Ephesians 1:13 Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God.
Most of my Christian life I’ve felt like I was stumbling through the darkness, lost in a confusing maze of what was expected versus what I felt I was actually capable of achieving. I had no faith in my ability to be “Christian.” If I was in doubt as to what God was busy with, I usually took a cue from other Christians to get an idea of what was expected from me. If they were crying, and I found that I wasn’t feeling the need to, or if everyone was laughing and being overcome with joy and I found myself bawling my eyes out, the difference of approach and feeling made me feel out of place and inadequate at best. Religion likes to make us think that if we are experiencing God in a different way to the guy next to us that we are breaking rank, causing disunity and rendering the Holy Spirit ineffective – being “bad” Christians. This idea allows us to limit Him to our availability and how well we are operating within the church system. This ultimately leads us to view ourselves outside of God’s heart and favor. And as good Christians it then follows that we, out of a sense of duty to the kingdom, will attempt to rectify the situation by changing ourselves. So, we are constantly changing who we are, yet never fully realizing who He wants us to be. We change for people, to keep them happy and impressed, and still yearn for approval and acceptance.
This approach stems from the process that then occurs in our thought life, specifically the negative thoughts we tend to harbor against ourselves. What dictates how you respond to your own actions and how you feel about yourself? Negative thoughts become weapons we use to destroy pride in our hearts, we see them as a tool for humbling and reminding us who exactly we are. Should we for one moment think ourselves good and worthy of praise, we always have a memory, a knowing, of something we did wrong that we can pluck out from the bag of identifications to remind us exactly who we are and what we haven’t accomplished. I used to think myself very humble because of the fact that I was berating myself all day, constantly mindful of my wrongs, feeling the persistent need to do penance for every failure. I was constantly thinking about everything I needed to change and every area I needed to improve, which essentially means I was busy with thoughts of self all day. This creates no space to be busy with anything or anyone else. There are so many aspects of our lives that still bully us into submission, into a false sense of contentment with our plight. We ultimately feel unworthy. Righteousness means you are right with God, constantly thinking you are not right with Him is the opposite of righteousness. We see ourselves wrong with God, and try to get right with Him. We perform and turn it into an effort and works based, “do to get” relationship. We hunger and thirst after righteousness, we long to be like Him, to look and do as He does.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Jesus became that righteousness for us. We are filled with Him, we are filled with righteousness. We are in right standing with God, we merely have to accept and acknowledge it. The day you accepted salvation and acknowledged Him as Lord, your heart believed on Him and became righteous.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.
Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction.
This is the very essence of our righteousness, that we believe Him. I’m not merely referring to believing on Him for miracles, signs, and wonders, but I’m stipulating we believe Him when He says He loves us and adores us and wants the best for us. It is only with faith that we can please Him, faith in what His reality is for us. It is such a marvelous event when we accept Him as Lord, but seems strenuous and impossible for Him to remain sovereign in our hearts. Too easily do we buy into the lie, again, that we are worthless and not good enough, too soon do we yield again our hearts to mediocre ideas of looking for meaning.
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.
The idea that you are not good enough is a lie straight from the enemy. He comes only to cheat us out of what God has planned for our hearts and lives, to kill the good in us by convincing us our good is not good at all, or not good enough. In order to combat the lie of the enemy we need to have faith in the great gift the Father gave us, we need to believe that He loves us enough, just as we are, to see us as fit for duty. There is no part of our hearts that can scare God away. In fact, He knew we would need to be reminded of His good intentions and the vast mercy He has for us, that He provided for us in every event of self-doubt, allowing His goodness and mercy to follow us all the days of our lives. His love is true, it persistently pursues you.