Isaiah 55:8, 9 - Good Ideas OR God Ideas - Is There A Difference?
Isaiah 55:8, 9 - Good Ideas OR God Ideas - Is There A Difference?
Isaiah 55:8, 9 (NIV) "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.
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good
ideas get in the way of God ideas.
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do
something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan
to do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is
a good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord,
please bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the
Lord wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which
concern Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda
and our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is
not what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of
the Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea.
The presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to
their senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with
a stem scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the
genius of their human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before
the Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face
before me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our
own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall
facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will
reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through
prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea
born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the
habit of the surrendered saint. (From Walking with Christ in the
Details of Life by Patrick M. Morley) [Inspirational SB re Mat. 13]
These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us
to invest our time and energy. Each day the voices of urgency cry
out for every available moment. So many causes promise that time
spent on them will reap great rewards; how can we recognize God's
voice among so many competing voices?
A fool makes unwise choices with his time. With every new
opportunity that comes along, the fool chases off in a different direction,
not questioning whether that is the best choice. The loudest voice
gains his attention. At some point the fool discovers to his dismay
that he has squandered the investment of his time.
The days in which you live are evil. Marriages are under
tremendous pressure, families are disintegrating. Multitudes are dying each
year without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Investing your life
wisely is critical to you and to those around you. Foolishly spending
your time in sinful or wasteful pursuits can cost you and others
Often, it is not evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather,
the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good. The
enemy knows that blatantly tempting you with evil will be obvious, so
he will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry
out God's will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good
things that you have no time for God's best. You may inadvertently
substitute religious activity for God's will, pursuing your own goals for
God's kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment. Time is a
precious commodity. Be sure to invest it wisely. [Experiencing God Day by
Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Eph. 5:15, 16]
Things are not always what they seem. Proverbs warns that we
can be deceived into believing we are going down the right path and
yet be heading toward death, the opposite direction from God's will.
People do not naturally seek God or pursue righteousness (Ro 3:10-18).
Only as the Spirit awakens our hearts to the Person of Christ are we
able to desire God's will. If we make decisions apart from the
guidance of the Spirit of God, we will be like a ship trying to sail
without a compass. We will do what makes the most sense, based on our
own wisdom. But what looks attractive may actually lead to sin,
ultimately destroying what is precious to us, for our most profound human
thinking is mere foolishness to God (1Co 1:18-20). Only God knows the way
that leads to life, and He wants to lead us to walk in it (Mt
Don't assume every opportunity that arises is from God. Satan
will disguise himself as an "angel of light," and his invitations
will seem to be in your best interest (2Co 11:14). Yet his way leads
only to death (John 8:44). The word of God will be like a light to
your path, guiding you in the ways of righteousness (Ps 119:105).
It can be perilous to follow a path that seems right without
first consulting the Holy Spirit for guidance (John 16:13). Take time
to seek the Holy Spirit's direction when you face decisions. He
knows the full ramifications of your choices. The Holy Spirit will
assist you to understand truth and to experience abundant life. Trust
Him as He leads you. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and
Richard Blackaby re Pro.16:25]
What does it mean to set the Lord always before you? It means
that you choose to relate everything you encounter to your trust in
God. What you choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in
your life. You may be a Christian, but if your focus is always on
your problems, your problems will determine the direction of your
life. If your focus is on people, then people will determine what you
think and do. In biblical times, the right hand was the most
distinguished position, reserved for one's chief adviser and supporter. When
you choose to focus on Christ, you invite Him to take the most
important position in your life as Counselor and Defender.
Every time you face a new experience, you should turn to
Christ for His interpretation and strength. When people insult you and
mistreat you, you should seek direction from your Counselor regarding the
right response. When you face a crisis, you should receive strength
from the One at your right hand. When you experience need, you should
consult your Counselor before you react. When you face a fearful
situation, you should take courage from the Advocate at your right hand.
Everything you do is in the context of your relationship to Christ.
