You are not defined by what other people do to you. You can only be defined by who God is for you. To walk in the Spirit is to be careful to maintain acts of goodness in our own lifestyle. It’s not an option. It’s the only viable expression of the Kingdom.
Goodness is both a breakthrough encounter and an ongoing lifestyle. Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. The power of God’s goodness was so legendary towards his people that all of the nations around Israel would revere it and worship Him. The enemies would tremble because they knew they could not overcome the goodness of God to Israel. They knew that Israel was highly favored. They knew they couldn’t beat them in a fight. The goodness of God on their side was so powerful that it made them unbeatable. The surrounding nations trembled.
In the book of Acts, nobody was neutral about the early disciples in the church. These guys were rocking their neighborhoods with the goodness of God. No one was safe. Goodness has always been ever-present in all that God is and does. It’s one of the fruits of the spirit and it is also the fruit of light in our lives Ephesians 5:29. Goodness is the fruit of light. God wants you to live in such incomparable goodness that it changes everyone you come into connection with. Goodness creates a radiance of Christ that affects people. Goodness, therefore, is the true hallmark of every disciple.
What you do in the goodness of God is incredible. No one is safe. Not even your enemies. The Bible says that a good man reveals the treasures of his goodness to the world. Matthew 12:35. A good man walks in a manner worthy of God’s nature because goodness pleases the Lord. Colossians 1:10. It’s only when we commit ourselves to goodness that we truly come under an increase of knowledge and an upgrade of our experience of God himself.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to get you to commit to goodness. Not as an idea. Not as a concept. But as a lifestyle. Everything about you is governed by the goodness of God. Nothing works against you because goodness is going to pour out of you. It’s going to come out of the pores of your skin. Not even your enemies – especially your enemies – are not safe. No one is safe. In fact, when you are traveling in the goodness of God you don’t recognize enemies.
I had a guy come up to me in Kansas City and he said, “I want you to know I hate everything you stand for. You’re a heretic, you’re apostate, you’re a false teacher. I hate everything you stand for and I’m against you. I’m your enemy.” I replied, “Well, you can’t be. It’s Tuesday. I don’t take enemies on Tuesday.”
He looked at me and went bright red before saying, “I’ll come back tomorrow.” I said, “Oh that’s good! ‘Cause that’s Wednesday and I have a special on Wednesday for people who want to be my enemy. Come back tomorrow and I’ll pray for you.”
“You’re not laying hands on me.”
I said, “I don’t have to. You can’t stop me from praying. I’ll go back to my hotel room and pray with the same results as if you stood in front of me. Because here’s the thing – I’m not in the market for enemies. But thanks anyway, I appreciate the offer. You can’t be my enemy unless I receive you as one, and I’m not in the mood. I haven’t got the time. I would rather have a cup of coffee with you. I’m definitely not taking you as an enemy but I’ll pray for you, for the goodness of God.”
So he just looked at me and shook his head and walked away. But I have a feeling I’ll be seeing him.
Want to learn more? Tune in to today’s podcast as we explore what it means to live a lifestyle of goodness.
As always, thanks for listening!