God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8 KJV)
Oh, how careful we must be not to interpret man’s ways as being God’s ways. How often this happens in the life of a believer, even a mature believer at times, who feels rejected and defeated when he or she is not “celebrated” in man’s eyes as desired. Much of the time, God’s ways are private and seen as insignificant in man’s eyes and man’s economy. Did Jesus not say that the widow’s mite (two cents) was far more greater in the Kingdom of God than those who had given much more trying to obtain God’s favor; as well as man’s? The poor widow lady had given from the heart… God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…
Often, even in ministry, man’s ways creep into our lives trying to steal and rob God’s Joy of service by “comparing” and “competing” ones own interpretation of success to ones lack of success….But, who on earth can really tell what is and what is not success in God’s Kingdom? God’s Ways are powerfully different from the world’s views and standards for success…”He who is first shall be last and he who is last shall be first.” (Matthew 20:16)
In this life, most things are measured by quantity and quality…both from a worldly perspective. The pastor who stands before thousands each Sunday is often viewed as being more successful in the ministry as opposed to the pastor who stands before a dozen. The church building that displays beautiful craftsmanship, inside and out, and lavished with modern-day furnishings is viewed more welcoming than the store-front building supplied with unmatched folding chairs and second-hand equipment. But, who is to say which one is far greater in the Kingdom of God? Perhaps, the pastor and members of the store-front church are helping to teach, instruct, nurture, and equip the next Spirit-filled evangelist who will help to guide God’s people to a place of repentance and godly living as opposed to dozens of ministers who will come forth from the larger church only to “tickle” the ears of a lost and dying world.
Sometimes, it’s easier to belong to and hide out in a mega-church because people are simply “received” and “accepted” in whatever lifestyle they choose without true “repentance” unto God…However, there is always the opposite “extreme” where churches adopt legalism, man’s added rules and regulations, in place of Godly “repentance” and true surrender to God’s Lordship in their life through Christ Jesus. Both, extremes are dangerous in the lives of a true believer.
So, how is a person to know and discern God’s Ways from Man’s Ways? “Study, to show thyself approved, a workman that needed not be ashamed.” (II Timothy 2:15). There is actually NO private interpretation of the Bible. The Word itself will bear witness with the Word. When a person can line his or her life up with the Word of God and its teachings as interpreted by the Scripture itself, then he or she can know for certain that they are walking in the ways of God…”Where two or three are gathered in my name so shall I be in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). God does not place “number” priority as a prerequisite to building his kingdom…After all, he invested his entire ministry into the lives of twelve disciples who would go forth to change the world…the whole world!
Don’t look down or think that your work and efforts for God are futile if they are small. God delights in small things. But, likewise, God is the God of multitudes as 5,000 were born into the Kingdom under the sound preachings of the Apostle Peter. Yet; Paul was called to lead one Philippian jailer to the Lord within the cell walls of a cold, dark prison. God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…God adds and God takes away according to HIS purpose and plan…
So, today, I encourage you to put all of your heart into God’s work and leave the results in HIS hands…Don’t let society or any one discourage you because your work may seem small or insignificant in someone else’s eyes. I admire one of my adult daughter’s spirit who volunteers to watch toddlers in the church’s nursery once a month. Even though she has a great call upon her life to teach the Word of God, she feels her time spent in the nursery once a month serves just as great of purpose; if not greater. I know she prays for these little tots during their time together…After all, she may be entertaining, playing patty-cake, or building a castle made of blocks with the next Billy Graham or Ruth Graham…We can never go wrong investing our lives into the lives of others…God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…Glory Be unto God!
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author