Beyond Superficial Change—Day 2
Isaiah 55: 7-9
“Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 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.”
Not long ago, Christianity Today published The Barna Research results regarding those living with a biblical worldview. The results among Americans and Americans who profess faith in Christ were astounding.
Biblical worldview was defined by The Barna Research as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches. Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic. A person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
The research showed 9 percent of American adults live with a biblical worldview and only 19 percent of professing believers live with a biblical worldview. Not much of a distinction between believers and non-believers.
So, in a congregation of 400, statistically speaking, only 76 of the 400 think biblically.
Think about that for a moment, we may spend time doing good deeds for others; however, we also need to spend more time helping those in our fellowship become spiritually healthy.
Our devotional passage encourages us to forsake our ways and our thoughts to embrace the Lord’s.
In Hebrew, the word for forsake is, ʿâzab, aw-zab; it means to relinquish, to leave behind; the overall sense is, to abandon.
The word forsake is the same word used when a man is called to leave his father and mother to cling to his wife. For a man to become one with his wife, he must disconnect himself from his parents. He has to leave behind his prior life to embrace his new life with his wife. For us to unite with the Father, we too, must leave behind our prior life in order to become one with the Father.
The act of forsaking past ways and thoughts involves rejecting the old man and making an intentional decision to turn to God.
Question: How do we effectively turn to God while refusing to let go of old ways and thoughts?
As God’s people, we abandon our ways and our way of thinking to embrace his ways and his way of thinking.
Insisting that our walk is “a process” while knowing full well we have no intention or desire to let go of certain things leads to superficialism. It is amazing how we can rationalize refusal to leave behind old ways while claiming to walk with Christ.
He says, “Forsake our ways and thoughts.”
By combining both our ways and our thoughts, the writer creates a parallelism with substantial significance; the two together make up a whole that cannot comprehend alone. Ways are originated from thoughts and thoughts are inextricably linked with ways–the two cannot be separated.
What we do and what we think speak the truth regarding who we are.
If we think biblically, we think more like God; and, if we think more like God, our behavior will be more godly.
Question: Are you living with a biblical worldview?
Lord, it is so easy to live with no thought of our professions of faith, help us to always be true to what we say we believe, Amen.