Written by His Grace
Penned by:†††††† Kevin K. OíConnor

Date Penned:†† Mar. 1st, 2006

Main thought: To examine how our ways are not His.

LIFE THROUGH DEATH
VICTORY THROUGH DEFEAT
JOY THROUGH SORROW

Isaiah 55:7-9 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV) 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Oh how we love to be the one calling the shots, the one seeing the results of taking our next step, or the one who is able to see into the future and know how we are to go through today.

The Freedom that God gave us through our Mom and Dad Adam and Eve showed us, and what God already knew, which was, for us to be truly free from falling away from Him, our pride needed to die.

Pride, believing that we and not God knows whatís best. Pride, listening to our own thoughts rather than listening to Godís.

Is it any wonder than most of our intellect has been blocked from us? For us to be truly whole we need not only our intellect but also the character that allow us to be all that we were meant to be. In fact, the most important part of our being is character and not our intellect for that which we donít see is eternal but that which we see is only for a moment. 2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. And note 2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

It pleased God to give mankind through Adam and Eve great knowledge and abilities but just as today when a child has been given much without the experience to know how to use his/her gifts, they will soon bring him/her to ruin. So it was with Adam and Eve. Although they had much, they lacked the character that was worthy of Godís gifts. So now God chooses to reveal Himself through those who will empty themselves before Him, to make wise those who proclaim their ignorance, make strong those who make themselves weak.1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. And again, God tells us in the book of Matthew; Matthew 9:12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Matthew 9:11-13 (in Context) Matthew 9 (Whole Chapter)

So, While God originally placed man here with his full potential and eternal life, He knew that mankind could not handle it without first being of Godly character. He knew this even before Satan himself had fallen from glory that it takes more than knowledge and strength to be as Himself; it takes character of the heart. And, just as God chose to let pride run its own way with Satan for the rest of creation to see the results of pride in oneself, so He has chosen to allow it to run its full course in the history of mankind for us all to see its results and then choose who we will serve, ourselves or Him.

Pride and Gratitude are 180 degrees from each other. Itís the position of the heart that determines which one we will have. Pride is to look at our gifts and then to ourselves and to think that we alone are the cause for our gifts. Gratitude is to look at our gifts and then to God and realize that He alone is the cause of every gift we have. Pride is probably the greatest enemy to a life with God free from the cares of sin and selfishness. So while God had initially given man much health, wealth, knowledge, and abilities, it seems that now those who are closest to Him seem to have the least of these. Note the following scripture; James 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:4-6 (in Context) James 2 (Whole Chapter) Itís not that God doesnít want us to prosper and be in health, but He knows that for us to truly prosper and be in health, our soul must take preeminence over the physical blessings. Note Godís Word here in 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:1-3 (in Context) 3 John 1 (Whole Chapter) and another scripture is in Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:28-30 (in Context) Matthew 5 (Whole Chapter). Who we are in Him is priceless compared to what we have or know here below. You would think we would know that by now if we would only take note of the mistakes of those who preceded us.

Oh how our ways are not His ways! Isaiah 55:8&9 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. How our ears will remain deaf, and our eyes blind until our pride can be laid at the feet of Christ Who emptied Himself for us. Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to deathó even death on a cross! Philippians 2:7-9 (in Context) Philippians 2 (Whole Chapter) Those who will seek to have themselves honored will be humbled and those who will learn to put others first will be honored. Satan who tried to place himself in the position of God is now humbled and Christ who chose to humble Himself is now honored as God; Hebrews 1:8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:7-9 (in Context) Hebrews 1 (Whole Chapter) God is Love and for those who would like to dwell in His Heaven will need their pride to die so that they may become One with Him. 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:3-5 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 13 (Whole Chapter)

Oh that we would take time to hear His voice and listen to His wisdom. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by His Word.

Heavenly Father, teach us how to listen to Your voice and not our own arrogant thoughts. Teach us how to lay our pride at the feet of Your Son who yielded His all before You. In Jesus Glorious Eternal Name, Amen.

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