“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
In the last post I talked about intimacy as the way to know how God thinks. Much like living day to day with a spouse or a child, one learns how that person thinks when they spend time with them. Intimacy is the key to knowing the ways of God and the thoughts of God.
There is a statement that lots of people make, that “God works in mysterious ways.” The Lord says in His word “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. If God’s ways are mysterious, it is because of what this passage says. We don’t think like God. How could we, with finite minds who do not know everything as He does? He knows everything about everyone, as well as the future. So yes, based on who He is in comparison to us, His ways would be mysterious…
But I would submit there may be other reasons people use this saying and it could be they can shrug it off things as unknowable and therefore investigate no further. But I don’t believe that was ever God’s intent or desire. If it was, what are we to do with statements such as these? “You know all things and have no need for anyone to teach you? 1 John 2:27. Or this one: “Now I call you friends, because a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, because I have freely told you all things. I have revealed everything to you from my father.” John 15:15. Intimacy is being shouted out in these passages. God’s desire that we understand Him and His kingdom is plainly expressed in the Gospels from Jesus himself.
However, He did make a distinction between people. When asked, Why do you speak in parables? He said to His disciples (who asked why), “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” Matthew 13:11. Disciples are those who spend time with Jesus, who ask questions,. These get to know the mysteries. We may not understand everything, but we can have understanding of many things about Him and His ways. If you need answers, He has them!
The truth may be that many of us are like the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, when the mountain quaked and a fire was on it. The people said to Moses, you hear from God for us, we don’t want to hear from Him for ourselves. They wanted a mediator because they were afraid of God. After all he had done for them in the wilderness journey, providing all of their food and water and rescue from their enemies, they were still afraid of Him. He proved His goodness, but they were unable to appreciate it and their hearts did not change. He delivered them from the Egyptians with mighty displays of power, but they continued to resort to their natural thinking.
As an example, I know a person who once told me she didn’t have time to read the word of God, that she was fed by the pastor once or twice a week. It seemed she expected the pastor to hear from God and tell her what he was saying, just like the Israelites in the wilderness. You see, it was always God’s intent that the entire nation of the Israelites be priests to Him and to hear from Him, each one for themselves. But they refused.
Psalm 23:2 says, speaking of the shepherd, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Green pastures speaks of the place to get nourishment, while water speaks of quenching thirst. Sheep are grazers, feeding on grassland, pasture, rangelands, and lawns.
The implication is the shepherd shows you a nourishing place to eat, to rest, and to drink, but the sheep must do the eating. The shepherd cannot do the eating for you. You yourself must desire the pure word of God. You must partake of it. The shepherd can only show you a place of nourishment. And that place is always the word of God. The Lord wants all of His people to partake of His word for themselves.
The thinking that “God works in mysterious ways” is a THOUGHT that stands guard and can keep one from having to inquire any further. We can be lazy. If it’s too hard, many do not wish to pursue it. “God works in mysterious ways” can be a way to rationalize not pursuing the truth! This will shut you out of blessings! If you come near to God, He will come near to you. God wants you to know things. He wants you to think like He thinks. This is what 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 is talking about.
As an example of renewing your mind….there was a situation in my life that did not look like it would turn out as I had hoped. It was one where I believed the Lord was leading me. The first thought that came to my mind was an old familiar one that everyone knows: “If it seems to good to be true, then it probably isn’t.” But then I had this thought: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” This is found in James 1:17.
I decided to discard the first thought and place my hope in the second one from James. That is how you renew your mind, by making the choice to believe the word of God. God will help you!