DO YOU KNOW GODíS WAYS ~~~OR JUST HIS ACTS?



"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Way: Travel or movement along a certain route or in a certain direction; a path of life;
course or habits or conduct (Websterís New World Dictionary).

Every day of our lives we are in a 'way' going some place. Our lives are moving on even if we
 are lounging in the recliner in our living rooms. We are surrounded with people and
circumstances that influence that way. It is of utmost importance that we know the way to go
on this journey lest we choose the wrong way. If there is a way that 'seemeth to be right' but apparently is not, then there must be another way that IS right. The challenge is to know the
 right way and walk toward its end which will be 'life.'

"Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways" (Haggai 1:5). Consider
means to look at closely. Our ways are a product of our 'contents'... what we have put into
ourselves. Our contents fire our imagination; our imagination kindles our drives and ambitions creating our ways. Imagination is a strong motivator. It has created beautiful masterpieces
 of art, giant financial corporations, kidsí unique birthday parties, sent space vehicles to the
moon; you name it, someone imagined it. It has been said if you can imagine it, you can do it.
 That is true in a spiritual sense. If we see ourselves walking in the ways of God, we will aim for
 that goal and achieve it. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou
 wilt keep my charge, then 'I will give thee places to walk'." (Zechariah 3:7).

Solomonís dedicatory prayer of the temple included "That he may incline our hearts unto him,
 to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments,
which he commanded our fathers" (1 Kings 8:58). His father, David, had set an example for Solomon. He said, "For I have kept the way of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from
 my God" (2 Samuel 22:22). Further, Solomon added to his temple prayer, "hear'forgive' and
give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knoweth" (1 Kings 8:39).

Since the Bible clearly teaches that there are multiple choices of ways, our responsibility is to
be perfectly sure that we have chosen and are following the right way and not the way 'that
seemeth right.' The seemingly right, but wrong, way leads to death; the right way leads to life.
Jesus left no margin of error when He said 'I am the way.' He said He had come that we might
have life, which included overcoming death. The only safe way to go is to follow Jesus and the
 way He marked for us. "let all thy ways be established" (Proverbs 4:27). This means that we are walking the path that Jesus has already established and we have established His ways as our
ways. The benefits are beyond comprehension; "blessed are they that keep my ways"
(Proverbs 8:32). Enoch knew what it meant to walk in Godís ways and walked right
 into heaven! (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5).

Proverbs 4:26 advises "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." Many
of the leaders of Israel and Judah did not walk in the right way. They walked in the ways of error
and caused Godís people to follow them. In spite of the evil leaders and erring people, Godís way was to discipline and draw them back to Him, forgive and restore true worship. Just as Jeremiah spoke for God to Israel, He is saying to us today, "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the
 old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls"
(Jeremiah 6:16). But like Israel, too many times we have said, 'We will not walk therein.'
The old path was established, pounded by the feet of saints following the Lord in previous generations. It had been tried and was true, leading to Godís ways. It was solid, secure
 where one would not get stuck in the mire of some 'new' path.

God is still seeking those who will walk in His ways and promises great blessings to those who
will do so. "If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and
seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). It is time that we heard from heaven. It is time
 for repentance and healing; time to walk in Godís ways.

We have devised so many 'ways' to walk in our own power, by our own understanding that we
need to stop in our tracks, consider our ways and seek out the old path (Godís way). "Trust in
 the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (Psalm 91:11). These promises are faithful and
 true, but the condition is that we seek Godís way and make it our way.

What is Godís way? With so much hanging on the need to walk His way, that is our greatest
 need and responsibility...to 'find' His way. God said seek out the path; Jesus said 'seek and you
 will find.' Thatís the place to start, seek for it. But what about Romans 11:33 "how  unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"? Most of the things we learn through human efforts are discovered by trial and error. After we have eliminated all the things that have failed,
 we observe what is left and assume that is the answer. Godís ways cannot be evaluated and
 known by any human process; they are 'past finding out' beyond our means of comprehension.
We will beat ourselves to death by that method and still come up with the wrong answer.

