As I pondered the content of  two blogs in the Out of Phase Blog Series, #23 Transactions and #24 Formula, I asked myself “What is the root cause of these thoughts?” In that question I found the answer: thoughts.

Our thoughts can so easily knock us out of phase. They can concoct wild ideas of almost uncertain realities (I recently heard someone say that only nine percent of things we worry about come to pass), they can make us suspicious of God and others, they can breed frustration, resentment, anxiety, and false-guilt, they can puff us up with pride or tear us down with shame, and they can trap us in a prison that appears so secure we won’t even try to push open its unlocked door.

Our thoughts will lead us to seek out formulas and work find suitable transactions to earn our comfort, our care, or our very salvation. But our thoughts can also distract us in another, perhaps even more harmful way: we can try to make sense of God, of His call, of His ways.

This is why scripture tells us:

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

The prophet Isaiah also wrote:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “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

I have experienced in my own life and have observed in the lives of others times when our greatest obstacle is found directly between our ears.

We are so prone to try to go it alone, to figure it out, to power through whatever struggle, obstacle, or demon we face, ignoring God as He whispers to our stubborn heart “trust Me, follow Me, abide in Me.”

All the while our fears are fueled by our thoughts: what if we take a step of faith and God doesn’t catch us? What if this faith thing isn’t real? What if I’m not good enough for God? … and on and on and on. But fear isn’t the only thing to fuel our deceptive and destructive thoughts—reason can do the same. Our desire to figure things out and make sense of our situation can also knock our thoughts out of phase.

This is precisely why it is important to remember the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9. When we strive to figure God out, when we need to know the outcome before we take the step we are removing the element of faith and to ultimately elevate ourselves to a position where we are intellectually equal or above the God who created everything that exists, every microbe and every giant star.

If you find yourself there don’t beat yourself up. I have not written this to stir up guilt but rather inspire freedom through faith. Honestly, we all have been there. Our thoughts can keep us completely away from God or they can distract His followers from living in the fullness that is found only in trusting Him.

I have seen this in my own life. God’s ways certainly are not my ways. But when I have given in and trusted Him, without fail I have found these things to be true: He is always faithful to make a way and His way is so much better than our way would ever be. So take that step, follow His whisper, and as scripture says you will taste and see.

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