Knowing God's Ways
Updated: Jan 25
IT IS ONE thing to see what God is doing and another to know why he does what he does.
God made known his ways to Moses, but his acts to the children of Israel. (Ps. 103:7)
Moses knew the heart of God while the people of Israel saw his hands.
We will never grasp his ways except we know Him—and we will not know Him except we come to terms with Him.
INTIMACY is what we experience when we have a deep relationship with someone—and when trust is eroded, we feel distant from the person.
We know how difficult it can be sitting next to someone we are distant from or how uncomfortable we can feel sitting next to a stranger.
But we can be many miles away from an intimate friend and still feel close.
In Cave Adullam, David felt uncomfortable standing next to Saul because, repeatedly, Saul had tried to kill him. (1 Sam. 24:5-22)
But Jonathan and David felt close despite the distance between them.
The common ingredient to every intimate relationship is trust—and it's what you find between friends.
God trusted Moses and spoke with him face to face as a man talked to his friend. (Exod. 33:11)
The more he walked with God, the more he understood Him. His trust fuelled their relationship.
What is fuelling your friendship with God?
When you trust the Lord with all your heart, you'll not lean on your understanding. And when you make Him Lord in all your ways, he will direct your path. (Prov. 3:5-6)
Trust for God takes your focus off yourself and puts it on, God.
Every believer in Christ wants to experience intimacy with God—and say, "But for me, it is good to be near God. (Ps. 73:28)
Your closeness or distance from God isn't your proximity to Him but your experience of intimacy with Him.
ONE COMMON mistake is to think that we can know God through the accumulation of knowledge.
Once, a rich young ruler came to Jesus asking what he needed to do to have eternal life.
He knew the scriptures. He had obeyed the commandments, but something was missing. (Mark 10:17-27)
If knowledge were sufficient, Jesus wouldn't have told the woman at the Well of Samaria that they worshipped what they did not know. (John 4:22)
In the history of the world, we've never had as much theological knowledge.
We have never been surrounded by so many translations of the bible and Christian literature—and many of them are very good.
For me, it is good to be near God
We know that biblical knowledge is better than gold; it fuels our understanding. (Prov. 16:16) But when it replaces our trust in God, we worship ourselves. (1 Cor. 8:1)
Until biblical knowledge leaves our heads for our hearts, we will not know his ways.
How do we know his ways?
WE'VE BEEN groomed by the media to think that there's something wrong with waiting—and many of us now believe that we can get things with little effort.
But Moses thought differently—he would go into the tent daily to meet with the Lord. (Exod. 33:7-8)
To know his ways requires a lot of effort, but it begins with spending time in his presence.
There is fullness of joy in his presence, and on his right hand, there are pleasures forever. (Ps. 16:11)
OBEDIENCE IS a vital part of our lives. You may not owe anyone anything, but you owe God everything.
An obedient man is the one who does what God says, when he says it and how he says it.
It comes from faith—and building the culture of obedience in Christ happens one person, one decision at a time.
You choose to do what he says, no matter how difficult it is.
WE DO what is right not only in the sight of God but also in the eyes of men. (2 Cor. 8:21)
Joseph was locked in prison because of a false accusation, but he did right before God and men. He offered help to his co-inmates whenever they needed it. (Gen. 40:7-14)
We must learn to do right even when things go wrong!
IF YOU want to know the heart of God, you must serve—ministering to others or mentoring them.
As you share your gifts or talents with people, it starts to grow.
At home, Joseph dreamt, but his audience did not receive his gift. (Gen. 37:5)
However, in Egypt, he interpreted dreams—and his audience embraced his gift. (Gen. 41:37)
He understood the ways of God.
He said to his brothers, "God sent me ahead of you to make sure that you would have descendants on the earth and to save your lives amazingly. It wasn't you who sent me here, but God. He has made me like a father to Pharaoh, lord over his entire household, and ruler of Egypt. (Gen. 45:7-9)
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
WHEN WE understand his ways, our walk with Him becomes easier—and our expectations of Him become realistic.
God often keeps us waiting. He is never in such a hurry as we are, and it's not his way to give more light to the future than we need for the present. When in doubt, do nothing but continue to wait on God. When action is required, the light will come – J.I. Packer.