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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - God's Ways vs. Man's Ways - Part 4

Creflo Dollar - God's Ways vs. Man's Ways - Part 4

Creflo Dollar - God's Ways vs. Man's Ways - Part 4

Isaiah 55, verse 8 through 9. We're gonna continue the series on "God's Way And Man's Ways". God's ways of doing versus man ways are doing. And we gotta make sure that we don't take man's ways of doing it and understand in a way that maybe God does it man's way. No, God has a way, his ways of doing it, and man has a way, his ways of doing it. Now, let's read this verses 8 through 9 together. Ready, read. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts".

Now I know he's given us his Word so in a sense, he gave us his Word so we can be calm, familiar with his ways. I mean, I wouldn't be able to teach this today if it wasn't for his Word. He's given us his Word so we can become familiar with his ways of doing things, and then hopefully yield to the Holy Spirit to help us to, you know, move into his way, getting an understanding of his ways of doing things, and not just be subject to man's ways of doing things. And so God's way under grace does everything apart from human merit, and when I use the word merit I'm talking about deserving praise or reward. So God's way under grace does everything apart from a human deserving praise or deserving reward. We have that somehow in our head that in God's system, you have to deserve his goodness.

You know, that God is good because you've been good. No, no, no, that's not God's way of doing things, God's not good because you've been good, God is good because God is good, because he does everything apart from human merit and thought of repayment. Everything he does is a apart from repayment, God's not repaying you because you did something to deserve to be repaid. God is not doing anything for you because you deserve praise or a reward. That's man's understanding and man's way, but not God. He cannot offer his blessing as an inducement. He cannot offer his blessing as, you know, influencing someone to do something. So God is not saying, "If you do this, then I offer you my blessings if you do this".

But religion teaches us that. Religion has taught us that you know, the reason why something turned out good is because you did something good and so you have to understand that God cannot offer his blessings as an inducement, he cannot offer his blessing as something that says, "You deserve the praise or you deserve the reward". So he doesn't do that and also he can't offer his judgment as a threat to encourage godly living. So neither does he come up and he says, "All right, you know, you gonna die of this disease if you don't start living godly". But man does. Man does it all the time, man goes to you and says, "You know what? If you don't start doing right, you're gonna end up dying".

Well, you know, I understand there's some stuff because there's abuse that you might be doing to your body or something like that, but you gotta understand that's not God's way. First of all, he is not nor will he offer his judgment as a threat to encourage godly living. Think about that, God's not threatening us to live godly. Some pulpits threaten you to live godly, God's not threatening you to live godly. You know, like for years people have said, "Well, you know what? If you don't give your tithe you're gonna be cursed with a curse". God's not ever gonna curse you in order for you to do something that he wants you to do, that's not him. That may be man's way, that may be man's understanding but that's not God's way. And it sounds weird even to say this publicly in a church because like myself, that's what we kinda understood.

We kinda you know, made us up subject to the threats of what God would do. God don't like ugly, so God's gonna threaten us to live godly, or if you really want God to do something good for you, then these gonna motivate you, you gotta do something good then his blessings will come. I don't think we understand the fact that God's not moved like man's moved. Once God makes his mind up to be good, he's good. How many of you remember, don't raise your hands, how many of you can recall God doing something good for you and you know you didn't deserve it? It might've been two hours ago you did something stupid and God turned around did something good and he blew your mind 'cause you're trying to figure out, "Now how he gonna do this after I just did that"? The goodness of the Lord will move you to repentance. The goodness of the Lord will move you to change your mind about something that you've done wrong, are you listening to me?

And so under grace, God first reminds us of what he has done in grace. Then on the basis of that he appeals for a life in harmony with that which he has done. So he first of all wants us to be reminded of what he has done in grace, what has been made available through his grace, and then he makes an appeal. Let me give you an illustration, Romans chapter 1:1. Excuse me, Romans chapter 12:1. I'm gonna get these scriptures right today. Romans 12:1. God wants you to know what he's done in grace. He wants you to know his work of grace and then he makes an appeal for you to live a certain way. All right, look at this verse 1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God," all right, by the mercies of God, mercy has been made available to you. That's the first thing He wants to make sure you understand, mercy is available to you. Mercy is the bad you deserve, you don't get. So he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God," mercies available. And then notice the appeal. "Present your body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service".

