Do the Next Right Thing

Do the Next Right Thing

Originally posted on October 22, 2010

While preparing to preach from Luke 4:1-13 on the temptations of Jesus, I have been trying to understand the nature of each temptation, what each one means and how each one applies to us. Today it dawned on me that even though each temptation does mean something specific for Jesus and His mission, and each one does help us in our temptations, one big lesson in the temptations of Jesus is that we are simply called to do the next right thing and to stay at it. Our priority should be to do what we know we are to do today, this moment, and not be distracted.

Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to fast and pray, and to keep doing that until He was told by the Father to do otherwise. Jesus was not told to use His divine power to work miracles, to turn stones into bread, or to jump off buildings to prove He would not get hurt. That was the devil’s idea. As far as we know, He was to simply go into the wilderness until the Spirit led Him to leave the wilderness. That’s what God told Him to do. He couldn’t listen to the devil’s temptations and succumb to his distractions. He had to do the next right thing, the thing the Father told Him to do.

In Jesus we see that obedience to God in the next thing is the good and right way. It may not be easy, but neither is it complicated. There are many distractions, but the calling is clear. Do the next right thing.

Don’t complicate obedience to God. What’s the next right thing for you to do? Is it to… Love your spouse? Go to work? Pay a bill? Kill a thought? Break off a relationship? Read a book? Help a neighbor? Say, “I love you”? Apologize? Forgive? Volunteer? Give? Pray? Sleep? What is it that you know you need to do now?

Don’t get distracted. Keep doing the next right thing, today, for 40 days, and for the rest of your life. You have no idea what the future holds, and you certainly can’t control it. So take today, and in obedience to God, being led by the Holy Spirit, do the next right thing.