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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isaiah 55:9 (NKJV)
Some lessons in the spiritual life are learned sooner than later. They fall into a category we might call Christianity 101. These are the basic truths about God that we need to know before we’re able to make significant progress in our relationship with Him.
The Lord reveals one of these basics to us through the prophet Isaiah when He declares, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God does things differently than we do. We operate out of our own limited logic, but His well of wisdom is eternal and endless. While we’re thinking one thing, He’s thinking something totally different. Not only that, He doesn’t conform to our thoughts and ways; we are the ones who need to yield to His thoughts and ways. The sooner we learn this lesson the better we can grow in our relationship with Him.
It’s no wonder, then, that this is one of the first lessons Jonah needed to learn. Notice how he relied on his own thoughts instead of God’s: “Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3 NKJV).
God said, “Go!” Jonah said, “No!” But he didn’t stop there; he thought he could avoid the Lord’s calling on his life by running in the opposite direction. It’s his thinking that put him on board this ship. But this ship will eventually teach Jonah that God wouldn’t be limited by his limited logic.
At this point we’re tempted to point and say, “What a fool, Jonah couldn’t escape God no matter what he thought or did!” And yet, we can fall into the same trap of flawed thinking. We can impose our imperfect notions on the Perfect One. We can run thinking it will get us where we want to go instead of where God wants us to go.
In the end, His thoughts and ways will prevail, and the sooner we learn this, the better!
DIG: What basic truth about God do we need to learn?
DISCOVER: How does Jonah’s life negatively demonstrate this basic truth? How might you be relying on your own limited logic instead of God’s?
DISPLAY: Is there any area in your life that you’re running away from God in? Anything you’re disobeying Him in or keeping from Him? Turn around today! Pray and ask the Lord to forgive you and turn around! Go where He leads before you end up in the belly of the beast
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.