Now, here's what religion does. Religion says, "Present your body unto God. Present yourself, your body unto God, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God". You can't do that, the appeal without first of all letting people know that this is what he's made available to you. God will never ask you to do something without, first of all, providing the mercy and the grace necessary just in case you have a bad day. And you are not afraid to "present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God as your reasonable service," or worship unto God, because you know mercy is available. That changes the picture there. Mercy is available, praise God. Now, let's look at man's way for a moment. Man's ways are not God's ways. We know that, we just read that. In general, man clings to the idea that benefits always comes because of good conduct and losses come because of bad conduct.

So religion teaches us that good stuff comes because of good conduct, bad stuff comes because of bad conduct and you and I both know that you've had times where you had bad conduct and good things came. Does anybody know that? Some of y'all are like, "That ain't happened to me yet". It would blow my mind. I'm like, "I don't deserve this". He says, "That's called grace". That's called grace. But see, I'm bringing it on the practical level of where you live. I know it sounds strange in church because, you know, man's level says, "You got to be good in conduct in order for God to be good".

So what you're saying is, is that God's power is subject to my behavior. That's not true, God's power, in order for God to be good, he now needs me to be good in order for him to be good, you know, that ain't God. God don't need you to be... ain't nobody in that Bible being good enough to deserve God's goodness. Ain't nobody on the planet being good enough to deserve Jesus dying on a cross and going to the hell that we all should've went through, ain't nobody being good enough. It just ain't that much good in a man, glory be to God. But that's we think, you know, you got good conduct, then God's gonna be good to you. And if you have bad conduct, now here's the condemnation part, if you have bad conduct, then God gonna be bad to you and then God gets the blame for when you get sick.

And then you sit there and say, "Well, I deserve it. After all, I ain't been good". And you ain't got, your money been messed up. I deserve it, I ain't been giving. And look at that attitude and it brings this horror into our relationship with God, where like I said, it's that Santa Claus religion, you better watch out. Is that your relationship with God? You better watch out. You better not pout, you better be phony and smile. God watching you. He see you when you're sleepy. Oh no, he knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good. So watch this, here's the threat, so be good for goodness' sake, you know what he's saying? You better be good if you want goodness. You better watch out, watch out. That's not our relationship with God. I don't have a God where I gotta watch out for him, I got a God who's watching out over me, praise God. How you see God, how you comprehend God will determine how much faith you're gonna have in him.

In the Old Testament, I believe in the Kings, in the book of Kings somewhere, fire came from heaven and killed these men. Then in the New Testament, well, in the Gospels, one of the disciples said to Jesus, when they wouldn't let him stay in this place, told 'em move on. "Should we call fire down from heaven like Elijah did"? And Jesus rebuked them. So in one place, he said he allowed it and the other place he said, "We don't need to do that no more". See, that's what we're confusing, we're confusing the God who's the judge in the Old Testament, with the God who's the Father in the New Testament. You're still trying to live and see God as the judge and not understanding that Jesus became the judgment and he's judged everything as good through Jesus so now God can be the Father and love you with love that's unrestricted and unrestrained, and none of your crazy will ever stop him from loving you the way he wanna love you.

And he loves you now in spite of yourself. He loves you in spite of your sin, he loves you in spite of your shortcomings, he loves you in spite of whatever and is willing to do you good and make you happy. When he says, "The goodness of the Lord will bring a man to repentance," to repent means to change your mind. God's gonna use goodness, not horror, but goodness, to change your thinking. You're gonna change your mind about God. After a while, you're gonna realize, "Wait a minute, I know I'm not this, I know I'm not that," that doesn't mean you get comfortable in that because you're still responsible for how you respond to life situations, you know. But at least you change your mind enough to say, "I think I'm changing my mind about this". I want to do right, I want to stop doing this. What is he doing? He's working on your desire.

See, I'm finding out that church is not supposed to be the legalistic center for us to go and find out some more rules, for us to go home and try to do some more rules. We've been delivered from 613 of 'em and you're still trying to get some more. You always looking for some more. "No, we don't... how you gonna say that"? Well, listen to the questions you ask. "Is it all right for you to drink wine"? Look at the questions you ask because the Holy Spirit, and I'm way ahead of myself, but the Holy Spirit has been sent to lead and to guide you in this new and living way. But you keep saying, "We don't want the Holy Ghost to lead us, because that requires authentic relationship, that requires intimacy with him so you can hear him".

