Romans 14:17-18 (NLT) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.
Are you living a life of goodness, peace and joy in the Lord? The Holy Inhabitation of His Spirit allows us to live in the midst of these three qualities each and every day regardless of our present circumstances, momentary troubles or even a completely broken heart. The most tragic night of my entire life although my mind perplexed, spirit crushed, soul devastated and heart completely broken, laughter could be heard resonating from our son’s hospital room as within a brief moment the Lord turned our sorrow into joy. The road to remission would be long with many peaks and valleys but in that moment of turning to God for healing, strength and power – He delivered. He always delivers to those who come to receive. When we serve Christ with an attitude that whatever I do, let it be pleasing to you Lord – it is at that moment, His Goodness reaches us. It doesn’t mean everything changes or we are delivered from our problem but when the Peace of God takes over it really doesn’t matter.
God’s Goodness is His Will for our life. If that “good thing” in your life causing you discomfort, discontent, discord or even distracting you is not good then it is not God. We must learn to differentiate from worldly goodness that always comes with a compromise or substitution and God’s Goodness that is His Glory. God is perfect. His Love complete. There is nothing for us to add to God’s Complete Perfection but to put our whole life in His Presence and strive to remain there. As believers, if we can learn to live a life of goodness, peace and joy in the Spirit than others will approve. Not only will they approve, they will seek Him, too.
Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT) Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
My grandmother was a wonderful cook. My favorite thing that she made was her melt-in-your-mouth pot roast with mashed potatoes and green beans. When I had a family of my own, I wanted to make the same pot roast for them. Gram’s recipe didn’t require any fancy spices or secret recipes, but it did require one thing I never seemed to have enough of. Time. Each epicurean failure, I would call Gram to consult her expertise. Every time she would tell me the exact same thing. You don’t have patience. See the roast required cooking low and slow all day. Who has time to tend a pot on the stove all day? Not me. Well, the result is until I made the time to cook a roast all day – we ate tough meat. There is a lesson to be learned in this – I promise.
God’s Goodness is not for a moment – it is for a lifetime. Faith in the Lord requires faith in His Timing. I still am not great at it but have learned to identify my weakness and try continually to be patient. I can now cook a pot roast because I am willing to wait the many hours it takes to cook away the toughness, melt the fat and let the flavors come out of the meat. It is a process and time is an element that cannot be overlooked.
Psalm 27:13 is such a great and awesome promise for those who love the Lord. I am confident that I will see Lord’s Goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Faith takes our confidence in forever moving it to the here and now. We futuristically look forward to Heaven and living in the Presence of God forever, but faith makes it possible now while we live on the earth with all its problems and impossibilities. Yes, hope is assurance of what we cannot see but by faith His Goodness becomes available right here and right now. We don’t have to settle for less. We are not called to compromise. Avoid cheap substitutions.
Genesis 1:31; 2:1-2 (NLT) Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.
When God completed creation, He looked over all that He made and saw that it was “very good.” So on the seventh day, the Lord rested from all of His Work because it was finished. We all know that it did not take long for mankind to mess up the good thing God had created. Sin entered the world. Humanity now were slaves to sin and needed a Savior. When Jesus came and died on the Cross, He also declared that “it is finished!”
John 19:30 (NLT) When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The Father and the Son have both finished their work and it is very good. Now it is up to you and I to become vessels of God’s Goodness and learn to live in it. When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He released His Spirit. His Goodness. His Glory was now free to come live in us and free us from slavery to sin. Now we could return to the Father and live in His Love. God’s Glory is His Goodness. (Exodus 33:18-19) How do I get God’s Goodness in my life? It really is not so much as difficult as it is a decision. God has set us up to live in His Glory and Goodness before we were born, through our natural life, and forevermore. But…
Nehemiah 9:34-37 (NLT) Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors did not obey your Law or listen to the warnings in your commands and laws. Even while they had their own kingdom, they did not serve you, though you showered your goodness on them. You gave them a large, fertile land, but they refused to turn from their wickedness. So now today we are slaves in the land of plenty that you gave our ancestors for their enjoyment! We are slaves here in this good land. The lush produce of this land piles up in the hands of the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They have power over us and our livestock. We serve them at their pleasure, and we are in great misery.
