“In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” Isaiah 54:14
IT IS IMPORTANT for you to be established in the righteousness of Christ, because it will determine how you respond to the voice of accusation when you are believing God for big things, and trusting Him for answered prayers.
Right believing always leads to right living.
“Who do you think you are?”
“Don’t you remember how you yelled at your spouse this morning? Why should God give you favor for your important presentation at the office today?”
“Look at how easily you lose your cool on the road. How can you have the cheek to expect good things to happen to you?”
“You call yourself a Christian? When was the last time you read your Bible? What have you done for God? Why should God heal your child?”
Do these accusations sound awfully familiar? Now, how you respond to this voice of accusation will expose what you really believe. This is the litmus test of what you believe. This is where the rubber meets the road! A person could think, “Yeah, you are right. I don’t deserve this. How can I expect God’s favor to be on me for my presentation at the office when I was so harsh with my wife this morning?” Now, that’s the response of someone who believes that he needs to earn his own righteousness and place of acceptance before God. This person believes that he can expect good from God only when his conduct is good and his own checklist of self-imposed requirements are met to the hilt.
He would probably storm into his office, still seething with anger at his wife. Worst of all, he feels cut off from the presence of Jesus because of his anger and thinks that he does not qualify to ask for God’s favor for his presentation. He steps into the boardroom disheveled and disorganized. He forgets his points and fumbles, causing his company to lose that major account. His bosses are disappointed with him and give him a huge tongue-lashing. Frustrated and shamed, he drives home like a maniac, sounding his horn at every car that does not move the instant the traffic lights turn green. When he gets home, he is even more upset with his wife because he blames her for putting him in a foul mood in the morning, for his terrible presentation and for the loss of the major account! It’s all HER fault!
Now, see the difference if this person thinks, “Yeah, you are right. I don’t deserve to have God’s favor at all because I lost my temper with my wife this morning. But you know what? I am not looking at what I deserve. I am looking at what Jesus deserves. Even right now, Jesus, I thank You that You see me perfectly righteous. Because of the cross and Your perfect sacrifice, I can expect God’s unmerited favor at my presentation. Every one of my shortcomings, even the tone I used this morning, is covered by Your righteousness. I can expect good not because I am good, but because You are good! Amen!”
See the amazing difference? This person is established upon Jesus’ righteousness and not his own right doing or good behavior. He goes to work depending on the unmerited favor of Jesus, and he aces the presentation and clinches a major account for his company. His bosses are impressed by his performance and mark him for the next round of promotion. He drives home with peace and joy, feeling the Father’s love and favor. Consequently, he is more patient with other drivers.
Now, does this mean that he sweeps all his failings under the carpet and pretends that they never happened? No way! This man, full of the consciousness that the Lord is with him, will find the strength in Christ to apologize to his wife for the tone he had used on her. You see, a heart that has been touched by unmerited favor cannot hold on to unforgiveness, anger and bitterness. Which of the above accounts demonstrate true holiness? Of course, it is the second account. Depending on God’s favor results in a life of practical holiness. Right believing always leads to right living!
Father, establish me in the righteousness of Christ, so that I may respond with grace when the rubber meets the road. Even when I know that I have failed, I choose to see myself as You do—in Jesus’ righteousness, and I expect Your unmerited favor to work for me despite my failures. Thank You for the gift of righteousness, which causes me to reign over everything in my life.
Depending on and experiencing God’s favor leads to practical holiness.
– 100 Days of Favor