By Stephen Leonard
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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.” Isaiah 55:8-9
With an easy analogy, you can see the truth and reality of these verses. Consider your experience of viewing the earth from the vantage point of being on the top of a mountain. Or, even better, going up in a plane and flying over your home and its surrounding city and landscape.
Going across Kansas by car, you can see for miles across flat, unobstructed farmlands, but driving through Georgia, you travel through a veritable canyon of pine trees and can see only 25 yards or less to the forest of trees lining the highway.
In Vietnam, as I fought in her thick jungles, you could only see clearly for a few feet, but once being hoisted into the sky by a helicopter, you could get an immediate perspective of the environs in which you fought. The clearer perspective of height is amazing in transforming your vision to see above the obstacles of sight from ground level.
So it is with these verses which speak to so much more than the physical obstacles to clearer sight. These verses also speak of the spiritual vision of thoughts and truth to which there are the numerous opaque obstacles of sin, falsehoods, and the finiteness of creatures, over against the infinity of the Creator. We need the great “height” of the Creator to see more clearly in the jungle of our world.
Your perspective is marred by your sin and the limitations of your humanity. You do not even see God correctly. We so often discount the omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of God. We have not experienced any of these characteristics ourselves, so we see them through cloudy spectacles. They really are beyond even our imaginations.
But that does not mean we may ignore them. Rather we absolutely must seek to increase our knowledge of God through observing His creation with objective eyes of awe with worship for their Maker, and especially through searching out and studying His Word, particularly as it describes Him to us. This will cause you to hang on to His Word and His perspective rather than your own thoughts. You have to be convinced His ways and thoughts are far higher than yours, and hence hunger for them so much more than your own.
Seeing God is all important to your seeing His world and those in it; to seeing truth and the implications of it; to seeing His thoughts rather than yours or other men’s or women’s thoughts as higher or truer than His. Where is the focus of your eyes? Who is the focus of your thoughts? Whose ways are precious to you?
Go to His mountain and stand on it. View His world from His perspective, because you see it from His mountain. What does your world look like from Mt. Moriah, the Mount of Olives, or Mount Calvary? How do you fully keep your eyes on Jesus and not the world?
We have a proclivity to hew to our own perspective, to defend it to the nth degree. But come quickly to accept this truth: that His thoughts, His ways, and His sight is the only one you can trust. Depend on it and find Him out above all else!
“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart: naught be all else to me, save that thou art—thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.”
(1st verse of St. Patrick’s poetry in Ancient Irish poem, “Be Thou My Vision,” ca. 8th century)