For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
1 Timothy 4:4
Have you ever had someone try to explain something to you, but you could just tell they didn’t know how to answer your question? Maybe it was someone who was new to their job, or a person who was just mistaken, or somebody who completely misunderstood the question you asked. Regardless, these are scenarios where you realize you went to the wrong person for help or for clarification. The same can be true for life’s biggest questions, especially with regard to following Jesus.
As Paul explains in 1 Timothy 4, we are going to be up against outside influences as we seek to walk in obedience to Christ. He reminds us that we will encounter people who are not believers, who will mislead us with hypocrisy and lies. We will also be offered ideas that have their origin in “deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.”
You and I both know that following Christ is not easy. Yet because of His infinite mercy and kindness, God has created parameters within which we are able to flourish and lead godly lives, free from the weight of our sin and the worries of this weary world. But as we seek to honor the Lord within the guidelines He has established for us, these false teachers would like to pile on even more rules and restrictions for our lives that do not actually lead to holy and obedient living.
God’s Word beckons us back to the character of the God whom we serve—a God who embodies goodness and who created good things out of nothing. Out of His character comes the understanding that the gifts He has given us in creation are good when used properly and with right and thankful hearts before Him. James 1:17 proclaims to us that every good and perfect gift comes straight from Him!
Lean into these truths as you consider the motivations of your heart in light of God’s good character. Know where to turn as you consider what sources of wisdom to lean upon as you seek to honor Him in your spiritual practices.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Who or what are you turning to for answers to the question of how to lead a godly life? The Word? Godly community? Or are you looking elsewhere?
- Do you have a right view of the freedom you have in Christ, a lifestyle characterized not by legalism or lawlessness, but one marked by thankfulness and prayerfulness?
- Pray for a right view of God’s good character as you discern how He is leading you to live a godly life.