Deliverance: Righteousness Part 2 - David Mitts
Last chapter, we began looking at the deliverance that comes from righteousness. In Hebrew, righteousness is the word, Tzadak composed of the 3 letters, tzade, dalet, and kuf. The composite word picture is of the seed of God, His spoken creative word, that we open our heart to through the gates of our heart and in that choice bring forth a new day with new possibilities and goodness.
1 John 3:7-10 Tells us that righteousness is a spiritual practice, involving more than just “being” righteous but an opportunity to activate ourselves in righteousness. John tells us that anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God.
The scriptures teach us that we have spiritual senses which are developed through use like our natural senses:
“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)
This is an important aspect of our maturity in the Lord, like any skill, natural or supernatural, we must grow in grace with focused intent.
“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Grace, as we remember from earlier sessions, is the Hebrew word “chen”. This is the same root as the word for “rest” and “favor”. It is the word picture of a fence that protects and nourishes the seed of God’s word. The clearest picture in the natural is the womb. The seedling child is kept safe and nurtured in the womb. Each of us in a seed of the Lord. His grace keeps us safe and nurtures us. Like the placenta in the natural, God nurtures us through life giving communication. This is His grace.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8)
Faith is the substance that comes through His speaking to our heart. Because God is a Creator and He creates by speaking, His communication to our heart is not merely words, but eternal life. Paul calls this a gift, deposit that comes from God into our hearts. For what purpose? Our destiny.
“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)
We are born by grace with eternal purpose that existed in God before the fall. This is redemptive purpose. This purpose is also known as righteousness.
“I said in my heart, "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
From this perspective, our righteousness is tied to our purpose. We were born for this time. The seed of God, His creative power that we open our heart to, brings about a new day, a new reality with purpose. Let’s go a little deeper now into righteousness.
“For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalms 1:6)
The Lord “knows” the way of the righteous. The way of the righteous is the path that arises out of intimate knowing of the Lord. This word “knows” here is yadah, which is an intimate oneness. Righteousness and intimacy with Lord are the same. It is also called abiding.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:4-6)
Do you see the contrast between abiding, fruit, and not abiding and wickedness? You see, mostly we focus on the outside and miss the true reality which is the righteousness that comes from intimacy.
Apart from intimacy there is no righteousness. This doesn’t mean that righteousness guarantees sinlessness. No! Even the most righteous among us, misses the mark from time to time. That is part of learning.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)
Yeshua is the righteous One without sin. Yet we are righteous and still make mistakes. This is because we are still learning how to walk as he walked. That is why he stands as our advocate to intercede for us in our mistakes.
We are anointed to activate righteousness.
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” (1 John 2:27-29)
It is said that practice makes perfect. This isn’t true because even the most practiced at something will still occasionally make mistakes, what the Bible calls sin. Yet that is not the point. The point is who we become in the practice of righteousness, which is the practice of our purpose.
Being born of Him is righteousness. It is the seed of His that we receive into our heart that opens us the new day of possibility before us, the hope of Glory!
Paul describes this process of righteousness this way:
“Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Colossians 1:25-29)
The “perfection” Paul is speaking about, is a description not just of the goal but the fulfillment of the purpose. Each of us is righteous in the pursuit of our purpose which is a continual revealing, hope through the unravelling of the mystery.
We are a mystery to ourselves and of course, in some ways to others but NOT to God who purposed us in His wisdom and plan.
“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:24-28)
We are in hope for His righteousness to be made manifest in and through our lives. He intercedes for us in that pursuit because He alone knows the mind of the Sprit for us, what is His true plan for each of us. We can trust that he works all things together for good, for our perfection in righteousness.
Activation: We can discover our purpose by trusting that God has already worked everything in our lives for good. The relationships and roles in those relationships are the interconnections he uses to manifest our role in his plan. Becoming aware of the roles our relationships serve in our manifestation of righteousness is critical to growing in grace. Make a list of the critical relationships that are in our life. Ask him to reveal to you what you need to see about the people in those relationships. Don’t ignore the difficult ones. That is where perseverance is needed.