August 10, 2010

A Good Thing Which is Not a God Thing is a Bad Thing

Going through life as a Christ-follower, we do our best to discern if our decisions are God’s will before advancing. We apply scripture and godly guidance from fellow believers. Henry Blackaby’s book “Experiencing God” states that God also uses circumstances and resources (or a lack of resources) to direct our paths. So we plug along, praying continually, trusting doors and windows to open and close according to God’s providence in order to discover ourselves in the center of God’s will. We review the forks in the road of our past to glean wisdom about the nature of God, how He worked out His mysteries and brought glory to Himself. In hindsight, most of our circumstances appear crystal clear. Whether reality played out according to or contrary to our wishes at the time, it is obvious why everything occurred as it did; God revealed Himself and brought about the greatest good.

So what about the events that never make sense? Have you complained to God, “Why did you deny me that good thing? You promise everything to work together for good in my life Lord, but I don’t see it. Not in this case.”?

To be honest, I have done this and I don’t find it easy to quiet myself when God doesn’t reply. I pelt God with questions in my quest to hear, “You don’t know what was going on there. I saw more than you did. I said no because it was a bad thing disguised as a good thing.” If God replied this way, then I would close the door on the inquisition, but God doesn’t tell me what I am supposed to already know about His character. If God is good (Joel 2:13) and God works out all things together for my good (Romans 8:28), then what is there to question?

I must do better to remember that a good thing which is not a God thing is a bad thing.

It makes sense to depart from obvious evils which draw us away from God, but it’s hard to let go of things that present themselves as potential blessings.

What about the servant who is willing to devote his life to foreign missions, but God closes all doors? What about the woman who wants to have a child, but God closes her womb? What about the person willing to donate a kidney, but God declares, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price, I have not given you permission to dismantle that which I created.”?

There are a lot of good things which God in His grand purposes denies; not because they are sinful, but because they are not in sync with the unseen work He is orchestrating. God has the right to navigate our lives among good options just as much as He takes responsibility to lead us away from bad things. If we pursue something seemingly good because we can’t see the bad in it, even after God has told us to flee from it, then we are just as guilty of sin as if we had remained in a bad thing. If we extend to God our left hand when He asks for our right, then we insult God as much as if we had ignored His request entirely.

On its own, a decision does not qualify as being either "good" or "bad", but rather, it is God’s approval or disapproval which designates a choice as being either "good" or "bad".

Romans 7:7 says, "... I would not have known what sin was except through the law [the Bible]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."

There are good things (God things) or there are bad things (not God things); there are no other options. Either God approves of a path or God does not approve. If it is outside of God’s will, then it would be sinful to continue in it regardless of how good, selfless or generous it appears.

A good thing which is not a God thing is a bad thing.

No comments: