Everywhere we look, someone else has a different idea about what will work. We can seriously become exhausted by going to and fro for the right answer on a given topic. Keep in mind that these opinions–even our own–don’t matter. The only One’s thoughts on any subject that matter belongs to our Creator God. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘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)
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and turned on a recording of Francis Chan preaching that only God’s thoughts matter, because He is the only One who will sacrifice for us out of the abundance of His love and grace. How high are the heavens from the earth? It’s more than 91 million miles to the sun, and the heavens are further than that. Try to picture that distance when thinking about the chasm between His thoughts and ours.
So while we are attempting to mix our own opinions and those of others that we admire with God’s Word, we need to stop, because that’s what the Lord calls double-mindedness. So while we are mentally scurrying from one thought to another, we might stop for a moment and ask God for His help. The problem comes in that we are going to Him while continuing to go to other places for help. That holds no water with our Lord!
His Word can’t be clearer: “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)
The only place that we will find true satisfaction is in wholeheartedly seeking the Lord and His thoughts and ways. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7) The treasure we have in God will truly meet the deepest needs of our souls, and it is eternal. So it is GOD whom we should seek.
What does it really mean to “seek the Lord”? The Hebrew word here for “seek” is “darash”, which to read something repeatedly and study. A related word in the ancient world means to “beat a path” around something, because you are repeatedly going to it. That tells us something about what it means to “seek the Lord.” To really “seek” God means more than just going to church once or twice. It means you “beat a path” there, seeking Him. It also means that you “study” His word — not flipping open your Bible once or twice, but really “wearing a path” in it. In other words, if you aren’t “beating a path” to church, and if your Bible is not getting worn out, you are not really “seeking God”!
To “call on the Lord” means first, to call on Him for salvation. “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom 10:13) Calling on God also means to seek Him by continuing to call out to Him in prayer. The Lord promises, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer 33:3) And only He can promise that because His ways higher are than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
But don’t miss the part of this passage that too many of us want to overlook: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (v7) Turning from sin (repentance) is a vital part of seeking the Lord. Praying without turning from sin shows that you aren’t really serious about finding God like you say you are. If you are serious about seeking God you will purify your life from known sin. If we are truly seeking God, we will not only forsake our wicked ways, but also also our wicked thoughts “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, our helper that Jesus sent us that we are able to obediently “walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). In order to have that power, we must seek the Lord and His ways. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:6-9)