God is not only our Savior, but also our Great Shepherd. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” is famously recited by almost all. We know Him to be our shepherd holistically, however. Most believe that He leads, guides and watches over us, the whole person.
But how does God actually shepherd us? Is it not through our thoughts proceeding from our minds? For example, the act of going to the store begins as a thought. “We are out of milk. Better go get some.” Spurred by this thought, we get up, grab the keys, jump in the car, drive to the store and buy the milk. Where we go begins with a thought. Where we go as the sheep of His pasture begins with a thought, also. It will be either one of our thoughts or one of His thoughts.
The scriptures have much to say spiritually about the mind and its thoughts. In fact, we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rom. 12: 2). Our minds in the Christian walk are to be renewed. This is how we are changed into His image. And we must make no mistake here. We are to be changed so much in our spiritual growth, that eventually we are to become like our Savior. “We all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…by the Spirit…” (II Cor. 3: 18 NKJV).
Christ is to be formed in us (Gal. 4: 19). That is God’s thought on the matter. If we don’t believe that this is possible, then we must bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10: 5).
“We are led by our thoughts,” goes the old true adage. Man thinks a lot, and most men cherish their own thoughts. Yet God says, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts,” and God will forgive him (Isa. 55: 7). Here we see that thoughts lead to the way a person will go. Thoughts dictate the path traveled.
Consequently, we are to forsake our thoughts, for God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways (55: 8).
What then are His thoughts? What is God thinking about? His thoughts are contained in the “mind of Christ,” which we are to have (Phil. 2: 5; 1 Cor. 2: 16). But does His mind and thoughts just come willy-nilly, by just “trusting in the Lord”? No. His mind will come through studying His thoughts, which are the contents of the mind of God.
There it is. So, what is keeping us from receiving the mind of Christ, and along with it His power? It is the old leaven that Christ and His apostles warned us of. We are told to “purge out the old leaven, that the lump may be holy.” But few will do this. Most won’t even look up “old leaven” in the concordance to see what it is. Those that do will see that it is the false teachings about Christ and His gospel. But most Christians do not believe that they have any erroneous concepts to be repented of. And so they go on, stunted in their spiritual growth. Their thoughts about
Christ are, well, their thoughts, and not God’s thoughts. We all must get rid of the false doctrines about Christ and then begin to believe the true knowledge of His thoughts.
How does one know which teacher to trust, which evangelist to believe? God will lead to the fountain of truth the sheep who cry and cry for the living waters.
And what are the living waters but His thoughts. He says as much in the remainder of Isaiah 55. His thoughts are “higher” than human thinking (v. 9). Man thinks shallow and self-centered thoughts, small thoughts, wasted thoughts that are unremembered specks of dust in the vaults of time. But God’s thoughts traverse mountains and valleys, crossing all borders as the rain from heaven caresses the earth, and makes it “bring forth and bud [giving] seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” So is His word, born of His thoughts toward us the sheep of His pasture.
These poetically prophetic thoughts speak of Christ’s kingdom age, a thousand years of peace ruled by the Prince of Peace and God’s sons and daughters. As the whole earth and all of its tribes and nations “break into singing” as they think the King’s thoughts, contemplating His merciful ways to all on earth. Everyone shall rejoice that His thoughts will have come to full fruition (55: 9-13).
His thoughts are His gospel, and there is only one gospel, which is His literal kingdom soon to fill the whole earth! This is what an exiled King thinks on! We must corral and expel every thought that is not in agreement with His thoughts and vision. Those who do will have a wonderful future with Him right here on earth in His kingdom (Mark 1: 14).
As we keep on thinking His thoughts, eventually they become our very own thoughts. This is how He shepherds us into His greener pastures. Kenneth Wayne Hancock