And the Holy Spirit is here to lead and guide you, but you want some more rules. And when you get mad at somebody, you pull a rule book out. You pull the rule book out. What if God told somebody to do something that you don't understand? What if God told somebody, "Hey, hey, I want you to start a ministry," or, "I want you to leave the church," and then you go dogging 'em out 'cause they left the church but God told them to do that. "Yeah, but the Bible says..." nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. You're trying to turn the New Testament into the Old Testament. I'm free, I can now say everything that's in my heart to say. God's trying to show you that when the Holy Spirit is involved in your transformation, you're gonna move from having to do something to wanting to do something.

Because in the New Testament, it's gonna be done by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit now is the administrator. He's gonna administrate what the law couldn't put on the inside of you, and "out of your belly shall flow rivers of," watch this, "living water," coming out of your belly. But you think it's just cool because you read the whole Bible, you memorized the whole New Testament, you know all the rules, all the regulations, and so now you're showing up to church as the spiritual po-po as you point fingers at, "That ain't right". The Bible say this, "That ain't right". What you don't understand, is that it is no longer by the letter, it is now by the Spirit which requires you to get to know the Spirit, to get to know the Holy Spirit.

It ain't gonna be good enough that you know all ten of the commandments. Think of that, you know, ten and there's 613, but you only learned ten, oh, you're brilliant. When you got born again, the spirit of grace moved on the inside of you. It's that third conscience. You got your conscious, your subconscious, and then you got your Holy Ghost conscious. And when he moved in, all your conscious parts had to yield to his consciousness and then he'll speak something translated to your subconscious, and it'll bring it to your real conscious and now you don't understand why you don't wanna smoke weed no more, it's just the taste has been taken out because of who you took in.

When you allow the Holy Spirit to come in, he begin to release his desire in you, changing your desire, and you can't figure it out, you just don't want that no more. You used to be a big lust pot. Every woman that went by, you lusted that woman and now all of a sudden you say, "She cute, but she's not cute enough for my salvation," praise the Lord. "Lord, what you want me to do"? This comes from an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Natural man always feels that he must contribute something to earn God's favor. Natural man, man's way, especially in religion, I got to contribute something so I can deserve and so I can earn God's favor. Isn't that contradicting what favor is? Favor is undeserved, and you're still trying to figure out a way to deserve.

Well, here are the ten ways to get the favor of God. Doesn't that... you see what we've been doing? If there's any way to get it, it ain't favor. Well, if you pray an hour a day you can get the favor of God. If you pray and fast you can get the favor of God. And this is what got me when I first understood that there's a difference in my way of living under the law and my way of living under grace. I said to just, you got to do something to get it. What is the thing I contribute to deserve it? And God said, "If you have to know anything that you have to do," and I said, "Yes, sir". He said, "Believe". Believe what? He said, "Believe in me". Well, what am I to believe? Believe in everything I've already done for you without none of your contribution. I think about the scripture, I think it's in one of the Gospels where Jesus said he prepared this table and he told 'em. He said, "Go out and compel them to come". And each one made an excuse. "Well, I can't come because of my wife". Another one said, "I can't come because I got oxen I gotta pick up 'cause they gotta do some plowing".

How many, excuses do you think was made today about just coming to church? I mean, or it ain't even that hard no more or just logging on. He said, "The table has been prepared, it's already been done". He said, "But none of them would come". So you know what he did? He says, "All right, I invited them to come, I didn't ask them to bring nothing, I just told 'em to come, everything is prepared on the table. They didn't have to bring, they didn't have to do nothing but bring themselves". He says, "But they would not come". He used the word, I believe in the King James, "Go and bid them to come," but they wouldn't come. And so he says, "All right, go to the highways then".

Oh my, we getting ready to do. Go to the highways and go to the byways, oh my goodness. And they showed up and tell them, "Everything's prepared. That when they show up, I'm gonna show out. They don't need, I already told 'em that I was gonna prepare a table before them in the presence of their friends, in the presence of their BFF, in the presence of people that like them". He says, "I'm going to prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies. And then surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life". You know what he's saying? He says, "I got a table ready, whatever you might go through, it's at the table. Whatever might be hurting, it's at the table. Whoever betrayed you, it's at the table. Whatever brokenness in your spirit, it's at the table. Just show up".
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