January 6, 2010

To Live is Christ — means conforming to God’s will

As an observer of people, the most common trait that I see is an insatiable “I want what I want when I want it” attitude. From the driver of a car who thinks every other car and driver is in his way, to a woman in a wheel chair barking at people to move out of her way, “me first and me now” generally describes human nature.

The passage that I am reading says otherwise about God. The clue is in two words repeated in these verses.
The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 30:9–10)
God does things for good, and this word has a rich meaning. One of my commentaries says that ‘good’ in Scripture is not an abstract quality, nor is it a secular human ideal. Instead, ‘good’ first and foremost describes what God is; He is good. Then it describes what He creates, commands, does and gives. Finally, good is used to say what He approves in the lives of His people.

The Bible does not give this attribute to God in terms of a prior concept of goodness. Rather, they contemplated the supreme glory of His  perfections and applied to Him this ordinary word to acknowledge His worth. This application gives ‘good’ a greater depth of meaning in that ‘good’ is defined in terms of God, not vice versa.

When it comes to us, people are ‘good’ only as we conform to the will of God. The biblical opposite of good is evil, thus ‘good’ is a moral term.

How is this practical? Big time. I want the things that I do to be useful, helpful, important, valuable, but if they do not conform to the will of God, they are not good, but the opposite. While this opposite can be measured in varying degrees, evil is evil. Doing things outside of the will of God means that I could am harming myself and others.

Yesterday, I was thinking how total commitment to God yields unlimited results. Today I am thinking that total success is not about pleasing myself, nor even others necessarily, but about doing the will of God and pleasing Him. Then He will bless what I do for good and rejoice over me for good. How cool is that!

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