Many people think living God’s way is only for the holier than thou types. They don’t believe that they could live that way, or would want to because they think God is a killjoy.
In this series, we’re going to learn the truth that will set us free from such nonsense!
For His ways are NOT our ways!
So what does “God’s way” mean?
In the Bible the Hebrew word, derek is often translated way. It’s figurative for a course of life, or action, undertakings; manner.
Way is the manner in which one acts. And the way we act is an outflow of our character and capabilities. God’s character is flawless and His abilities endless. Ours? Well, you know the answer to that!
Here’s just a few things the Bible says about God’s ways:
- Holy (Ps 77:13)
- Just and true (Deut 32:4, Rev 15:3)
- Righteous (right) (Ps 145:17)
- Loving and faithful (Ps 25:10)
- Good (Ps 119:68)
- Pleasant and filled with peace (Pr 3:17, Rom 12:2b)
- Wise (Rom 11:33, Pr 2:1-15)
- Unchangeable (Is 43:13)
- To be followed but with great rewards (Deut 6, 28)
Our way is basically the opposite of the above. We are self-centered and severely lacking in capabilities next to God. I am talking here about our sinful nature. In and of ourselves there is nothing good (Ps 53:1-3, Rom 7:18).
Now if this was the only truth we would be sorrowful creatures indeed! But as many of you know…
The GOOD news of the Gospel has made a way possible through Jesus to live God’s way.
Without Christ, we might try to live up to God’s rules, only to find that we can’t. His commands seem burdensome to us. But in reality…
God’s commands are boundaries to hedge us in for our joy, not to keep us from our joy!
That’s because through Jesus we can approach God as a loving Father—not as a condemning Judge (Rom 8:1, 14-15).
As we increase our knowledge and understanding of who God is and how He works, we will increasingly want to follow His ways out of our love for Him.
Living God’s way is basically wanting to please God more than ourselves or others because we love Him. That doesn’t mean a life of perfection, but to strive with all our heart to live in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.
In the Bible the terms upright and righteous are often used to describe one who has a heart after God. And that simply means to live rightly before God. And when we fail, to ask for forgiveness and the power to change (repent) our wrong behavior.
Looking at the Lord with this perspective, prevents us from seeing His commands as burdensome (1 Jn 5:3). But suppose you’re thinking, “What gives God the right to dictate the way we should live?”
Because God is the Creator; we are the created ones.
We have no rights. God is the deserving One who sits on the throne with power, knowledge, wisdom, and authority; the right to do as He pleases (Rev 4:11).
This would be frightening were it not for the fact that God cannot do evil. Remember the supposedly omnipotent alien being, “Q”, from the Star Trek series? He was always causing havoc because He was selfish, immature, and egotistical. I’m so glad that God is not that way!
Although His ways are not our ways, we need not fear for He is good!
We can begin to live according to His ways by aligning our thinking with His thinking. And that will change our character, and therefore change our ways to be more like His. And when we don’t understand what God is doing, we can ponder His good character and attributes and surrender our rights to our rightful and most-deserving King.
Next time, my friends, we’ll discover why God’s way is best which will motivate us to live in a manner pleasing to the Lord. Meanwhile, remember that His commands needn’t be burdensome.