By William Ballard
Isaiah 55: 7-8 "7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."
I am sure the majority of you can quote, by heart, verse 8 without really thinking about it. In fact, we have heard this text time and time again and it has been preached or taught on from many different angles. And I am sure we can also quote by heart verse 9, which says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I would like to start out this devotional post with the following point...
Heavenly Thoughts Are Poured Down and Can Produce Earthly Ways of a Holy Nature
I find it interesting that God used the height of heaven to earth to describe how high His thoughts and ways are to our own. You see, usually, we equate the heavenly realm to the spiritual realm, and we equate the earthly realm to the natural or flesh realm, and so in essence, what we are saying is that His spiritual thoughts/ways are of a higher nature and standard than that of earthly (or fleshly) thoughts and ways. And this is easy for most of us to understand and accept because we already know and understand that our ways and thoughts are not His ways and thoughts. His thoughts and ways are holy, our thoughts and ways are unholy.
However, as we continue to study this chapter of Isaiah I want to draw your attention for a moment to verse 10 - 11:
"10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
I don't know about you, but I feel the power of God very strongly right now after reading those verses and as I write this. You see, God describes His word going forth from heaven to earth (or His mouth to our minds) as rain and snow that falls from heaven and lands on the earth. And just as rain and snow falls to the earth, and does not return to the sky, but produces water that nurtures growth for plant life. So too does God's word come down and nurture our thought life and allows us to bud or blossom in the way that He wants us to be.
Also, just as there are farmers (or sowers/ministers), there are also those that reap the benefits of the work of a farmer. Not everyone is a farmer, but what's interesting is that the farmer can benefit from his work as well. Let me put it to you like this: In verse 10 above, it says that the rain and snow that comes down to water the earth, this process gives seed to the sower (minister or preacher) and bread to the eater (soul and congregation), but the sower (or minister/preacher) eats or benefits from the seed as well.
You see, the process works this way: God sends forth His word to the mind and heart of a preacher (seed to the sower), and the preacher preachers that Word to the congregation (bread to the eater). And before I go into verse 11, I want to mention these thoughts: There are many verse that describe the latter rain, and we even sing songs about how the blood of Jesus washes us white as snow. And there is even a verse about how the Word of God washes our minds. In verse a 11 above, it talks about how the Word of God goes forth from the mouth of God and does not return void. That is very similar to what it is found in the first book of the Bible. Consider verse 1 and 2 of Gen. 1:
"1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Here we notice the dividing factor between heaven and earth once again, and again we find that the earth is without form or void, and that darkness was on the face of the deep. Since we are talking about thoughts, this darkness on the face of the deep is like the earthly or fleshly thoughts of man that are lower than the thoughts of God. Or unholy in comparison to the thoughts of God. And just as it says in verse 11, His word will not return void, and it will accomplish that which He pleases every time, and it shall prosper in the thing (minds and hearts) where unto He sends it. His word is similar to that of the His Spirit which moved and moves upon the face of the waters.
Remember: In verse 10 of Isaiah it says that the rain and snow comes down and produces water that nurtures growth. Likewise, in verse 2 of Gen. it says that the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters. Let me put it to you like this: As His word comes forth and lands on the soil of our mind it is His Spirit in us that moves upon those words/thoughts and nurtures Spiritual Growth within us.
Now, with that said, I want to briefly talk about how those heavenly thoughts become earthly ways of a holy nature.
Taking Heavenly Thoughts and Developing Earthly Ways of a Holy Nature
Faith without works is dead. This is something that we have heard time and time again. Another way of putting it is that dreams do not come true unless action is put forth to live those dreams, or to make those dreams a reality. In other words, fantasies become realities when action is brought into the mix. Now, the word fantasy may give off some negative connotation, but the truth is, seeing through the eyes of faith is nothing more than fantasizing about the miraculous power of God, and what He can do in our lives. And every time in the Bible, in order to receive a miracle someone had to activate their faith by putting forth some kind of action.
So, the question is: How do we take His thoughts and develop His ways? I have discovered a formula that has proven to work without fail. You see, from our opening text we find that when we forsake our ways and our unrighteous thoughts and return our thoughts and ways unto the Lord, He is faithful to have mercy on us and bless us with abundant pardons. When we relinquish our tight firm grip from our wicked and unrighteous ways and thoughts, and instead, grab firmly on to His holy thoughts and ways those thoughts and ways will begin to show through our actions.
Think of it like this: Fantasies must become theories before they can become facts. In other words, fantasies (images seen through the eyes of faith) become theories through mediation (meditating on the things of God), and once they become theories the body can't help to turn those theories into facts or realities (a holy life pleasing to God).
In short, the only way to take heavenly thoughts that come forth from the mouth of God and turn them into earthly ways of a holy nature require mediation on the Words of God, and then applying those thoughts in our daily life, only then will His thoughts become your ways!
Now Over to You...
Has this devotional post been a blessing to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.
About the Author
William Ballard is the proud author of, "The True Writer's Life: Discovering the Author and Finisher of Our Faith" He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.