Summary: This is the fourth and last teaching in the series "Auto-correcting God." This teaching examines Acts 5, the record of Ananias and Sapphira.
This is the last message in the series “Auto-correcting God.” In the three previous messages we looked at individuals in the Old Testament who had received an instruction from God but chose not to follow it.
They altered the instruction the Lord had given to them to fit what they believed – to fit what they, in their hearts, wanted to do.
The smart phone’s “auto-correct function” has been used to drive this home. It is designed to catch and correct spelling errors but sometimes it wrongly auto-corrects what the sender intends or desires.
In the three previous messages, we looked at individuals who had received a “word from the Lord” and chose to “auto-correct” it – who chose to modify it – thereby producing consequences that impacted not only themselves but their families for generations.
That’s a lesson for us today. As Christians, we must see God’s instructions for what they truly are.
• First of all, following God’s instructions are opportunities for us to deepen our knowledge and understanding of Him and His ways. In essence, God’s instruction show us His heart, what is truly important to Him.
• Second, when we make a decision to follow God’s instructions, to do what He tells us to do, we are to submitting ourselves in willing obedience to His will. You don’t have to turn to this but do you remember what Jesus says in John 6:38? He says he came from heaven, not to do his will, but the will of the one who sent him.
• I want you to turn with me to John 14:21. Jesus says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me...” Thirdly, when we willingly follow God’s instructions, we are showing Him how much we truly love Him.
As Christians, we may not always understand the fullness of God’s instruction – and most of the time we won’t – but that is not a reason to auto-correct it. Turn to Hebrews 11:8.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
When God calls Abraham out of Haran, He didn’t give him the complete road map did he? No. God paints an image in Abraham heart of what will happen if he takes the first step of obedience – to leave his country and family. And we see that image – the end result of his obedience – in Genesis 12:2.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”
Many times God has given me an instruction and I didn’t understand the fullness of it until I began to “walk it out” – until I took the first step of obedience. As I did, I began to see “why” He gave the instruction and the benefit that result because I obeyed and followed it.
The most important thing we must understand is this – the instruction came from God. Don’t hesitate or delay in obeying it.
And when God speaks, His words will always, always, always produce fruit. Turn with me to Isaiah 55, which shows us God’s heart about His instructions to us. We’re going to read verses 8 and 9.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Many will read these verses and come to the conclusion that God’s ways and thoughts can never be our ways and thoughts. But this is not what these verses are saying. God is not telling us that His thoughts and His ways can never be our thoughts and our ways. He’s simply stating the obvious: “Right now, your thoughts are not My thoughts and your ways are not My ways.”
We see this truth when we back up a couple of verses. Let’s look at verses 6 and 7.
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord; and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Let’s look again at the first part of verse 7. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts...” Then we read verse 8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 55 is prophetic and it’s talking about the body of Christ. The Lord’s thoughts can be our thoughts if we are willing to put aside our thoughts and allow his thoughts to become our thoughts – to determine how we think about things. The Lord’s ways can be our ways if we are willing to allow his ways to be our ways.