Upside Down Living

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

One of my daughters all time favorite books growing up was Amelia Bedelia. If you’re not familiar with this children’s story, it’s about a maid named Amelia Bedelia who lives in Cameroon, North Africa.  Amelia has a slightly “different way” of doing things.  Amelia’s new employers would leave her a list of duties to perform while they would go off to work.  Amelia (who was well intentioned) would take the orders quite literally and do things in quite extraordinary way and it would always end with quite a comical result.

Some examples of her actions would be: If she was told to dust the furniture  she would literally go get dusting powder and put dusting powder all over the furniture . If Amelia was told to put out the lights, she would unscrew all the lights from their sockets and hang them all outside.  Another one I vividly remember is she was told to change-up the bathroom towels. So Amelia Bedelia went, got a pair of scissors and made some grand designs in their lovely bathroom towels. I always remember laughing wildly with my kids every time we would read Amelia’s crazy actions.

When I think of how I used to view God and how God has shown himself to me in my life, I would have to say that I have had quite an Amelia Bedelia experience.  God had to un-due many of my misconceptions of who he is and how he works because God’s means are a bit “different” from the worlds.  Sometimes when we grow up in a “religious” environment, we are given pictures in our head of what God is like and how things should be done. But as we begin to know God personally and understand his character, we discover that God works quite differently than how we would expect he would or should act.

It’s same as in Amelia Bedelia’s story like I said, God had to un-due some of my traditional thinking patterns about who is so that he could show me that there is another way, which is “His” (God’s) way of doing things. God’s way of doing things is usually quite upside down from how the world views things.  Meaning that it is not the way we would think someone who “created the universe” would work.  As we begin to seek God and walk in His way, we discover that His way is so much more amazing and incomprehensible than we could ever have imagined.

Like the Pharisees in the bible who were so steeped in their religious rules and traditions that they were unable to see Jesus the Savior of the world standing right there in their midst.  What they were expecting the coming Messiah would look like in their minds and what he was actually like did not line up. They saw a lowly carpenter who was born in a stable, who ate and drank with sinners and who did not follow the rules of the day, and therefore the Pharisees refused to believe in him and were blinded by their own thinking.  Their minds kept them from believing in faith. To them Jesus was a radical and non-conformist and therefore he couldn’t be the Messiah.

Jesus Christ breaks the mold of religious thinking. He is God and is not a stereotype of what we think he should look or act like. That’s why it says in the bible that we must come to him in childlike faith.  The act of believing in Jesus and who he is, is an act of pure faith.  Our humans minds cannot comprehend the wonders of such an amazing God.  When Jesus tells us to, Love our enemies, Pray for those who persecute you, Forgive 7 x 70 times, or if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn him the other.  All these actions in and of themselves sound crazy to the natural human way.  Our flesh wants revenge when we are treated unfairly, but God’s way is not mans way. His ways are so much higher than ours. His thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

We cannot do the things God asks of us in an of ourselves.  Only when we come to Christ in faith, we are reconciled to Him and we are given his spirit. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us that God begins to mold and transform our lives.  He gives us the power to turn our ordinary thinking patterns into his thinking patterns.  This doesn’t happen overnight, it is a journey.  God is the business of extreme make-overs. He LITERALLY wants to give us a new way of thinking and God wants to use us and our lives to further his kingdom here and now.  And it’s only when we fully submit ourselves to his purposes will he transform our lives and infuse us with his upside down thinking that has the power to help change the world for the Glory of God.

 …the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  John 14:17

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

You are a result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human heart. 2 Corinthians 3:3

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