The Common Misconception About Understanding God’s Ways

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Bill Wiese

One common misconception held among Christians is that man cannot possibly understand God’s ways. They often say that we’re unable to know His thoughts or His plans for our lives.

It’s interesting to note that even the most devoted believer will approach this topic with the Bible verse found in Isaiah 55:8–9 which says:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” says 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.”

People misinterpret these verses to conclude that we cannot know or understand the “why’s” in life, but do we have the whole picture regarding this portion of the Bible? Do we know whom God was speaking to when this statement was made? When we look to the preceding verse (v.7) we find that God was telling us that “the wicked”… “who forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts” cannot understand His ways. He is not speaking to His children or followers. It’s the wicked people who cannot know His ways but we are expected to know and understand His ways.

You might say, “What about the sovereignty of God?” Of course, God is sovereign, but only outside of His Word. He will not do anything against or contrary to what He has already written because the Bible says that His Word will never change (Psalms 89:34; 119:89). His written Word declares His will and He expects us to know what it says.

Remember when Jesus was about to heal the woman bowed over with a crippling disease? He said, “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath (Luke 13:16)? He expected the apostles to know that she had a right to be loosed since He said, “ought not” posed as a rhetorical question.

When the apostles couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy in Matthew 17:17 Jesus said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?” He expected that by then, they should have known what He was doing and have the faith required to believe in His mission.

Other Bible verses also indicate that we should know and be aware of God’s ways:

–  “But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me” (Jer. 9:24).

–  “Having made known to us the mystery of His will” (Eph. 1:9).

–  “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).

–  “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).

If we don’t read and study the Bible, we won’t know what God’s will is. We can make the mistake of voicing our own opinion out of our lack of study, and mislead people with inaccurate information. Of course, we cannot know all things but for the most part, God’s Word declares to us His ways and His will.

Bill Wiese is the author of New York Times best selling book, “23 Minutes In Hell,” the story of his life-changing visit to hell in 1998. Bill has since authored six additional book titles, and continues to share his experience around the world. He and his wife Annette founded Soul Choice Ministries in late 2006 and have dedicated their lives to reaching the unsaved.  For more information about Bill Wiese and Soul Choice Ministries please visit us at: https://soulchoiceministries.org/. You can find more of Bill’s teachings at: https://www.youtube.com/user/BillWieseTV.

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