We need to look deep into our lives and ask this question; “Whose thoughts and ways are supreme in my life? Whose thoughts control my actions? Whose ways do I follow? Is it yours? Your parents? Your siblings? Your role models? Your friends? Or God’s? Well, the Bible says in Isaiah 55:9 (NLT) – “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts
Isaiah 55:9 (NLT)
God’s thoughts are way higher than ours, but it’s amazing how we humans think. We know the right thing, and the Bible also spells it out real clear, but somehow we just don’t do the right thing. I am also guilty of this. So why exactly do we do that? Why do we ignore the truth and take on the false? Why do we see ice cool water and still drink from the hot flaming water? The Bible calls this hardened heart and mind in Ephesians 4: 17 – 18 (ESV) “ Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Apostle Paul was addressing the believers in Ephesus when he said this, but I believe this also applies to us today. Many believers today still act and live like the unbelievers, and we harden our hearts and minds to God’s word.
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart
Ephesians 4: 17 – 18 (ESV)
Having a hardened mind separates and alienates us from God’s promise of abundant life. Amazing and crazy thing that you can’t ever have imagine happens when you follow God’s word, thoughts, and ways. But when you begin to go through life your way and do things according to your thoughts (darkened thoughts), you disobey God’s way. Then we start to complain about life being unfair and God not being good. Well, brother and sister, you are not doing what God says, you are not following his already laid our ways and thoughts instead you try to create yours or depends on thoughts of fellow humans. Abundant life can only come from obeying God. So why allow yourself be led by your thoughts when God’s thoughts can lead you?
You see the devil is so cunning and deceitful in his ways, he intentional blinds our minds and doesn’t want you to follow God’s words and ways because he knows and fully understands that if you do, you will be empowered and have life abundantly. This is typically what happened back in the garden of Eden. God definitely told them in Genesis 2:16 – 17 (NIV),“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Honestly, they had the entire garden to themselves except one tree out of the possible thousands of trees that were in that beautiful garden. They could see and talk to God physically; imagine if we could have such life now. This was originally the life God had planned for us, but disobedience ruined it. The devil darkens our mind and makes us forget what God and his word say. He makes you believe that God is withholding the good things from you. He uses the phrase, “Did God really say so?, Did he?” And then we begin to say to ourselves, “ Hmm, I don’t think he really said so?” We begin to look for false justification for our foolish and darkened ways. We search for loopholes in God’s word. But God really did say so, and there are no loopholes don’t create one.
The devil is a deceiver. In Revelation 12: 9 (NASB) – “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” Note: He deceives the whole word. This means I have been deceived, you have been deceived, your parents have been deceived, that role model or person you hold dearest has been deceived, your pastor has been deceived, everyone on earth has been deceived. So why allow the thoughts and ways of deceived humans including yourself to hold supremacy over your life? Why not trust the thoughts and ways of God, for he has not been deceived, can’t be deceived and will NEVER be deceived?
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world
Revelation 12: 9 (NASB)
Satan will deceive you to the point whereby you start to think, “Wow! I am smart, I have great thoughts and have great advisers around me.” Or “My pastor or role model is so smart they are so successful, and I want to be like them.” So you go to them for advice and follow in their footsteps and ways. Really? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying listening to people’s thoughts and following people’s ways are totally wrong, but if they do not align with that of God, then it is wrong. And you will never be able to tell until you take the time to know God’s thoughts and ways through studying your Bible and talking to him through prayers. If you know God’s thoughts and ways, you will be able to filter through the thoughts and advice you get from humans.
This is why true salvation is more than the salvation prayer. True salvation is really being saved by grace and living a life of grace. You have to grow and make your salvation fruitful. You have to start thinking like Christ and walking in God’s ways. Don’t be like the hypocrites who honor Christ with their lips, but their hearts are far from him – Matthew 15:8 (NIV). Most of us say, “Oh, I believe in God, I know him, I have faith in his word.” Some of us can even quote the bible so well, but we just don’t do what it says. Be a follower of Christ not a professor of Christ!
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me
Matthew 15:8 (NIV)
Don’t just say you believe that there is God, don’t stop at having faith, you need to back them up with deeds and works. The Bible says in James 2:19b (NLT) – “Even the demons believe—and tremble in terror!.” So what good is your faith if you have no deeds? What good is your salvation if fellow deceived human thoughts and ways still have supremacy in your life? People might look at you and tell you how smart you are, they might look at you and see a rich, beautiful, handsome fellow, but remember God looks beyond the physical into the spiritual and he sees a blind, poor, wretched and miserable sinner. The only true thing about you is what God says, not what you or anyone else says.
Fortunately, there is a solution, in Isaiah 55:7 (ESV) – “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.” We need to go back to where we ought to be. Everything you think on your own is wrong, and they will only get you in trouble. They might be pleasurable for a while, but the price you pay for it is so much more. So go to the Bible, go back to God’s word.
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
Isaiah 55:7 (ESV)
In Acts 26:18 – Christ clearly laid down Apostle Paul ministry for him. He was, “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ.” This ministry should be ours too, but how can we do this when we are still in the darkness, still following our thoughts and ways instead of God’s despite the fact we call ourselves Christians. If we Christians are so miserable and follow our deceived thoughts how are we suppose to bring more people into God’s family? We should be a testimony and encouragement not a discouragement to unbelievers. Instead of life more abundantly, we have it less. We wonder, “Why doesn’t God answer me?” Hmm, Maybe because he doesn’t know you? Maybe because you have a different god that your worship and listen to – a god of your deceived thoughts, a god of your foolish ways? A god of your pastor’s thoughts? A god of deceived humans thoughts? The God of the Bible has already set a standard, gave us thoughts and the ways we are to follow. Do that and he will answer you. In Jeremiah 29:13 – God said, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” but often, we are only searching for him halfheartedly, we got other things on our minds that are temporary and not eternal. You have a book (Bible) filled with all of God’s thoughts and ways, READ AND MEDITATE ON IT!
There is only one way to know whose thoughts are supreme in your life and whose ways you are following. All you have to do is look at your life and be sincere to yourself. Are you going forward or backward? The Bible says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 (ESV).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly
John 10:10 (ESV)
If your life is going backward, then the devil is obviously deceiving you with his thoughts and ways. He is ripping you off, stealing and destroying you gradually. So, tell me will you rather live by another man’s thoughts,my thoughts, your thoughts or live by God’s thoughts? And will you rather eat the fruit of your ways, or eat the fruit of God’s ways? Thus, according to John Lake, “Take the words of Jesus and let them become the supreme court of the gospel to you.” Also, let God’s ways and thoughts be supreme and predominant in your life.
Take the words of Jesus and let them become the supreme court of the gospel to you
John G. Lake
A challenge for both you and me: Take time out, make it a daily habit, just as you can’t do without eating food a day, make sure you go through the bible and fill your mind and soul with God’s thoughts and ways. The benefits far outweigh the risks, if any ,which am sure there’s none. It’s not going to be easy, because as we have learned the devil doesn’t want you to know the right thoughts and ways. He will try to deceive you, tell you it’s not necessary to read the bible or pray, he will tell you to use that time for something else, he will bring friends to distract you at that point. But, we must put on the full armor of God, make intentional efforts and I pray that God will grant you his holy spirit to direct you, give you all the grace you need and equip you with all you need to resist all distraction and make your bible studying time and prayer time to God a success in Jesus name. Amen
Special thanks to Pastor Greg Peterson for this excellent sermon and the inspiration. More grace in Jesus name. Amen
Shalom, Lots of love❤️