John Piper said: “The story of God is about the glory of God. All revelation of the ways of God leads to rejoicing over the wonders of God.” The other day I meditated on the doxology Scripture: “Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?’ For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36)
“There are hidden dimensions to God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge. They are deep in the sense that they are out of our sight, unreachable. We can’t go down there. There will always be depths of God we do not know, because he is infinite and we are finite. All things are rooted in God, and all things are moving toward God. The infinite depths are His, and the infinite heights are His. He is the foundation, and He is the destination of all things.”-John Piper “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘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)
Remember yesterday when I admitted I had allowed pride to become my measuring stick (instead of the Lord’s wisdom), and I measured others’ actions by my self-righteousness? A passage came to my attention: “So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’” (Rom. 2:3-6) Ouch!
Me, a mere human being, has no right to judge anyone else. I don’t know the mind of the Lord, and as one with a finite brain I can’t even begin to fathom the Lord’s plans, much less His judgments. And when I do, I “show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience”. I believe I found one of the ways that I can “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 4:30)–pride! “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Prov. 11:2)
We are counseled against being prideful over and over again in Scripture; instead we are encouraged and directed to be humble. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6). It is not up to me to think better of myself; I am to model Christ, who humbled Himself and took “the very nature of a servant” (Phil. 2:3-11). I have nothing to be prideful about — everything I have and all that I’ve been given and has been done for me is from the Lord. I can take no credit, I can only be thankful and give Him glory!
Out of gratitude, I am to be joyously obedient to the Lord; to daily lay aside my desires to follow Him humbly, a lowly servant that He loves beyond measure. Again, it is almost impossible for me to fathom the depth and riches of His love, wisdom, knowledge, mercy and grace! But my gratitude and obedience are just what the apostle Paul appeals to:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:1-2) My ability to do this is because Christ lives in me. I know His ways are better than my ways; His plans are better than my plans; and His love, mercy and grace abounds from His fullness.
We have all heard the phrase “God helps those who help themselves”. While to mere humans this sounds like wisdom, but it isn’t biblical. We have a Lord who truly wants the best for us — He created us for His glory and pleasure. But His pleasure isn’t found in what we can do (works), our strength and our “can do” attitudes where we plod along in our own power.
Contrary to this man-made wisdom, God’s Word says: “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” (Ps. 147:10-11) The Lord does what He wants to do (Rom. 9:18-20), He is great and mighty in power and understands all (Ps. 147:5), and He delights in sustaining us when we humble ourselves before Him (Ps. 147:6).
The Lord wants:
- Our Faith in Him;
- Our Hope and Trust in Him and Him alone;
- Our Obedience;
- Our Praise and Thankfulness;
- Our Reverance of Him;
- Our Hopes and Dreams;
- Our Thoughts;
- Our Hearts;
- Us To Deny Our fleshly Desires and to daily take up our cross and follow Him wherever He leads us.
He created me–breathed His very breath into me to give me life; He redeemed me by the blood of His only Son so that I might live with Him and fellowship with Him for eternity; He has given me every Spiritual Blessing; He has given me His Word; He chose me and covered me with His blood to make me blameless before His sight; He adopted me into His family and made me a joint-heir with Christ; He has qualified me, set me free from sin, sanctified and justified me; Made me a new creation; Shelters me; Heals me; Calls me His masterpiece; and Seated me in the heavenly realm with Christ. Who am I (one of His created beings) to deny what He wants from me? Thankfully, He knows I am weak so He has given me the Holy Spirit for guidance. I am forgiven, but not yet perfected, but “He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).