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Posts Tagged ‘ephesians 3’

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither 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.

(Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

These are very familiar words to us in the body of Christ. We use them relatively often. But how do we typically use them? We speak these words of God when wrestling with the problem of suffering. My thoughts are not your thoughts in this context equates to: “This is really difficult but I am going to trust God because His wisdom and His thoughts are higher than mine.” This is the truth! This is encouraging! This is how I would use these words as well thinking about hard circumstances that I do not understand or God’s timing in many situations. However, when I read this the other day, the context revealed a different intention for these words that I had never previously connected with and it was very encouraging to my soul. Let’s read the whole thing in context:

“Seek the LORD while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither 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.

(Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV)

Wow. Do you see it? What does God mean in saying “My thoughts are not your thoughts?” One reading of this in context still leads to a similar reading as above: that our ways are sinful and need to be repented of, that God’s ways are not our ways, He is holy. I think this is correct. But I think there is more to it and it keys on the statement “he will abundantly pardon.” Put that phrase in the context of “my thoughts are not your thoughts.” God’s grace is significantly greater than we can imagine! We have a God who not merely pardons or has compassion on us, but abundantly pardons! He is not the harsh demanding father we make Him out to be! He does not think about us the way we do about ourselves. What does God say at the beginning of Isaiah 55 but “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters!” Come to Him! He has stores of grace that we cannot fathom. We question the Father’s love for us. We question our worthiness of His love. We subject ourselves to the slavery of trying to establish our own righteousness or living for the approval of others or being very afraid to fail. We wallow in our sin and act like prison convicts just released – forgiven but having to make it on our own.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

God says to us, “I abundantly pardon! I know you cling to your works and sinful identity but my thoughts are not your thoughts! My love is a love that surpasses knowledge! I am for you! I love you with a perfect zealous love that I demonstrated in the brutal sacrifice of my own son on the cross! My glorious grace goes deeper than you can imagine. My ways are not your ways! I love you, I have compassion on you, and I abundantly pardon. Come to me and thirst no more!” Believe it. Put your trust in our God! He is not like us. He does not think like us. He does not get frustrated like us. He loves you unwaveringly.

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