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How Are God’s Thoughts Different Than Our Thoughts?

Biblical Authority Devotional: The Higher Ways of God, Part 1

by Jeremy Ham on November 4, 2010
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Isaiah stated that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways. Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explains.

“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)

Today’s big question: how are God’s thoughts different than our thoughts?

In this new devotional series, we will be studying “The Higher Ways of God” using Isaiah 55:8–9 as our starting point. First, we need to examine how God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.

We are all finite, limited beings living in a sin-cursed universe. There may be times when our thoughts are like God’s thoughts. After all, believers are to “be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1), and both men and women were created in the image of God. Nevertheless, we need to realize that God is infinitely intelligent, thus His thoughts are infinitely higher than our thoughts. Human thoughts have a beginning, yet God is the Beginning and End (Revelation 1:8).

God is our authority, even when it comes to our thoughts. Since God is our authority in every area and His thoughts are righteous, pure, and holy, we should model our thoughts after them. This is difficult for us since “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This sin has affected everyone’s thoughts as well. Evil thoughts are entirely against God’s nature, which is ultimately why God sent a worldwide flood to judge the earth:

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5–7)

God did not want to bring disaster to humanity, but He cannot tolerate the pure evil thoughts of mankind. However, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8).

Moreover, Jeremiah wrote, “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the LORD, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11). God was thinking of a hopeful future of peace for the Jews, and now God has such a future for anyone through Jesus Christ. Just as Noah and his family entered the door of the Ark for salvation from the Flood, Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9).

Today’s big idea: God’s thoughts are righteous and infinitely higher than ours.

What to pray: thank God that, despite our sin, His thoughts are for grace and peace.

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