Are You A Righteous Person?
April 1, 2021
I am blessed to be in a men’s Influencers Journey group that meets weekly. Recently we were discussing a passage in James which reads, “The earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 One of the questions asked was, “Do you think of yourself as righteous? I had to stop and think about how to answer that because I hadn’t thought much about what it means to be righteous and if I even came close to being a righteous man. I thought about how much God loves me, that I am his beloved son, adopted into his family. I also thought back over many years of my life when I was certain that I knew how much God loved me.
As a result, my relationship with God was comfortable, safe, and flat-lined. Sort of like the place that many of our relationships end up when we take each other for granted. The passion and fire of our “first love” is reduced to a pile of barely smoldering embers. I’ve only begun to understand in the last few years that what I thought I knew I didn’t.
I heard Jack Taylor say, “If you claim to know what you don’t know, you will never know what you do know.” This was a bit of a brain twister until I began to grasp what he was saying and apply it to my understanding of what it meant to be God’s beloved, believing that standing with God made me a righteous person.
For instance, it was life-changing for me to discover what it means to live by grace and not performance. I knew and understood that He loved me because I was doing things for Him. But I did not understand that He also loved me when I was not doing anything for Him, when I was hiding my sin, running from Him, playing the impostor. To simply come to the place of living in His grace, (defined as a state of being protected by God), helped me to see that there was so much more about Him that I did not know.
If I had stayed in that place of comfort claiming that I did know God, I would never have come to the place of wanting to know Him more. I began to understand how infinite His love for me is. I began to grasp the verse in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s incredible!
You might ask, “How did this happen, that you came to a place that you wanted to ‘know’?” It came as I made a conscious decision to spend more time in His presence. Brennan Manning wrote in his book, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, “The longer you spend in the presence of Jesus the more accustomed you grow to his face, the less adulation you will need because you will have discovered for yourself that He is enough. And in the Presence, you will delight in the discovery of what it means to live by grace and not by performance.”
If you were to ask me, “Do you know God?” I could say both yes and no. Yes, I know Him as much as I can at this point in my life but no I do not know Him as well as I will next year. My quest is now to know what I don’t know which will help me to understand what I do know. In trying to answer the question, “Are you a righteous man?” I have come to believe that as God’s beloved, that standing alone makes me a righteous person. My question for you is, “Are you a righteous person? And, if so, how should that play out in your life?”
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My newest book BEFORE YOU GET HERE: Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist you in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Chapters include: The Importance of Forgiveness, The Traps of Unforgiveness, A Look in the Mirror, Harmful Words and Harmful Connections, Let Yourself Be Loved By God, The Recovery of Intimacy, and more. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com. Check out the entire Wholeness Ministries Catalog right HERE.
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