The ways of God are infinitely above our own ways.
God said to Isaiah in 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor 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.”
I’m thoroughly convinced that my own ways are typically to underestimate God’s power and energy available for my life. I suspect I’m not alone in that.
I figure most of us at one time or another limit the power of God to our own imaginations and our own conservative estimations. We really must stop doing that.
There was a time when Jeremiah was filing a complaint with God about how it seemed that the wicked always prosper and the righteous are always beaten down.
In Jeremiah 12:1, he gripes to God, “Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?”
When I read those words, I want God to give Jeremiah a, “There, there, now. It’ll be all right.” What he gets instead is a rather stinging rebuke from God.
In verse 5, God says, “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?”
God was trying to get Jeremiah to think on the level of God. He basically said to Jeremiah, “You’re dismayed by common occurrences on this earth — what will you do when I send you a real challenge?”
Don’t we often tend to get discouraged by the smallest things? If so, it’s because we’re spending too much time concentrating on our own power and too little time striving to reach up to God’s power! Can we really run with horses? With God we can!
Isaiah got a similar challenge from God. In Isaiah 40, there is a section beginning in verse 18 that speaks of the foolishness of trying to make an image of God.
Goldsmiths make golden images. Poor people make images out of redwood and cedar so they won’t rot. Meanwhile, up in the heavens, the true God looks down upon the people of the earth and sees them as though they are tiny grasshoppers.
“To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars….”
God’s ways are so infinitely above our ways. If we plan based on our own strength, we will never run with horses.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired…. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power (Isaiah 40:28-29).”
Are we weak? God gives power! Are we weary? God gives strength! How much strength does He give? Isaiah continues in 40:31 to say, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
If we want to run with horses and fly with eagles then we must begin to think God’s thoughts and understand His ways. We’ve got to stop focusing on what’s wrong with our world and start striving for what’s right in His.
We’ve got to stop serving in our own strength and access His power. Otherwise, we’ll be worn out by simple foot soldiers, we’ll stumble in the thickets, and we’ll never rise above the turkeys around us to fly with the eagles.
I encourage each Christian among us to let go of his meager estimations of strength and ability and strive for God’s ways. His ways are infinite!
Keith Cormier is minister of Southside Church of Christ in Killeen.