The Good Life
Duane Vander Klok
Are you living the good life?
According to Webster, the good life is one marked by a high standard of living. In the world’s eyes that has been portrayed as having a spacious home loaded with amenities, a three-stall garage full of luxury automobiles, all the latest technological devices, a prestigious position with a prominent company, a vacation condo in some tropical climate…the list goes on and on.
Many would agree that if you possess these things, you must be living the good life. Yet, looking at it in eternal terms, through God’s eyes, anyone having all these things without a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ would merely be existing.
God wants you to do much more than just exist, and He has the good life all laid out and ready for you to live. The Amplified Bible puts it this way in Ephesians 2:10:
“We are God’s (own) handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.)”
God’s plan for your good life includes blessings, happiness and fulfillment, peace that passes understanding and joy unspeakable! Nowhere will you have more of what you truly need than when you are in God’s plan for your life. It is not only the good life; it is the abundant life.
The good life God has prepared for you does not come without opposition. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Who is the thief? Satan. He is the author of everything that steals from you, kills or brings about destruction.
Satan’s plan is to steal the promises of God away from you and frustrate you with adversity and trials. He wants to destroy your health with sickness, your wealth with poverty, and your family with destruction. His strategy is to bombard your mind with lies and negativity so you will make important decisions based on his input rather than God’s. When you take his bait, you give him the opportunity to establish a stronghold.
It never pays to go with the devil’s plan. His ultimate desire is to take you to hell. He shows no compassion for young or old, for innocent or guilty, for those who serve him or those who do not. He hates everyone.
Satan hates you, first of all, because you were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and secondly because God loves you (John 3:16). You see, there is nothing he can do to directly hurt God unless he can hurt you.
Take a Stand
Sin and disobedience stand between people and the good life God has for them. You see, sin gives Satan the legal right to bring oppression, adversity and trials our way. It is not possible to participate with the devil without him thinking you are his. You might think you are just dabbling with sin; but to him, it is as though you have walked down the aisle, said the vows and gone on the honeymoon!
Picture this scenario. A guy and a girl meet and begin dating. Pretty soon, she is wearing his sweatshirt, has his ring, his CDs and DVDs, his stuff. Everything goes along fine until a problem arises and they break up. Immediately, I mean immediately, she throws the sweatshirt and ring back at him and goes home to get rid of all his stuff. She wants to be free from anything and everything that reminds her of him.
If you are experiencing trials and adversity, take a look at your life. Have you made choices that have opened the door to Satan? Have you compromised and allowed an area of sin in your life? If so, you have some of the devil’s stuff. You need to break up with him immediately and throw the ring in his face, stomp on his sweatshirt, and get rid of every attachment to him!
You close the door to Satan when you submit to God and His Word, renounce your connection with the devil, and turn from the specific sin you were associated with. James 4:7-8 instructs us: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” God promises that when you humble yourself before Him, He will lift you up (James 4:10).
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God is so good that He will forgive you and even help you through the troubles you have brought upon yourself.
Opposition Before a Miracle
You need to know that opposition, adversity and trials are not always the result of sin or disobedience to God. Sometimes they are a sign that you are getting close to something great in God’s plan for your good life.
Mark 4:35-41 gives us the account of what happened one evening as the disciples were taking Jesus across the Sea of Galilee. While they were crossing, the disciples encountered such a violent storm that they feared for their lives. They struggled to avoid disaster then turned desperately to Jesus for help. He responded to their cry and subdued the unusually vicious storm.
In Mark 5:1-20, we read what happened next. Once they reached the other side, they encountered a demon-possessed man who wore no clothes, lived in the tombs and spent his days and nights screaming and cutting himself. Not even iron chains could hold him because of the demons’ strength.
The demonic spirit within him revealed his name as Legion. A Roman legion consisted of 6,000 foot soldiers and 300 cavalry men. In other words, there were 6,300 demons. Still, when the man saw Jesus, he ran to Him, fell down before Him and worshipped Him. Even tremendous demonic oppression could not keep him from choosing Jesus!
With a word from Jesus, the demons fled, leaving the man free from their oppression. Amazed onlookers saw him clothed, seated and learning quietly at Jesus’ feet.
One of the greatest miracles of Jesus’ ministry took place that day, yet Satan had tried his best through the storm to keep Jesus from the vicinity because he knew what would happen if Jesus got near the man.
Likewise, the devil will come with his strongest opposition right before your greatest blessing or breakthrough. He will attack finances, your family, and your health in an attempt to sink your faith in God. Once he sees that he cannot get your focus off God and His Word, God’s plan will prevail.
A Turn Around
Genesis 37:2-11 tells how God showed seventeen-year-old Joseph that he would one day be a ruler. He must have wondered how that could ever happen when his brothers, filled with jealousy and hatred, threw him into a pit then sold him as a slave (Genesis 37:19-28). Later, he was falsely accused of a terrible crime and ended up in prison (Genesis 39:10-20). Certainly, no one would have thought Joseph was living the good life. But God measures success by our faithfulness to Him despite the opposition and trials we face.
Satan attempted to get Joseph off track by making him angry and bitter. Instead, Joseph chose to believe and trust God’s plan no matter what the circumstances looked like.
The result of that choice? One day, Pharaoh called for him and, in less than 24 hours, Joseph went from being a prison inmate to prime minister, second in command of the nation (Genesis 41:1-44). Godly Joseph faced problems, persecution and even prison, but what Satan intended for his destruction, God used for his promotion.
Don’t let opposition, adversity and trials distort your view of the good life. What worked for Joseph will work for you!
When it comes to your life, God has a plan. He sent His Son so that the world would not perish but have eternal life. He is good and the author of all that is good.
Satan also has a plan. He is the ultimate thief and wants to bring death, destruction and lack into your life.
You have a choice.
Choose the life God has prearranged and made ready for you. You will find out just how good the good life can be!
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)