April 24, 2022

Christians do not love God (2)

Stephen Akinola

Eliphaz counsels: “If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God.” (Job 22:24-26).

God expects to be the desire of our hearts. The bible calls Him: “The Desire of All Nations.” (Haggai 2:7). He expects us to delight in Him the way a baby delights in its mother.

The goodness of God is not amenable to the riches of men. The psalmist says: “You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.” (Psalm 68:10). A man can be as poor as a church rat, nevertheless, he is content because he appreciates the goodness of God.

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” (Psalm 23:14).

I proved this scripture early in my relationship with God. I trembled at His word, and He made a covenant with me. He said: “Femi, whosoever you touch and pray for I will heal.” He then validated this with outstanding miracles.

This covenant is now the bedrock of my ministry which God named “Healing Wings.” Thus says the Lord: “Unto you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” (Malachi 4:2).

“The goodness of God is laid up for those who fear God.” (Psalm 31:19). Moses feared the Lord. He yearned for God and desired to see the glory of God. In reply, God said to him: “I will make all My goodness pass before you.” (Exodus 33:19).

The psalmist reiterates this: “Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4).

The question is this: Are Christians satisfied with the goodness of God? If we were, we would not complain about anything at all. We would not mumble and grumble in adverse situations and circumstances.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob: “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14).

How many of us have received this water from the Lord? For this reason, we are not satisfied with what we have. We are still thirsting for the world and for the things of the world. We are oblivious to the fact that: “(God) satisfies the longing soul; and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9).

Jeremiah says lovers of God are satisfied with the goodness of God. (Jeremiah 31:14). But Christians are not satisfied with goodness. David says those who love God rejoice always in His goodness. (2 Chronicles 6:41). But instead, we long and lust for things that can never satisfy us. (Ecclesiastes 6:3).

Bastardization of goodness
Jesus says: “No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17).
However, we say all kinds of things are good, so much so that we bastardize the meaning of goodness. We meet someone and say, “He is good.” We have a meal and say it is good. We read a book and say it is good.

We describe as good all sorts of things that are imperfect and then we say in the same breath, “God is good.” So doing, we lose the distinction between God’s unique goodness and the people and things we call good.

David says to God: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11).

Where are these pleasures, we wonder? God’s goodness is evident everywhere. It is evident in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. David says to God: “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:15-16).

Experiencing God
There is nobody alive who has not experienced the lavish, extravagant, and undeserved kindness of God. We experience this every single day irrespective of our station in life. “The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” (Psalm 145:9).
Therefore, David says: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34). “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).

God has already shown His goodness toward us in the most extravagant way possible by offering up His only begotten Son, Jesus, for us. (Romans 8:32). Nevertheless, we only pay lip service to God’s goodness, we do not fully believe in it.

We say: “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good, while often complaining at the same time about the hand that God’s providence deals us. But if God is truly good all the time, why would we complain?

Is God good?
The truth is that we do not appreciate the goodness of God, even though we often talk about it. We chant at the end of every prayer meeting: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6).

Nevertheless, we question God’s goodness when bad things happen to us? However, God’s goodness is not rooted in our situations and circumstances. God does not change. “His goodness endures continually.” (Psalm 52:1). “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:5).

Sometimes his goodness comes to us through adversity, suffering, and pain. Thus, God required Job to continue to have faith in His goodness even though He allowed the devil to unleash bad things on him.

Goodness is the nature of God. It is not in man. David admits this to God: “My goodness is nothing apart from You.” (Psalm 16:2). But when we delight in God, He meets us with the blessings of goodness, he sets a spiritual crown of pure gold on our heads. (Psalm 21:3).

The goodness of God is part of our inheritance in Christ. Jesus prayed to God the Father that we should experience the fullness of God’s goodness, and that the joy of the Lord should be fulfilled in us. (John 17:13). Accordingly, goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God who has been given to us. (Galatians 5:22

Therefore, we must rejoice in God always. He must be our joy and our delight:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).