I want to share with you something that God is teaching me about His goodness. I don’t dream much, but I had a dream last night and I remember it as clear as day. It was terrible. I rarely think about dreams as being reliable to teach spiritual lessons [God’s Word is the gold standard and has more content than I could learn in several lifetimes]. But this dream was very thought provoking because it revealed a riveting truth about how I tend to treat God. As most of you know, these devotionals aren’t based on me looking in your window to sort your life; but rather God looking in mine. As He sorts me, I share what He’s doing because I figure most of you are struggling with many of the same problems I am. So…my dream:
I flew to South Korea to see my son who is stationed at Camp Humphreys. For a reason I couldn’t fathom, everyone from our family was there as well. [You know how strange dreams are.]
One evening I couldn’t figure out where everyone had gone, so I went back to my son’s house and went to bed. The home was strangely empty. The next morning, I found out my son had thrown a huge birthday party for himself (three months early) and—I had not been invited. And get this—I found out from a lady who had been invited—who wasn’t even a close friend of the family! In fact, this person was someone who had actually been unkind and demeaning to my son. She said to me in a snarky tone, “Well I wonder why he didn’t invite YOU?”
Well, of course, I was very hurt. I kept thinking, “Why wouldn’t my son invite me to such a special birthday party—after all, I did give BIRTH to him?” I mused, “Why would he invite this person that has been so ugly to him but not his mother who loved him and sacrificed for him for so many years?” In my dream, I camped-out on my hurt-feeling mantra for a while and of course—I woke up feeling horrible.
Then—I was overjoyed—to learn it was only a dream. I was going to write the whole thing off as silly but as I began having my morning time with God, I had a thought:
Isn’t this what I often do to God when times are good in my life; that is, I don’t invite Him to the party?
Oh, wow! You see, when we love someone and we sacrifice for them during the hard times, it’s a blessing to be included in the good times, right? I mean, we kind of EXPECT to be invited to the party, right!
Well, there is no one who gives us more good—than God.
But during the good times—when we THINK we don’t need Him—we often drift away from His presence (at least that’s my tendency). The goodness I have shown to my children can never compare to the goodness that God has shown to me; but the sacrificial mother/child relationship gives me some of His perspective. The pain in my dream was real and if that scenario had happened in real life, it would have been very hurtful. I don’t want to do anything to hurt my relationship with my good, good Father—do you??? Therefore, I must build better habits in my relationship with Him. I must learn to appreciate God’s goodness. God reminded me of one simple way to do this:
Giving thanks opens our mind to the vast measure of God’s goodness!
When we have a thankful mindset towards God, we wouldn’t dream of not inviting Him to the party because we know where ALL of our goodness comes from. The Psalmist praised God for His goodness and recited all the works God had done for Israel. God has not changed. Indeed, God has done—and continues to do—great works for ALL of us! Just think about what would happen if God withheld His goodness in any of the following areas cited by the Psalmist:
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
To Him who alone does great wonders, for His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, for His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, for His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights, for His mercy endures forever.
Who gives food to all flesh, for His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.”Psalms 136:1, 4-9, 25-26 NKJV
Can we imagine life without the atmosphere, water, light, or food??? My friend, God does more for us on a daily basis than we can comprehend. God does more for us than we can even imagine doing for anyone else (even our children). Charles Spurgeon, in his commentary about Psalms 136, wrote:
“He is good beyond all others; indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people.”
My friend, our entire concept of the existence of “good” comes from the fact that we are created in the image of God, who is “good.” But because of sin, our knowledge of His goodness is corrupted; thus, we think we can find a better “goodness” apart from God.
We cannot find true, lasting joy—in any kind of sin!!!
If we believe God’s Word, then we know that sin caused—and is still causing—all of the misery in the world. Sin causes death to everything we love; Jesus gives life. That’s what happened in the Garden of Eden when Eve chose the “goodness” of the forbidden fruit over the goodness of living in obedience to God. We are no different. We question whether GOD is good based upon our own standard of good and evil. Then, when we choose our own way instead of His way—we blame HIM for the consequences.
That’s also one reason we don’t invite Him to the party.
We want God’s goodness apart from God because then—we don’t have to conform to His righteous standard. But God consistently offers us so much good! However, we never learn to appreciate it or understand it unless we live in His presence. He must be invited to be present in every area of our life.
To have the best goodness God offers, we must change our way of thinking.
To change the way we think, we must learn to think according to the truth. To understand God’s goodness, we must know His truth. To know God and the fullness of His goodness, we must NOT allow ourselves to be deceived by our enemies’ definition of who He is! We must ask Him to help us see our flawed perspective of Him. He is faithful to reveal Himself to those who diligently seek Him. In fact, He rewards those who use their gift of supernatural faith to passionately seek Him. He rewards us with the BEST goodness we can know: The gift of His presence!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.“Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
God is the SOURCE of all the good we enjoy so—yes, keep Him close in the bad times but also—invite Him to the party! He funds the party. He created the joy of the party. His presence makes the party better!
God is good; He created good; and His presence makes everything better—invite Him to the party!
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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