Friday, February 8, 2013

Making God's Thoughts Our Thoughts

    "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)

"'For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:16).

It struck me (anew) this morning how important the scriptures are in our knowing God. When God said through Isaiah that his thoughts are not our thoughts, he wasn't saying we can't know his thoughts (you can really see this when you read that chapter in its entirety). He is saying that the thoughts that spring up in our minds from our own desires, from our own schemes and ambitions, fall far short of his plan; we should abandon them! It's like what happened with dear Peter. "From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:22-23).

The great thing is that we can learn (as Peter did!) what God's thoughts are and what his ways are, and start to think with his thoughts and ways--we can have, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, the mind of Christ. All the Scriptures are Christ's words and mind and thoughts, recorded for us to read and understand by the help of his Spirit within us. Remember that God is trinitarian-- He is three Persons in one essence-- and all three persons of the trinity are at work to help us have the mind of Christ. God wants us to know and understand him, and he has decided that we will do so through the words declaring his thoughts and ways in the Scriptures.

His thoughts are not our thoughts, how true! So let's be about the work of recognizing this, and of trading our poor thinking and ways (as wonderful as we once thought they were) for the far better thinking and ways we learn through the words of Scripture. "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

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