What are you pursuing these days? How about pursuing holiness and righteousness above all else?
IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Thirsting for Righteousness
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Every week’s news does something to us. Sometimes it angers us. Often it frustrates us. When we finally start to see things from God’s perspective, here comes a hurricane… or two…or three. There’s nothing like a life-threatening storm to re-shape your priorities. Occasionally, something will motivate us to do something. When this happens, it’s time to remember that followers of Christ are not citizens of this world, so we must be careful not to allow it to influence how we respond to worldly things. While it’s good to understand the times and what’s going on, it’s even better to spend our time pursuing things that are not of this world and to set our minds on things above-things with eternal implications.
Here’s an example of how worldly events can motivate us to do something with eternal consequences. Thirst (along with hunger) is our body’s way of telling us that our tank is empty and it must be filled…immediately. When we reach this point, our search for water eclipses every other need. In Psalm 63, David is at that point both physically and spiritually. He needs water, but he equally needs the presence of God, including His righteousness. We too have in inner need and longing that only Christ’s righteousness can satisfy. Since we have no righteousness of our own, we will never please God without Christ’s righteousness.
Paul explains in 2 Cor. 5:21 that Christ became sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. In a general sense, all true believers have had God’s own righteousness (in the person of Christ) transferred to them. It’s also true that we cannot be filled with God’s righteousness if we are filled with ourselves. God must bring us to the place where we not only recognize the grip self has on us, but we have come to despise it. “Self” resides in “the flesh,” and it is nothing but sin having its way in us. Everything that opposes the will of God for us resides in the flesh.
If we truly want our walk to reflect the righteousness of God, we must crave it as we crave water in the wilderness. We must truly want to lead a holy life. But for holiness to come, our selfish desires must go…completely. We must yield to our Master.
If you’re a regular reader or subscriber to my posts, you’ve noticed a pattern lately. You may be sick and tired of reading the same messages-deny self, take up your cross, yield, consecrate, surrender, etc. Honestly, every time I set out to write something else, God re-directs me. He won’t let me go anywhere else right now. He’s speaking both to you and to me.
Today He is saying that righteousness is a serious matter. It is of great importance to Him, and it is not easily attained. We must be brought to the place where we can’t live without it. That’s when God will gladly fill us, and it will be like finding an oasis in the desert. Read today’s verse one more time. When was the last time you set out on a pursuit of righteousness, desiring it more than anything?
Yet, this is what God desires for us. With righteousness comes holiness, and how can He use us if we aren’t holy? This is what consecration is all about-becoming holy vessels for God’s exclusive use. This perfectly describes Jesus Christ, who is now our life. All of our yielding and denying are meant to remove everything in us that stands in the way of Jesus living out His life through us-His perfect life of righteousness and holiness.
With Christ as our life, God already sees us as holy, but it’s our responsibility to live in light of this truth-to walk it out-to pursue a life of holiness. What are you pursuing these days? How about pursuing holiness above all else?
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
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