Most of us are familiar with the scripture, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways, past finding out” Romans 11:33
There is another familiar scripture that says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isa 55:9
When we first come to the Lord He treats us like what we are, spiritual babies. As babies he comforts us, meets our needs and cares for us, even though we are pretty much self centered, and self indulged, like the babies we are. But because He loves us God will move us on toward maturity. This process often requires our cooperating in our own “death”. Jesus said, “He who would come after me must first deny himself, then pick up his cross and follow Me”
Notice our position in the process: WE must deny OURSELVES and WE must pick up OUR cross. Every day we either follow Him or not, based on the decisions we make. His way is often difficult, lengthy and trying. Putting others ahead of ourselves, sacrificing with no expectation of return, being a blessing instead of asking for one, carrying each other’s burdens with love, looking to the interests of others and not just to our own interests, these are the way of the cross.
Doing these things with consistency is the mark of a “true” Christian. “You’ll will know them by the love that they have for one another.” But this kind of love can only come from Christ and not from ourselves. The love that brings life can only thrive to the degree that we’ve allow the death of our selves and the life of Jesus Christ to take over.
A contrite heart and a broken spirit are a result of God’s work in our lives, and it is a work that is required. It is also a work that must be RECEIVED! God’s dealings in our lives are meant to cause us to seek Him earnestly. It’s in that earnest search for Him that He can then speak into our lives. His thoughts can become our thoughts as we learn to accept and submit to His ways. As John the Baptist said, “He must become greater, I must become less”. Christ must be formed in us! The Potter must break and reshape the clay as is needed for His intended purpose.
As Christians we all like to believe that we are ok. But OK isn’t good enough. If we sincerely want more of God, He will send His purging fire to burn off the dross in our lives. That fire can be hardship, failure, sickness, trial or crisis. All of these things are meant to drive us into His presence and produce Christlikeness in us, which glorifies God and is the ultimate goal of our salvation: To bear fruit for Him until His thoughts are our thoughts and His ways are our ways.