What an incredible act of God's grace that Christ should
stand beside you to guide you and counsel you and defend you! How
could you ever become dismayed over your situation with Christ at your
right hand? What confidence this should give you! [Experiencing God
Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Psa. 16:8]
I am ever so near you, hovering over your shoulder, reading
every thought. People think that thoughts are fleeting and worthless,
but yours are precious to Me. I smile when you think lovingly of Me.
My Spirit, who lives within you, helps you to think My thoughts. As
your thinking goes, so goes your entire being.
Let Me be your positive Focus. When you look to Me, knowing
Me as God with you, you experience Joy. This is according to My
ancient design, when I first crafted man. Modern man seeks his positive
focus elsewhere: in sports, sensations, acquiring new possessions.
Advertising capitalizes on the longing of people for a positive focus in
their lives. I planted that longing in human souls, knowing that only
I could fully satisfy it. Delight yourself in Me; let Me become
the Desire of your heart. (Mat. 1:23; Psa. 37:4) [Jesus Calling by
Live first and foremost in My Presence. Gradually you will
become more aware of Me than of people and places around you. This
awareness will not detract from your relationships with others. Instead,
it will increase your ability to give love and encouragement to
them. My Peace will permeate your words and demeanor. You will be
active in the world, yet one step removed from it. You will not be
easily shaken, because My enveloping Presence buffers the blow of
This is the path I have set before you. As you follow it
wholeheartedly, you experience abundant Life and Peace. (Psa. 89:15, 16; 16:8;
2Pe. 1:2) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I was running errands with our three-year-old son, who was
happily chattering away in the backseat. Suddenly he announced, "I have
a great plan, Mama!"
Driving along, I humored him. "Okay, honey. What's your
"When we get home, you can give me some cookies," he said.
"And you'll say I can have them and not 'Wait till after dinner' -
but you be nice to me and let me eat them, okay?"
Trying not to laugh, I said, "Honey, I am being nice when I
say wait till after dinner, because if you eat cookies now, you'll
get a tummy ache and won't be hungry for your good food."
"But, Mom!" he wailed. "Don't say no! No is not my favorite!"
"I know you want some cookies," I assured him. "But trust me.
It's better to wait till after dinner."
More often than I would like to admit, God uses my kids'
antics to spotlight how I have been relating to him.
All too often in my prayers, I approach God with, "I have a
great plan!" Then I casually suggest to the sovereign God of the
universe how he could accomplish my plan. And say (or at least think),
"You be nice and don't say no, God. Because no is not my favorite."
But God, like a good parent, knows what is best for me.
Sometimes he says no to my plans, not because he is "not nice" but because
he has in mind something infinitely better for me. And his plans
are not just great - they're perfect. Jennifer Stair
God, help me to wait and seek what you have in store for me.
Instead of telling you my great plan, teach me to trust in your perfect
plan. Amen. [The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary
My grandson came into the kitchen and asked for his vitamins.
He loves them because they taste like candy. He is allowed to have
two, and we let him reach in the bottle and get them himself, one at
a time. On that day, however, he decided to get a whole handful.
Guess what? He couldn't get his fist out of the jar, creating a
dilemma. He could hold onto the handful and get nothing, or let go and
get the two he is allowed to have, one at a time. After a little
convincing, he made the right choice.
In life, balance is key. Even trying to do too many good
things can end in disaster. If we get so busy doing good things that we
neglect our families or cut back on our fellowship time with God, we
have done harm to ourselves and those we love. Of course God has
things for all of us to do, good acts of service for his kingdom, but
we can't just grab them up all at once. Doing that might cause us
to get sidetracked, bringing the work of sanctification, spiritual
growth, and caring for family to a stop.
I know it's hard to say no when people ask us to get
involved. Just remember, we don't have to say no to everything. Balance is
Father, thank you for your wisdom that keeps my life balanced
and moving forward. In Jesus' name. Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily
Devotional by John & Johnny Baker mod re 1Co. 10:13]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor (new series!):
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: