Psalm 84:10-11 (NIV)
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
God is always good. Do you believe this statement? With all the traumas and tragedies in the world is it possible to say with absolute faith and conviction that God is always good? It is difficult in our human minds to understand the Sovereignty of God which is full of goodness so pure that it cannot allow injustice to continue or prevail. Yet, He is a God of His Word. The assault on innocent lives and attack of good people make one question the Goodness of our Creator and Great Overseer of all that is and will be. The Truth is that God is good. He is always good. He is not a man. Therefore, He doesn’t lie or change His Mind about us like other people do. He chose us before time to be His Children. He prescribed His Love, Grace, Mercy and even Goodness as God wrote down every moment of our life before drawing a single breath. God is always good.
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk blamelessly. It’s what the Word of God says, but who is blameless. So that’s it, God is punishing me for my sin. No. A “blameless” life is not sinless life but one that is covered in the Blood of Jesus. A life that is surrendered to Jesus making Him Lord which calls for a retreat from darkness and into the Light of His Love. It means that we no longer entertain sin but the very presence of the Living God. The prodigal son did not have to leave the comfort of his home and the lifestyle maintained there. He chose to. His father gave him the inheritance put away for him, and he went his own way. During that time, he squandered it all until finally he was eating with the pigs that he fed to survive. I am quite sure that there was still a chair at his father’s table awaiting his return, but the man could not have all that was there for him in his father’s home until he decided to return. This is how God’s Goodness works in our life. God’s Goodness is always there for us to partake of and the moment that we enter His Courts, it becomes a reality. Like stepping out of the house into a gentle rain, God keeps pouring out His Goodness when we are ready to receive it.
Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Are you confident that God is good? Not sometimes, but all of the time. Do you believe that God makes good of every detail of our life? (Romans 8:28) Faith produces confidence in hope. The more that we trust the Lord, it increases the foundation of faith in our life. The moment of declaration that “I remain confident of this: I will see the Goodness of the Lord I the land of the living”, will change your life forever. It will post you in the position of receivership that allows God’s Goodness to become an abundance. The next verse is our struggle. I will “wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” We come down from the watchtower too quickly. When our faith is tired and hope seems lost rather than continuing to wait on the Lord, we amble down from our post. The Goodness of God did not end when you stopped believing, waiting and watching. You walked away. God remained constant in His Commitment of Goodness for us. He never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. We must become confident enough in God’s Goodness to wait on Him as long as it takes for His Plan and Purpose to prevail in us and through us.
Psalm 23:1&6 (NIV)
(Verse 1) The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
(Verse 6) Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is my Shepherd. John 10 goes into great detail of the Lord’s role as our Shepherd. The word “shepherd” is defined as one who protects, provides, guides and watches over a ground of sheep or more importantly in this case – people. He is the Good Shepherd. (John 10:11) His Sheep (or people) know His Voice and respond to it. (John 10:3-5) It would be safe to assume that in keeping with the concept from John 10 that if we identify Jesus as our Shepherd and follow Him that according to Psalm 23:1 – we will lack nothing. Are you following the Good Shepherd today or looking on from afar?
After going through the journey of life in Psalm 23, it all comes down to this – “Surely Your Goodness and Love will follow me all the days of my live AND I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.” The journey of life includes those times of stillness that God refreshes and rejuvenates our soul. He guides us down the “right” path which is a challenge for those like me who are easily distracted. Life is filled with peaks and valleys. The Lord has a rod that disciplines us and a staff that shows us the way. There will be opposition but there will always be a celebration of victory in the presence of our enemies. God’s Goodness is not reserved just for eternity. It is forever. Forever began the day that we are created and will never end. It includes today. To walk in the Goodness of God and His Unfailing Love is a daily choice to take up our Cross and follow Jesus as the Good Shepherd leads us to the Father’s House. It is in this place that the reality of God’s Goodness becomes commonplace in our life.
Psalm 143:10 (NIV)
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
It is not human nature to follow the Lord. We needed a helper and one was given to us. The Holy Spirit is invested in every man, woman and child who calls on the Name of Jesus to be saved. In making Jesus the Lord of our life, we surrender our flesh to the Holy Spirit so that we will become Children of God not just in word but deed as well. There is nothing good in us. We need good to be cultivated in us. The Holy Spirit has a distinct purpose to cultivate the fruit of God in us including God’s Goodness in us and for us. (Galatians 5:22) The Lord created us to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) His Spirit empowers us to do so. This good Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is who enables us to fulfill God’s Purpose and walk blameless in His Sight. (Philippians 2:13) This always us to experience the Goodness of God as it is intended for us to be continually flowing in us and through us.
Ephesians 5:8-14 (NIV)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
The point where the rubber meets the road is never comfortable as it creates friction that holds for better traction so is the Word of God when it comes to God’s Plan. It does not change or bend for our comfort or control. To have the Goodness of God requires a commitment to live in His Presence. To follow Jesus and walk with Him day by day. What if you don’t want to? Or don’t believe that there is a requirement on your life? That is your choice. You don’t have to believe everything in the Word of God to make it valid. The Truth stands alone. It is the standard of living that produces every good thing that God has for you and me. Freedom says that we can live any way that we choose. All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial. All things are permissible, but not all things are constructive. (I Corinthians 10:23)
Have nothing to do with “fruitless deeds of darkness”. To entertain sin or dwell in darkness inhibits the growth of the Fruit of the Spirit in our life…including God’s Goodness. The Goodness of God is intact – it is up to the person whether they will make the journey to have it. The Powerball was up to over 900 million dollars yesterday. I went to the store to grab some fruit for our Daniel Fast. I couldn’t believe how busy it was. I asked the cashier why all the people. He pointed to the Customer Service desk and the long line of people spiraling around the front of the store. They were standing in line to buy tickets. Guess what? Nobody won last night. We waste our time in this life waiting on possibility. Winning a huge prize like that will not change the person, it will only magnify who they already are. We will wait in line to buy a chance at a different life, but are given a brand new life full of God’s Goodness and Grace but grow impatient waiting for what is real, valid, true and certain. With God all things are possible. He is always good. We are not willing to follow Jesus or wait on God to have it. God is always good, but sometimes…many times we choose something less.
Nehemiah 9:34-37 (NIV)
Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep. Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways. But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.
Where is God’s Goodness in your life today? When I read these verses, a light bulb went off in my head and sadness gripped my heart for all the times I started off believing that God is good and waiting on the Lord to perfect that which concerned me (Psalm 38:8) but then got tired of waiting wandering off to do it myself. Your seed sown in life will always produce a harvest. Who eats it or profits from it is up to you. See God is faithful to do what His Word says that He would do but if you are not there to harvest what you have sown…someone else will. “Enjoying the great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.” What happened? They became slaves in their own land. I agree with Nehemiah. We are in great distress.
The Goodness of God for your life is perpetual. It is always there for you to partake of. Where are you today? The watchtower of waiting. The valley of decision. His Courts giving praise. It matters. It is time to take back what the enemy has stolen. It time to plow the hard and rocky ground of our heart and plant God’s Word there. It is time to invite His Spirit to cultivate the field and produce good fruit in our life. It is time to stop dining with pigs full of compromise and substitutions and head back home. The Father is waiting. He has been all along.
3 John 1:11 (NIV)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
God is always good. I have finally lived long enough to look back and see many example of when I thought God was silently inactive in my life to discover that He was doing a great work. He doesn’t need my help only my heartfelt participation by surrendering my life and following Jesus. I cannot have God’s Goodness to its fullest extent in this world. It is made complete and perfect lacking no good thing in His Presence. The more of my life that I move into His Presence, His House, His Refuge – the more of His Goodness that I will experience. It is the position of my heart, mind, soul, body and being that all His Goodness to reach me because in fact it is always there. I am the one who steps in and out of it.
It is human nature to want a better life. I believe it stems from the Eternity hidden in every beating heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” and then what? “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Have you lost your way? The Good Shepherd is calling. We must not conform to this world but be transformed beginning with the renewing our mind. We must become confident that God is always good convinced enough to never settle for anything less. Those who do will be able to test and approve what God’s Will is – His GOOD, Pleasing and Perfect Will.
How does one respond to a God who is always good? “What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.” (Psalm 116:12-14) God is always good! To experience His Goodness every day of this life requires only one thing – our life. To live in the Presence of God allows His Goodness to reach us every day and in every way. We will be complete lacking no good thing. It’s a sure thing for those who live a blameless life in the overflow of Christ’s Blood and filled with His Spirit committed to following the Good Shepherd all the way home.
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.