3 John 11 (KJV) 11Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
It’s good to have examples we can humbly imitate and instructions we can follow. And praise God, we have a great cloud of good and godly witnesses—faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who have left us with footprints we can walk on, lives that inspire us to shine our lives for God’s glory and honor. We also have the inerrant and eternal Word of God lighting our feet and illuminating our path.
God has lovingly given us eyes to see and ears to hear. He has even given us the inner witness of the Holy Spirit so we can discern those we can’t physically sense. We see very clearly that not everyone who teaches practices what they teach; not all who say they’re Christians are Christians. Good tree bears good fruit; bad tree bears bad fruit; true Christians bear the image—the character of Christ.
We aren’t blinded by hypocrisy, duplicity, lies, and deception. Through God’s Spirit living in us, we can spot the fake. Some of them are extremely easy to identify. There is no disconnect between who people are as God’s children, and what they do. God’s children are good and do good. Those who produce rotten fruits—ungodliness or anti-godliness—be they attitude or actions—prove they’re not Gods.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) 13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Although there are many times when we feel like certain trials and temptations we face are very different from everyone else, more difficult compared to everyone else’s, the truth is they’re not. There may be a uniqueness of some sort, but not absolutely. We don’t use this as an excuse to give in to them. Besides, whatever they may be, and however differently they may appear, everytime God allows them to come, they’re opportunities for victory.
Praise God, He always leads us to victory. Part of His strategies is to give us wisdom. It’s that wisdom that causes us to be in step with Him instead of choosing to rebel against Him. He’s a loving God Who fills us with innumerable favor and immeasurable empowerment for us to take the right steps. Not every recipient of God’s blessings live uprightly, but those of us who desire to do so possess what it takes.
We don’t waste God’s precious gifts. Others may experience a tremendous amount of God’s kindness and generosity, but miss out heaven itself in the end. We’re surrounded by a great cloud of examples to follow and to avoid. We want to have faithful walk to the end. There’s an inexplicable joy and satisfaction in staying within the straight and narrow. We navigate through it with humility, always aware that even when we’re strongest, we can fall. We heed the warnings; we seek His instructions; we follow His Spirit’s leading. Trials, tests, and temptations will come; we faithfully fight, and we live as Christians—triumphant.