By Kara Montañez
I have had a pretty eye opening experience this past month- you know the kind where you realize that you’ve been standing in a dark room for years, and then someone walks in and flips on the lights? It’s slightly unsettling, yet exhilarating. Why exhilarating? Because light brings hope for change, and to me hope and change are just plain exhilarating.
Did you know that the greatest deceptions can come in the most beautifully wrapped packages? A new job, a college degree, promotion, position, wealth, fulfillment, even relationships?- all good things right? Yes, but if they are not from God then they are not good.
If you check out Matthew 4 where Jesus is in the wilderness and the devil is tempting Him- take notice of what he tempts Jesus with. It’s not blatant evil like “hey Jesus tell a lie” or “hey Jesus why don’t you steal something” or “hey Jesus lets have a gossip sesh about so and so” or “hey Jesus wanna get high?”. It’s none of these – I mean these are no brainers!
Instead, he tempts Jesus with success, fulfillment, wealth, position.
Crazy. I mean who can discern between good and good? I apparently can’t because I have fallen into these very types temptations many times, and have strayed from what God has called me to, and how God has called me live.
When you read this passage, it’s apparent that the devil was trying to divert Jesus from the Cross- he was attempting to dissuade Jesus from what God had called Him to do, and how God called Him to live. He was craftily trying to lure Jesus into disobedience to God. This is where the devil hits the hardest- when you’re in the wilderness, when you’re hungry, you’re tired, and you’re lonely. And he hits you with a deviant path that entices you to not wait on God, but to reach instead for the instant gratification of ‘good’ that is not from God, and is outside of His will for your life, at that moment.
This is a whole new level of deception for my mind to comprehend! I have never been able to see or discern this in my own walk because of my immaturity in this area, and of course my impatience. I just always assumed that if something was good, it had to be from God. However, over the past month, through a series of eye-opening experiences, God has been training me to comprehend that even good is not good if it is not from God, or in His will for me. If success, promotion, fulfillment, position, opportunity, and relationships are not from God then they are not good, and they are not for my good. Ultimately, the only good is from God, and this good is worth the wait.
Mind officially blown.
In Hebrews 5:14 it reads: “Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Recognizing the difference between right and wrong is a skill, and it takes training. This is grown up stuff right here, no more baby stuff. This isn’t your blatant obvious right and wrong, no, this is being able to discern between good and good. This is walking in the wilderness and waiting on God. This is being tired, lonely, hungry, weak and not taking your eyes off the Cross for a few moments of instant gratification. This is waiting on God. This is clinging to His Words. This is being as eager to finish the work as you were to start it. This is obedience to the point of death. Death to all your dreams, all your visions, all your desires, all your needs, and all your wants. A focused purposeful obedience, that endures for the greater promise, the greater fulfillment, the greater glory, and does not settle for the counterfeit.
Let’s be honest here, a counterfeit $50 bill may look legit, but it has no value at all, except maybe for kindling. As for me? I don’t want the counterfeit, I want the real deal. I want God and what He has for me and I am going to seek Him for it, relentlessly, and that’s it.
It’s time to eat some solid food people. It’s time to grow up into your salvation and become skilled in discerning the difference between truth and deception, between good and good. Jesus understands this temptation and this difficulty, because He went through it! So He can help us and He can walk us through these type of situations and help us to overcome, if we will follow Him and obey His voice.
God is always good, and His good is the only good worth having.