and crushed by circumstances that bring us pain."
We can do many things to expand our understanding of God's ways and why he does what he does. For now, I'll discuss three ways to embrace God's ways more and more in our lives. We should study God's Word, pray God's word and act on God's word.
Studying God's Word
Every week, I'm studying the word of God. Some seasons, daily I'm studying the word of God as the Holy Spirit leads me. It continues to be a wonderful journey. If not already, I encourage you to get to know God more through studying the word of God. The Roman writer explained some of the benefits of studying God's word, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
When we study God's word, it is different from just reading God's word or even meditating on his word. With reading, you may read passages and/or chapters of scriptures at a time. Meditating you take portions of scripture and think about them. But with studying, you examine, study and review the Scriptures in context to gain a deeper and fuller understanding.
In doing so, God's nature and character are revealed through the Scriptures. For example, through the study of God's names, his nature is revealed. Jehovah Gmolah, meaning the Lord of Recompense, we discover Vengeance belongs to the Lord and he always recompenses.
Do you want to get to know God better through his names? Get the Names of God Study Guide inside, "Living The Prayer Fulfilled Life Devotional"
Praying God's Word
A great way for us to become more familiar with God’s way and heart is to personalize scripture into prayers. For example, I find my circumstance in the Word of God, a scripture related to my problem or solution. I personalize it and pray it as it applys to me; that is, I pray His Word and put myself or my family in it. This makes it personal to me, and it gives me a revelation of what God is doing. It helps me remember the scripture, as well:
- Your blessing brings wealth and adds no trouble to me. Proverbs 10:22
- Your tender mercies to me are new and fresh every morning. Lamentations 3:23
- I reverence you as Jehovah Rapha for you are the Lord God that heals me. Exodus 15:26
- I'm anxious for nothing because in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I've presented my requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6,7
- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; I've run into it and I'm safe. Proverbs 18:10
I like to call to these prayers word pictures. Decreeing and declaring the word of God will have a powerful influence on your ability to begin to see God as he is and know his ways in a deeper way.
Get a copy of the Living The Prayer Fulfilled Life Devotional & Prayer Toolkit: How To MEDITATE, The Names Of God Study Guide, 40 Personalized Prayer Scriptures to strengthen your faith in God and receive even more answered prayers.
Acting On God's Word
Another great way to get to know God and his ways better is to take the leap of faith and act on the word of God. The Apostle James, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." But I say, "How can you show me your faith if you don't have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds." James 2:17,18
When you act on or apply the word of God, you get answers to your prayers. You are specifically doing three things for your faith, formed into the acronym ACT: amplify, confirm and train. In essence, each time you ACT on the word of God, you are amplifying, confirming and training yourself in righteousness and faith.
Amplify - make louder, louden, turn up, magnify, intensify, increase, boost, step up, raise
Confirm - establish the truth or correctness of (something previously believed, suspected to be the case). 1 : to give approval to : ratify <confirm a treaty> 2 : to make firm or firmer : strengthen <confirm one's resolve> 3 : to administer the rite of confirmation to. 4 : to give new assurance of the validity of : remove doubt about by authoritative act or indisputable fact
Train - teach (a person) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time; instruct, teach, coach, tutor, school, educate, prime, drill.
So Why learn God's way?
Are you looking for God in your circumstances? You don't have to look far. The righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) 7or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim) Romans 10:8
Remember in Garden of Gesethame, Jesus prayed earnestly, is there any other way this can be accomplished; let this cup of suffering pass from me, nevertheless, your will be done. We now, all know it was God's way that he go through the cross. It's the same with us, any hardness, any pain, any difficulty, our flesh wants to bypass.
As I've grown in Christ, I've discovered its God's way that we go through, in similar way our Lord had to go through it. We have to pick up our mini-crosses, endure hardship as good soldiers and go through it. Our job is hold fast to our confession of hope, keep God's way and keep on stepping until we’ve made it through. Doing it God's way, we'll come out on the other side better and not bitter, mature, complete, equipped and ready for the Master's use.
Going through in Christ,
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