Knowing God’s Ways

Someone speculated that every decision made is an attempt to reduce further anxiety. To cope with their anxiety, people consume food, alcohol and drugs, have illicit sex, mindlessly repeat mantras, and escape to cabins, boats, and lonely places. More prescription drugs are dispensed for the temporary “cure” of anxiety than for any other reason. But when the temporary cures wear off, we have to return to the same world with the added problem of the negative consequences generated by the coping mechanisms. Anxiety drains our energy today and dims our hope for tomorrow.

Anxiety arises out of a state of disconnection. Man’s wisdom, strength, and riches cannot comprehend, accomplish, or buy the peace that comes from being rightly related to God. The only thing that we can boast about is our understanding of God and His ways (vss. 23,24). God has designed us to live a certain way, and living any other way is like swimming upstream in our own strength, or succumbing to the current and being swept away. Having the peace of God regardless of external circumstances is like floating on a pond.

We need to discover the God-created harmony and rhythms of life. He is the Master Musician and we are His orchestra. When we are filled with his Spirit, we will sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19). Every instrument is needed and they all have their parts to play. If every person follows the director and plays their part, the music will be a glorious expression of God’s glory. But if our timing is off, or we play another tune, it makes an awful noise. The biggest tragedy of all is to go to the grave with our music still in us.

Jeremiah was disgusted with the house of Israel and he wanted to get away from these obstinate people (Jer. 9:2). They were self-centered and had not followed God’s ways (vss. 13,14). Instead of living in harmony with their God, these people were wailing. God’s orchestra was out of tune. Their attempt to correct their own problems was at best superficial. “They dress the wounds of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11). God never gives bandage answers to cancerous problems. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord’” (vss. 9,10).

Dr. Neil

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