The ways of God are higher and the thoughts of God are higher. The ways and thoughts of God are holy and pure, therefore we would do well to desire His ways and thoughts over our own. Our own may deive us, but His will never lead us astray.
Have you ever been in a situation and thought "things just shouldn't be this way?" Whatever relationship has something missing or something awry, you just know deep in your soul that things should be different. The way things should be is the way God would have them. Jesus is our best example of the human embodiment of the ways and thoughts of God. He is the supreme example. He has the best advice.
I believe that far too many Christians today hear the words of Jesus with "old ears." It's like hearing your mother say for the umpteenth time... "If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times to clean your room." We choose to hear with a selective filter and the impact of mom's words roll off our consciousness like water off a duck's back. Are the words of Jesus the water to your own duck's back? Or, are they full of fresh life and still able to divide and penetrate your soul to operate out of tenderness?
When things in the church aren't the way they should be we do more harm than we can imagine. It's like going to your kitchen faucet for clean water only to find the water putrid and discolored, polluted and undrinkable. This is why the apostle Paul tells us that we have an obligation, but it is not to the sinful nature.
"Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:12-14 NIV84)
Like a collar around your neck and with a chain attached, you are led by the sinful nature or the spirit nature. It's hard to walk in a path of unity when you try to walk with someone who is choosing to be led by the sinful nature. It's hard to enjoy true fellowship when two people are joined to opposing spiritual forces. It's hard to be unequally yoked with people who say they believe with their mouth, but store up the enemy's ways and thoughts in the heart and mind. It shouldn't be that way.
Today, and always, let us seek to walk in the ways of the Savior, the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderufl Counselor, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Let us live the reality of the fruit of the Spirit and seek the higher ways and thoughts of God.
That's the way things should be.
That's the best way.
That's the holy way.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.