So what can we do to find Godís ways? First, we have to want to walk in His ways more than
anything else. We have to be so tired of walking in our own way that we are willing to completely abandon it; otherwise, when it beckons us, we will wander back to our old ways. Our ways are not Godís ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8). We arenít capable of even imagining what Godís ways are: "For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9). Heavens higher than the earth! Thatís high! Unfathomable!

God sent Israel word through Moses that, "Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your
God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you.."
(Deuteronomy 5:33). He called them to Mt Sinai to speak to them so they would know His ways.
In spite of the blessings God promised Israel if they would walk in His way, they were not willing
to complete forsake their ways and learn His ways. They backed off and said to Moses, "Speak
thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us": (Exodus 20:19). The only thing that makes us back away from God, from having intimacy with Him, to listen to what He says, to walk
 in His ways is SIN. Godís Word exposes sin and makes us accountable, requiring repentance.
If we are not ready to forsake our ways and follow Godís ways, we will not want to hear from
God; it brings condemnation, so we will back away and seek another voice that will placate
 our conscience rather than condemn. God condemns us only to redeem us!

Israel preferred the voice of a man over the voice of God. They backed away from Godís voice.
They would not give up their idolatrous ways and walk in Godís way. Because of this decision
made by them, from that time they only saw Godís acts. They missed His ways. "He made known
his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel" (Psalm 103:7). Israel was content to
just be on the perimeter of what God was doing, just observers. What God had desired was participants, people who world walk with Him in His ways, follow Him wherever He would lead,
 trust Him to always care for them and bring them safely to the Promise Land. He is still seeking
that kind of relationship from us.

Moses was not satisfied to just know Godís 'acts'; he wanted to know Godís ways. His heart-cry
 was 'God, show me your glory, [your ways].' Acts are observable with the naked eye. 'The
 heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork' (Psalm 19:1).
Every human being on the face of the earth, every bird, every animal can see Godís handiwork.
Even the blind and deaf can experience the handiwork of God in some way. But that doesnít
mean they know His ways; they only know His acts.

We usually know what motivates us. Do we now what motivates God, what are His ways, what motivates Him to perform His acts? He wants us to know His heart, His 'ways' The only method
 of knowing Godís ways is to study what He has already told us in His Word. If we could study all
 the sciences in the world and solve all mathematical equations, that method would never show us Godís ways; but we can look into His Word and find all we need to know there, just waiting to be revealed to us. That sounds too simplistic, but it is the 'secret' to knowing Godís ways.

Quoting David, "Thou hast made known to me the ways of life" (Acts 2:28). The ways of life
are Godís ways. When we know Godís ways, we know God, we know life. John said the world
did not know Jesus (John 1:10), but that Jesus declared God (John 1:18). Jesus told His followers
 if they had seen Him they had seen God (John 14:9). Many people in Jesusí day saw His acts of mercy, salvation and healing, but they did not know Him or His ways. One very well-known, often-quoted verse reveals Godís ways to us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
(John 3:16). Seems too elemental to be the formula to know God, doesnít it? What we know of
 God is capsulated in Jesus. When Moses desired to know God and see His glory, God caused
His glory to pass by Moses and identified it for him. First he identified Himself--Lord God,
followed by His glory--mercy, grace, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, judgment.

These are the attributes which define God and were present in Jesus. When we only see His acts
 of mercy, grace, etc., and donít hone our intimate relationship with Him to know His ways, we will miss out on the most glorious relationship with Him. If we focus on who He is, and why He acts
as He does, then our knowledge of Him will increase on a plane higher than just enjoying the
fruits of His acts. We can sit in heavenly places with Him and let His ways keep expanding our understanding and know Him with the intimacy of a cherished friend who knows and understands
us and whom we can know and be shown His ways.

Otherwise, we will be like the two-year-old who just takes for granted that the toy, candy, gift was supposed to be his without being cognizant of the parental love that was behind the act. To know
only the acts of God and not His ways is to take for granted the most precious and valuable thing
 we have on this earth...a personal relationship with our God who loves us with an everlasting love.


May we say with Paul, "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10). That I may know His
 ways and never take for granted His acts.

Delores Adams
Copyrighted. All rights reserved.

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