"What are you learning right now about the ways of God?"
This question came to me this morning as I mulled over a passage of Scripture in James 3:13 - 18. I was struck with how James compared knowing wisdom with knowing the ways of God. "If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom (James 3:13)." It's like being wise and understanding God's ways are one in the same.
One of the most important things we need to attend to in our lives is noticing the ways of God. How does God interact with us and others? How does God accomplish his work in the world? How does God engage me and transform me? If we are to respond and cooperate with the ways and work of God in our lives, then we need to notice his ways.
Often I hear people describe God and his ways very differently from how I observe God working in my life and the world around me. They describe God as someone with heavy-handed, iron-clad power and control; someone who always gets his way. They use big words life "omnipotent" and "sovereign" to describe a kingly God who demands and commands subservience. I experience God very differently. I notice God working in much subtler ways with a much more humble demeanor.
If knowing wisdom is synonymous with knowing God's ways, then here's a description from James 3:17, 18 of the way we can look for God to interact with us and accomplish his purposes. See if it describes what you are learning about the ways of God.
God's ways are pure.
God's ways are peace loving.
God's ways are gentle at all times.
God's ways are willing to yield to others.
God's ways are full of mercy and good deeds.
God's ways show no favoritism.
God's ways are always sincere.
As you reflect on this description, how is God involved in your life right now? How is he inviting you to respond?