These verses in Nehemiah paint a clear picture of where humanity is today. We were given a perfect life in a perfect world with a perfect God. We chose something else. Nobody forced us into sin, it was simply offered and Eve quickly obliged. Everything went downhill from there. Even after Jesus came to release us from the debt of sin and open the windows of Heaven for us, we still choose lesser things on a regular basis so much so that most refuse to trust and wait on the Lord beyond the first fifteen minutes of faith. However many times do we pray and when the Lord does not immediately and miraculously move in our life, we give up and settle for less.
We are slaves in the land of plenty that God created for our enjoyment. We are slaves here in this good land. We serve this life and world because of our sins living in bondage to disobedience and rebellion of God’s Word and His Way wondering where God is and why He won’t come? God already finished His Word and Jesus, too. The rest is up to us. If my life doesn’t measure up to God’s Glorious Standard – it is up to me to find it. Repentance is the beginning. Determination to know the Lord and commitment to His Word is next. (Hebrews 6:4-5) Followed by an introduction and partnership with the Holy Spirit who produces God’s Goodness in our life is essential. (Galatians 5:22-23) Finally those who engage is such a lifestyle of careful obedience will be patient and wait on the Lord confident that they will see His Goodness in the land of the living – or present day. (Psalm 27:13) Why? Why wait? Lord, why not now?
Romans 8:28-30 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
The good things that God has planned for us include past, present and future. He cannot just give you what is left after sin eats away and erodes the goodness that God had planned for us. No, the Lord causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him. He is getting things in order. Every detail must be in place. Every prescribed blessing is perfect and requires God’s Seal of Approval. You cannot rush the Lord. Too many times our unwillingness to wait causes our blessing to be left incomplete. When we are not satisfied – it is easy to blame somebody else even the Lord. The Lord only wants His Best for our life according to His Glory. If we don’t look good – He don’t look good!
James 1:17-18 (NLT) Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Whatever is good and perfect in our life is from God. I find that when I am not looking at the Lord or living according to His Standard, it seems I cannot find satisfaction in any area of my life. I lack in patience, love, joy, peace and contentment. I just want more of everything and seldom seem to notice that I am blessed. It is when I decide that I want to see the goodness of God now rather than settling for something else that He opens the windows of Heaven and begins to pour out His Blessing. I have a good life. I can have a God life if I just turn around (repent) regularly and allowing His Goodness and Unfailing Love to catch and flood my life with His Glory over and over again.
Psalm 63:1-3 (NLT) O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
God established a glorious standard of living for us from the beginning. He even called it very good. Sin stripped us of that glorious standard creating hardship, sickness and turmoil. (Romans 3:23) God’s Standards were not created to enable us but to supernaturally bless us and complete our life with the good things that He has already provided for us. When we repent of our sin, and decide to change our attitude to that of Christ, we will begin to earnestly search for the Lord. His Spirit will become active in our life turning worry into peace, doubt into belief, stress into satisfaction and we will live with the Mind of Christ saturated in the Presence of God. There is where we find God’s Unfailing Love that is better than life. We can live this life in His Goodness for His Glory in that moment. Are you weary today? Come find rest in the Lord. Are you dry, thirsty and discontent with your life? He will fill your life with His Goodness and Unfailing Love saturating your soul and permeating your life making all things new. God is good. Life with the Lord is good. He has given us good things that only grace will allow. If your life is not good, it’s not God! He has done everything He can to get His Glory to you. Just turn around and step in it. His Love truly is better than life. God is good. All the time God is good.
I Peter 2:9 (NLT) But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.