Gleanings – Negotiating HighWays

Isaiah 55:3-9

“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.”

Slow should we be in ascribing our thoughts and feelings to God. We do it all the time. Goth people annoy me. They must annoy God. Skateboarders need a life. God wants me to reach them and given them one. Rich people don’t care about the poor. Gods wants them to be more generous.

If we believe we are generally godly, then our thoughts must be consistent with His. Big mistake! Honestly, we can quite petty. And God is not petty.

Recently some people dear to me made decisions on behalf of thousands including me. The outcome has been disastrous. It has been rejected by many of their closest friends and uniformly by people on the outside looking in. Fundamental to the flawed decision was ascribing their feelings and thoughts to God. In the process they abandoned something they have always articulated well. “God speaks to His people through His people.” Problem is in this case they didn’t check with His people, not once.

It is a cautionary tale. There are some things that are non-negotiable. Creation, fall/sin, redemption, sanctification, believing community (aka church) that have been abundantly revealed. After that, significant discernment is required. Years ago one one of my classmates said he had heard from God and a seminary prof asked “How do you know it wasn’t indigestion?” I didn’t’ like it when he said it but it means something these days.

The chasm between heaven and earth is grand, so wide it can only be bridged by the outstretched hands of a merciful savior. Humility dictates that we be slow to ascribe to the former (heaven) what we have concluded upon the latter (earth). To be sure God’s will for us can be known and discerned but danger lies ahead without the requisite humility.

2 Responses to “Gleanings – Negotiating HighWays”

  • Robert Says:

    Interesting point John. Although, I don’t know where I stand on this. But, maybe Christians and these mentioned events are/were based on more of the believer’s intention to forgo their Christianity and ignore its principles! I’d like to believe the Holy Spirit visits us all equally, its just a matter of how much we allow him to penetrate us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to take free reign, I think we’ll always be on the same page privately and in the congregational setting. I think it comes down to Listening, then acting, not the reverse.

    Not saying I disagree just drawing a conclusion 🙂

  • John Richardson Says:

    I think the Listening part is key as you noted. I am suggesting we listen in context and community. We are not lone rangers especially when our decisions impact thousands of the faithful. Always good to hear from you Robert.

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