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Doing Things God’s Way

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.”  Prov 3:5-8

When God calls us to work with/for Him in building His kingdom, He has a very specific way He wants it accomplished. Quoting Henry Blackaby from his book, Experiencing God, on page 150, we read “A popular teaching says God does not give people specific directives.  It claims He gave us brains and the Bible, and these two things are sufficient to guide us in all decision making.” This position implies that a Christian always thinks correctly, according to God’s will. It doesn’t take into account that the old nature is constantly at odds with the spiritual nature,

For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:22-23.

and it neglects the important fact that our ways are not God’s ways.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares 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.

It is essential to understand we do not think the way God thinks. His ways are perfect, our ways are not. Therefore, the best way to do anything He commands is in His way. In fact, it is the only way God will have it.

If we would listen to Him, we would hear Him tell us exactly how He wants us to serve Him, down to the minute details. Let us look at how God told Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness.

Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall have the same measurements. Five curtains shall be joined to one another, and the other five curtains shall be joined to one another. You shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set, and likewise you shall make them on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set. You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite each other. You shall make fifty clasps of gold and join the curtains to one another with the clasps so that the tabernacle will be a unit. Then you shall make curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; you shall make eleven curtains in all. The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; the eleven curtains shall have the same measurements. You shall join five curtains by themselves and the other six curtains by themselves, and you shall double over the sixth curtain at the front of the tent. You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the first set, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set. You shall make fifty clasps of bronze, and you shall put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together so that it will be a unit. The overlapping part that is left over in the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that is left over, shall lap over the back of the tabernacle. The cubit on one side and the cubit on the other, of what is left over in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall lap over the sides of the tabernacle on one side and on the other, to cover it. You shall make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red and a covering of porpoise skins above.”  Ex 26:1-14.

This is, of course, only a brief snippet of what God told Moses. But let’s look at the amazing details here. There was no room for Moses’ ideas; every aspect of the building of the tabernacle was laid out by God. When He said ten linen curtains, He did not mean somewhere around ten. They did not have the right to change the number of curtains from God’s perfect plan. When God said to put fifty loops on the end curtain, He did not mean somewhere around fifty. They had no right to change the number of loops on the end curtain from God’s plan. If they had deviated from the perfect plan God put together, it would not have been perfect, and would have been unacceptable. 

Something else we need to remember is that God will not command us to do anything we are not able to accomplish. We may not have the skills or experience, but God will ensure we have what we need to bring about His desired result. We need to be humble and listen to God, not ourselves. If we take the time to hear what He is saying, we will then be able to do it His way. We must not step back and think we have a better plan, for we never will have a better way than our eternal Father in heaven. Again, we read in Exodus,

So, Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”  Ex 36:1 

God gave each person the skill to do what He wanted done. Did they have the skills before the call to build the tabernacle?  No, as we see from the following passage.  

“Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. “He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. “He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs. Ex 35:30-35.

The skills required to build the tabernacle and the articles God wanted in the temple did not exist in Israel. But that was not a problem, because God has the skills, and is able to work through people to accomplish His commands. And not only the skills, but the desire to accomplish it. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi the following,

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Phillipians 2:13.

This is not just a picture of how the Israelites were to respond but God’s people throughout all time, which includes us who are Christians as well. God knows exactly how He wants things done, and if we are willing to listen to what He says, we can take part by yielding and allowing Him to work through us. Think about a rich man, who talks to you about building him a house. You talk with him, and he tells you what he wants, but you leave to begin work before he is finished giving you the details. You know you can tap into his resources and workers, but you are convinced you can do it without any help, with your own resources. So, three months later, the rich man comes back to see his new home, and you have built him a nice two bedroom, one bath house. You delivered much less than would have been possible if you had listened to the rich man. And this can happen when doing God’s work as well. If we rely only on our own resources and talents, we accomplish little if anything in comparison to what is expected and could have been done if we had listened and followed God completely. He is looking for people who will yield themselves to Him so He can accomplish His will through them. It is not about us doing things for Him as we would do it. He has called His people to a life of spreading the gospel and helping those who need our help, but in His way, not ours. He will communicate exactly what and how we are to accomplish His commands if we would only take the time to listen. And He will enable us to do everything He commands, and therefore we should not settle for less by doing things with our own ideas, skills, and resources. God does not want this, and we will not please Him if we do. 

This is the reason so many ministries fail, fall into heresy, or accomplish much less than God desires. His standard is what we are called to follow, and anything less falls short. This is why Christ’s righteousness is required for salvation, and why the only way to fulfill the calling God places on us is to yield to Him by doing it His way through His power. Anything else is like forty loops on the end curtain in the tabernacle.

Published inTheological

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