Understanding God's Ways Through His Word
God is not separate from what He does. Everything He does speaks of Him. His every action declares His name and nature. This means that we can look at our circumstances, both good and bad, and expect to see a deeper meaning within them:
What is God’s heart in this? What does this situation, or the remedy to this situation, reveal about the Father? What is God saying? What is He declaring about Himself?
Knowing God’s ways is the same as knowing God, and it is one step deeper than knowing “about” God. We need to know His ways so that we won’t be bowled over and crushed by circumstances that bring us pain.
We can do several things to expand our understanding of why God does what He does. In this article, I want to highlight two steps in particular: We can study His Word, and we can pray His Word.
Study His Word
I spend about an hour a day just studying the Bible. I do this seven days a week, 365 days a year.
To study God’s Word in depth, we don’t study it verse by verse alone, as if each piece were a separate entity. Yes, God can certainly speak through individual verses; however, when we study His Word in context, we begin to understand His ways and heart at a much deeper level.
To learn more of God’s ways, the very best place we can go is the narrative of the Old Testament. For example, as the Lamb of God, Jesus is portrayed in the sacrificial system found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. If we dig a little deeper, we can even find reference to Him in the Garden of Eden when God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s sin. The types and shadows displayed in the Old Testament are unfolded in the New Testament, and they show us God’s ways — why He does what He does.
Pray His Word
An excellent way for us to become more familiar with God’s mind and heart is to meditate while we pray.
For example, as I read the Word of God, I often read it in the way it would apply to me — that is, I pray His Word and put myself in it. This makes it much more personal to me, and it gives me a clearer picture of what God is doing:
- You are gracious and full of compassion toward me.
- You are slow to anger and great in mercy toward me.
- You are good to me.
- Your tender mercies are over me.
- You have redeemed me from the enemy’s hand.
- You deliver me out of my distresses.
Declarations such as these have a powerful impact on our ability to see God as He is — to know His ways.
Why Should We Know God’s Ways?
What is the purpose of your life’s journey? Are you trying just to make it to your next paycheck, or are you living with your eyes and ears open to the movement of God’s hand and the sound of His voice? Are you looking to see Him in your circumstances?
Life is all about God and His ways. As we begin to understand why He does what He does, this “journey” takes on new meaning. We begin to see our lives the way God sees them. More importantly, we begin to understand His heart, and as this occurs, we find ourselves experiencing the “life more abundant” that Jesus talks about.