Monday, January 21, 2013

Come up Higher!

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says 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

So often we read the verse above and shrug and say, Yes, God's ways are SO MUCH higher than mine and His thoughts completely incomprehensible to me, I might as well give up trying to understand Him or trying to figure out what He wants me to do or say or think.  
But this isn't really what the verse is saying. If you take it in context and look at the verses before it,  

Seek, inquire for, and require 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; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. Isaiah 51:6-7

God is saying.. forsake your wicked ways, get rid of your evil thoughts and return to Me and I will forgive you... because My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways. In other words, the thoughts and actions of unregenerate, sinful man are not and can never be the thoughts and ways of God. 

Yes, He is God and He is Holy and all-powerful and He deserves our worship, but He isn't saying here that we could never grasp any of His thoughts or ideas. In fact, if you look at what the New Testament says about the believer, you'll soon realize that we can, indeed, think like God. 

We have the mind of Christ
But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. 1 Corithians 2:16 Amplified

We are seated in the heavenly realms
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6  NIV

Your mind can dwell on things above. Your life is hidden in Jesus
If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Col-3-2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
For as far as this world is concerned you have died, and your new, real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Our thoughts and our lives are directed by God's Spirit, hence His thoughts become our thoughts
But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the Holy Spirit of God really dwells within you directs and controls you. Romans 8:9

I'm reading through the book of Acts right now, and every time I read this book, I'm always struck by how different those early Christians lived their lives then we do today. There are a thousand differences I could point out but the ones that are pertinent to this discussion are also the most important ones.

The early Christians lived their lives completely and utterly led by the Holy Spirit with all the gifts of the Spirit in operation.  Consequently the did things like:
  • Phillip was instantly transported from one place to another in order to witness to people
  • Paul went to this place or that place based on whether the Holy Spirit led him or forbade him
  • People could foresee the future and prophesy about things to come.
  • People were healed and delivered of demons, some even by simply passing within the shadow of the apostles as they walked by.
  • Peter was delivered from prison by angels
  • Earthquakes broke chains and opened prison doors
  • Uneducated men gave eloquent speeches
  • They spoke in languages unknown to them but that were known by others standing around so they could hear the gospel message and be saved.

Seems to me like these early Christians lived in a different realm than most of us do today. They lived in the spirit realm. They lived in the heavenlies with Christ. They knew the thoughts of God, received the instruction of God and lived their lives based on that knowledge and guidance day by day.  This is what Jesus died to give us...while we are here on earth and then throughout eternity. But so many of us wallow around in the mud, helpless, confused, full of doubt and complaints, fearful of the enemy, beaten down and discouraged.

How this must upset God!  How upset we will be when we get to heaven and see all we missed out on doing on earth for God!  All the excitement and adventure!.  The world is looking for something real. They are not looking for Sunday sermons and potlucks. they are looking for a people who are wholly devoted to God and who are led by His Spirit, thinking the thoughts of Christ and acting on them. 

Will you be that person? Will you come up higher?


  1. Mon Jan 21st,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Another excellent word today !!! I appreciated everything you shared ... but one thing that really hit me was: "how upset we will be when we get to Heaven and see all we missed out on doing on Earth for God" ! Wow, does that ever hit home !!! All the time and opportunities I've wasted, for sure. Wow, just the thought of it !
    Do I "want" to -- "come up higher" -- absolutely.
    No contest to how differently we lead our lives today than from the early Christians -- night and day, huh ? That must break God's heart.
    Again, thank-you for another 'timely Word in due season', MaryLu.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  2. Isn’t it wonderful though, that now, we know the thoughts of God, and we know how He wants us to live~ He gave us that instruction through His word! We can turn to that to know what He wants for us! I think that is one of the wonderful things about living in the age we do! Such a precious gift God has given His people! No matter how hard I try to do what is right and what God would have me to do, I will fail. Even my best days need covered by the blood of Christ. Christ redeems us from our lousy efforts. That is such a comfort! It doesn’t mean that I should just stop trying to do all the things God commands of me, but it does mean that God forgives me, through Christ, when I do not do all the things He commands of me, which in my case is quiet often! What joy it brings us sinners!

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  4. Happy Monday everyone! Brenda, I couldn't agree more.. Thinking that I'm missing out on doing more for God here makes me sick.. yet how often do I spend my day thinking of myself and of earthy things? It's a constant battle.
    Emma, you always bring such an encouraging word. God meets us at our failures and washes us in His grace. How incredible He is!

    Welcome Anonymous! Come back anytime. :-)

  5. Sorry, I didn't really get online yesterday....granddaughter day! Anyway, this is a great post, MaryLu! Reading this...stay with me....reminded me of the Tower of Babel. Those people, if allowed to know too much, would have destroyed themselves. Today, people know too much 'of the world' and therefore worship is on the back burner....sure Christians worship the Lord, go to church, read the Bible, donate, etc...but true worship is so much more than that. We need to be in constant communication with God, every day ALL DAY...The older I get, the more 'I get it'. Hope I didn't get too off track of your message. It's what I got from it....Hugs.

  6. Hi Chaplain! You can never get off track with God's Word. And I couldn't agree with you more about true worship... I don't know if most Christians today really understand what that is.. but it exists in that higher place my post is talking about. :-)

  7. This is wonderful and so true. I cannot remember the verse...but about the early church/disciples the Bible talks about how daily they would fellowship, eat together, have church, pray...and daily more and more came to know Christ. How they all took care of one one had more than another..and no one went without. All to share the Lord with others and uplift one another.
    That is my heart's cry...Lord use me to win souls
    for You...not just once in awhile..but daily...we don't have long!
    Thank you for this reminder!