The Elders and Deacons (at Farmington Baptist) this past month studied a little bit about the providence of God and how it relates to Romans 8:28…
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that are called according to His purpose.”
The teaching is simple – God’s providence overrides All things in our lives and works All those things out for our good.
But there is a qualification – this is only true of those who “love Him” and are called (and living) His purpose for their lives.
This means that if you do not really love God and/or you have decided not to live the way He wants you to live, things do not turn out for good. But that’s a point for another time.
Today however the question is…
What is this good He speaks of?
Is it a day at the beach?
Is it money in the bank?
Is it success?
Is it some sort of pleasure?
No – not really.
God’s goodness is deeper than all of that. It’s a solidness that infiltrates the deepest parts of our soul. It’s a goodness that is a million miles better than what we think success is or pleasure.
It is deeper than excitement, much more than popularity, and it is more stable than “good experiences”. It is deeper because it is supernaturally produced by a providential God. It is better because it isn’t attached to our physical definition of good but is rooted in the extraordinary goodness of God. To say it is some sort of pleasure that makes me happy or some new relationship(s) where I now can thrive, is to exchange the good God wants you to have with the depraved good you can offer yourself on your own…
and when you live that way you miss out, because it shows that your love is for your own good and not His…
When we live this way we exchange His purpose for our lives – for our purpose. We exchange the love we should have for Him – for the love of self.
I have seen people in my life time (including sometimes when I have looked in the mirror in the morning). Make changes that they thought were good for their family, or for themselves but years later they came to realize those changes took them away from where God wanted them be – to the place they wanted to be. From a worldly standpoint there was success, there was excitement, therefore things were good. But as time passed things didn’t work out the way they thought they would. They were left with success and excitement that became very hollow in their souls.
We will always go astray when we work things out for good on our own. But if we just love God, an follow His purpose for our life His overriding providence will cause All things to work out for good in a much deeper and meaningful way that is far superior to what we think success is or pleasure is – for that matter.
So Love God – Follow Him – and stay away from doing goodness on your own.
Now – this isn’t exactly where I originally wanted this post to land. I was going to talk about how being stood up for lunch today (not that I’m upset at that person) actually worked out for good, because of the overruling providence of God.
But “maybe” God has overruled again…
and that’s good with me.