Isaiah 55:8-11(NKJV) 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
This week we are looking at the affect the heart of man has on his ability to walk in the spirit. We have seen over the past few weeks that walking with our spirit, our inner man, in control is key to fulfilling our destiny and walking in a manner that is pleasing to God. Our spirit is that part of our being which was born again at salvation. It is perfectly in tune with God.
The soul of man is made up of his intellect, will and emotions. Since the soul sits between the spirit, which is at one with God, and the body through which we live out our lives on earth, the soul is the most important part of our being when it comes to whether we will walk in the spirit. The deepest part of our soul is something Jesus calls the “heart.” Within the heart is stored all of the experiences we have had in our lifetime. This creates a “filter” through which everything we hear from God and through which every bit of teaching or ministry we receive must pass in order to be effective.
As we ended last time we had concluded that the heart must change if we are to be successful in our Christian walk. The main thing God has given us to accomplish that change is the Word of God. Today I want to look at an important passage of scripture when it comes to this process of changing the heart or renewing the mind.
In Isaiah 55 we see some characteristic things about God’s word. The Lord makes a declaration that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. This is obvious. He is God and we are not. It is not hard for me to accept that as theory, however we must also accept it as reality. The thoughts that I have which do not flow from God’s thoughts are lower and less true. God’s thoughts always release the Law of the Spirit of life. (Rom 8:1-4) My thoughts often release the law of sin and death.
My thoughts stored in my heart are what determines the mind set through which I see life. They are the filter the Word of God must pass through to affect my spirit and through which the voice of God must pass to affect my outward life. God’s thoughts make up His mindset. If I can replace my thoughts with His, I can change my heart. However, His thoughts are higher than mine. His higher thoughts lead to higher ways. I cannot think his thoughts, can I? Yes you can.
If Isaiah 55 ended with this very poetic statement it would not help us at all. However the prophet does not stop here. He goes on to speak of rain and snow. What do rain and snow have to do with thinking God’s thoughts?
Everyone knows that rain is necessary to bring life to the soil. If there is no rain the crops cannot grow. Where there is no rain the climate is desert and nothing much can live. However in the northeast we are also familiar with snow. In the winter it seems that nothing is growing. The trees are black or brown with no leaves on them. The grass is not growing. The fields are all beaten down. If the snow melts enough to see the ground there will be nothing that seems alive.
In the spring the rains come and the trees bud and life is once again renewed. However, we know that if there is not enough snowfall we will likely have very dry conditions during the summer. The rain will be enough to bring forth spring, but it takes the water from the winter snow to cause the water table to be high enough to get us through the heat of summer.
In these verses God compares something to the rain and the snow. The rain produces immediate results, but the snow keeps working behind the scenes to water the earth and bring forth life. It does not look like the snow is doing anything, but it is. What is God comparing to rain and snow in this scripture. His Word.
God’s thoughts are higher than ours, but thank God he wrote his thoughts down. Just as our minds contain rational thoughts we think every day and “heart” thoughts that make up the underlying pattern of how we think, the bible contains what God thinks about any subject as well as the pattern of how He thinks. We do not naturally think God’s thoughts, but we can read his thoughts.
Not only do we obtain information when we read God’s thoughts, but just as rain and snow transform the earth and bring forth life, God’s thoughts from his written word have the ability to impart life to us and transform our thoughts to be more like his. Jesus said his words are spirit and life. (John 6:63) Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is a powerful living thing. The Word of God has been given the power by God to change how we think.
How does it do this? Just as the rain and snow come to the earth, sink into it and saturate it with life by giving moisture, the Word will sink into our heart and impart the life of God to it. It will begin to “reprogram” our heart. This happens as we allow the word to “rain” on our mind by hearing it and meditating on it. Just as one rain shower cannot solve a drought, one message or one study session cannot change our heart. It takes the rain and also the snow to make the change.
Sometimes we feel the rain of the Word and we know that there is something happening. Other times It is the winter months of our lives when we are putting the word in and it does not seem to be doing anything. However it is working. It’s working under the surface where we cannot see or feel it. It is watering our heart and changing our thinking.
If you expand the study of Isaiah 55 to verse 13, there is a wonderful description of what the rain and snow of the Word will produce in the life of the believer. It does not happen overnight, but it does happen if we give ourselves to it. Let me close today by quoting these powerful verses.
Isaiah 55:12-13(NKJV) 12 “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the Lord for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”