Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Temptation to Do Good

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matt. 4:3)

            The devil didn’t tempt Jesus to lie, steal, cheat, get drunk, or commit murder. But he did tempt Him to make something inedible into something nourishing and sustaining. And he did tempt Him to do something by which God, the Father, could show Himself mighty to save (v. 6). And he did tempt Him to claim something that was rightfully His (vv. 8 & 9). Had Jesus succumbed to the temptation, no one could have faulted Him…except God, that is.

            All three of these things were good and would be fulfilled or matched later on (Jno. 6: 9-14); (Eph. 1:19-23). The thing is, Satan is just as adept at tempting us to do good at the wrong time, in the wrong place, or for the wrong reason, as he is at tempting us to do just plain wrong. And he can “quote” the Scriptures to back up his claims. But it’s never right to use a text as a pretext to disobey the direction of God in our personal lives. Jesus told His disciples to go everywhere and preach the gospel to every man, but the Holy Spirit still forbad Paul from preaching the Word in Asia (Acts 16:6), though he was allowed to later (Acts 19:26).

            So, do good; do all the good you can. Just make sure who it is that’s prompting you. Our good should be Spirit led as much as anything else in our lives. We’ll run less risk, I would say, of experiencing what Paul warned us of in Romans 14:16.

                            “Let not then your good be evil spoken of.”                                                                           

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