Going Deeper

Being the Most Good

He is most pleased when His Spirit graciously takes a divided heart and makes it one (Psalm 84:11). by Dr. Bill Ury

As Salvationists, we are accustomed to doing. When there is a need, especially a critical need, we are poised to action. I distinctly remember the comfort that waved across my soul in the chaos of the early hours of the 9/11 tragedy when I saw on national television two uniformed officers. I knew that someone would be offering the hands and heart of Christ at the very gates of destruction. Our motto is well known—we do the most good.

But we must be very careful to never separate doing good from being the most good. Everything the Holy One ever does arises out of His nature. When the Lord indicates His highest purposes for us, He doesn’t say “Do.” He calls us first to be His. 

It threw Moses off when Yahweh gave him His personal name. Moses was looking for action, but God told Moses to make sure the Israelites knew who He was and that He would deliver them (Exodus 3:14). He says, “Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

To a new nation just delivered from bondage He said, “I carried you out on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4). Only relationship with their Savior will ever make obedience meaningful (19:5).

Before the lists of commands that we often find ourselves defending with difficulty, He clearly says, “Be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). We can never separate being from doing but we must be sure that they are clearly distinguished. Idolatry always arises when doing overtakes being. Being without doing is not biblical faith.

Jesus had not preached a word or performed one miracle when He was baptized in the Jordan. The Father declared Him as His beloved Son and the Spirit anointed Him as He began His march toward the cross (Matthew 3:16-17). 

Jesus began His preaching ministry with the blessedness of those who realized their humility and dependence—a rejection of self-sufficiency means the possibility of seeing God (Matthew 5:3-6). 

There would have been no church without 10 days of waiting (not meeting human needs) upon the Spirit of God in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-4). When God does the most good, sanctifying our beings with His Being, then the world is turned upside down (Acts 17:6). In other words, things done that are truly the most good can only come out of a heart of perfect love.

That is why Salvationism will always believe, experience and offer a full salvation, which is the most good for any person. God is never sufficed with half-hearted devotion. Nor is He looking for service tainted with self. He is good and thus wants to bestow Himself completely. He can infuse us with His goodness. He is most pleased when His Spirit graciously takes a divided heart and makes it one (Psalm 84:11). It is out of a heart of perfect love that the highest good issues. We have a mandate to do the most good. That is only possible when His highest purposes are made real in our hearts, which is the source of the good we offer in His holy name. 

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