“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “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
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
This past week I had a lightbulb moment- more truthfully a Holy Spirit moment, and it was really simple; my thought patterns are holding me back. Not my thoughts specifically, but my thought pattern. I consider myself very logical and realistic about things, however, when it comes to seeing things the way God sees things and tuning into HIS ways, the truth is, He doesn’t operate within the boundaries of reasoning like I do. He isn’t confined by them and neither should I be. I suppose this is a really obvious statement, but this week I was surprised how much my way of thinking really hindered my ability to see through the eyes of God, the eyes of faith, the eyes of trusting and hoping in Him. And as followers of Jesus I think it’s easier sometimes than we like to admit to get stuck there.
I recently heard a sermon on the story where Jesus feeds 4000 people with just 7 loaves of bread and 3 fish. This miracle takes place after He has already fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread. As Jesus and His disciples continue their journey, Jesus catches His disciples in a state of worry because they only have 1 loaf of bread, and they think they’ve messed up (Hot tip: Jesus is ok with what you don’t have, because that’s where he shows up). The preacher highlighted Jesus’ response to them and it really stood out to me: “Why do you reason you don’t have enough?” “Is your heart still hardened“ “Do you still not understand?” “Don’t you remember?”
I think it’s easy for us to look at the disciples in this situation and think it’s crazy for them to have had any concern or fear at all. Hello! Jesus just showed them that He can do anything!! That it didn’t matter how much or how little they had; that the outcome of those previous situations didn’t depend on the how things looked, but just on who Jesus is! And yet their hearts were still hardened. They missed the point. If you’re familiar with the story, Jesus said, “I have compassion for them,” and so He performed the miracle. The miracle revealed His nature, not just His power. His actions were meant to soften them to His love so that their faith could rest in WHO He was, not just WHAT He does.
For all of us, whatever situation we find ourselves in or whatever burdens we carry for others, we need to be reminded of this. We need to look back on the stories in our lives and in other’s lives that reveal WHO Jesus is - His goodness, His kindness, His compassion, and His love. These are the things that have compelled Him to move on your behalf in the past and will continue to do so. As you pray, don’t get hung up on the timing of things, the way of things, what’s going to happen and what you could have done different; that’s your reasoning trying to hinder the mind of God and most likely fear creeping in. Remember, His thoughts are higher than yours and His ways are different. If we’re going to have the mind of God to pray, persevere, and HOPE in him for ALL things, look back to His love. The Bible says He is abounding in love and faithfulness, and that He draws us in with his unfailing kindness!
I would encourage you to pay attention to where your thoughts contradict God’s nature. Take each one captive, raise it up against His truth, and choose for yourself. Is this fear, or is it love? And if you’re going to reason at all, reason that God is bigger than your situation, because He is! Believe that no natural outcome is beyond the supernatural redemption of our loving Father. Rejoice in your weakness because that’s where He is made strong! Thank God that His ways are different than your ways, and that He has more than enough to make up for what you lack! Let the nature of God push you to think outside of what’s reasonable, and into greater faith and freedom today!