1 Peter 2:24 Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed (KJV). We have been told that we are to live righteously (see also Titus 2:11-13), but in the process of trying to live that out, a number of us struggle at it. Instead of walking in the freedom of faith, they walk in bondage to religious codes or give up altogether. It is not that they do not want to live righteously; the problem lies in the how-to. Meaning, how do we live righteously? What does that look like, exactly? Before going any farther, we have to grasp the concept that it is the righteousness of Jesus that we depend on, and not our own. 2Corinthianw 5:21 For He hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (KJV). While we rest in Him, where do we go from there?
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints (KJV). Love is a major key to righteous living, and we would be incapable without it. It begins with God’s love, since it was for love He sent Jesus (see John 3:16). Jesus laid His life down because He loves the Father and us. Righteousness requires faith, but faith works by love (see Romans 3:20-31; Galatians 5:6). Romans 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law (KJV). When we love others, our only intention is to do good unto them while pleasing the Father. Love is pure with no hidden agendas attached. It is incapable of malice or greed, and is the polar opposite of self-centeredness (see 1Corinthisans 13:1-13). When we love others, it is our joy to bless them solely for their benefit. That means when we walk in love, we will not even consider doing anything that will hurt another. It makes living righteously a joy as well because it blesses and pleases the Lord. Love keeps our focus on righteousness and true holiness. By His very nature, God is righteous, and we know He is Love (1John 4:16). Since we are made in His image, our design is to be love as well. As we submit to the nature of God, we will live righteously for love’s sake. “Like Father, like son or daughter.”
Romans 8:29-32 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (KJV)?
Understanding our position in Christ Jesus is paramount to our confidence with God and doing the business of the Kingdom. The more we understand His grace and glory, the freer we will be to live a life of impartation and do great exploits for the Father. We must put away false humility, which actually is a form of arrogance as it contradicts what God says about us. Even though it may be well intended, often people say things about themselves that do not align with what the Father says about them. For example, if the Lord says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14) and I say I am a piece of junk, I just contradicted what He said. In so doing, I also said God makes junk, and that is inconsistent with His nature. Not only that, it says I believe God is not wonderful. Remember, because God made you in His image that makes you amazing because He is amazing. He is the Author of excellence, which means everything He does is excellent. He made us worthy through Jesus Christ, which means some need to put away the strange notion that they have no worth.
In John 17:22 Jesus said, “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one” (KJV). Because we were predestined to conform to the image of Jesus, we were also predestinated to have His glory in us. If we are justified, then we are also glorified, though we are still waiting for the full manifestation of that glory. Keep in mind, that glory is reserved for Him. In the Bible, we read that we are to give God glory. How can we give Him something we do not have in ourselves? He had to give us glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Since He gave us His glory, it is time we walk in it. We must realize that God is for us; therefore, we can trust Him for what we ask according to His will. The bottom line is that the moment has come for all of us to believe Him for everything.
In order to do Family business, we must do it as mature sons and daughters of God and well-loved children at the same time. Our maturity says, “I am dependant on the Father in order to accomplish His will.” The model is this: we must remain child-like while putting away childish ways. A child believes everything the Father says, which enables him to obey by faith. It is an impossibility to walk by faith by walking independently from Him. When we walk with that child-like attitude, we are in a place that the Father can trust us to do the business of His Kingdom as mature people of God. When we know that we are incredibly loved, we will be more able to do incredible things by the glory of His grace that He gave us. In this, we have glorious freedom!
By definition, arrogance is an overbearing pride combined with disdain or contempt for others. It is an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. By definition, the arrogant are self-deceived. Arrogance is something that wisdom hates (see Proverbs 8:13). Another word for it would be haughtiness, which ties in with a haughty spirit as found in Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (KJV).
Arrogance will never influence people for the Kingdom of God. When it is attached to religion in the guise of Christianity, it tends to bring people into the religious slavery of the traditions of men. It fails to understand that grace empowers people to live righteously and to do the things of God. This religious spirit does not trust that the Holy Spirit can help people navigate in the way that is pleasing to God. It is more comfortable with giving people sets of rules to follow. Therefore, those with a religious spirit teach people to be mindful of sin, which in turn leads them to mind the flesh instead of the Sprit. They are right in their own eyes, but do not consider what is right in God’s eyes. Being religious is not synonymous with being spiritual. The former is manmade and flesh driven, while the later is God centered and Holy Sprit led. The religious of today are much the same as the scribes and Pharisees in the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Mark 7:5-13 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, Why walk not Thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (KJV, see also Matthew 23:1-39; Luke 12:1).
A religious spirit is incapable of restoring a fallen brother or sister. It breeds contempt and knows nothing about mercy, nor does it understand the true nature of grace. Because, it is afraid of contamination by association, it will not stretch out its hand to anyone who could infer guilt by their involvement. It takes comfort in its “superiority” over others who are “lost” or “backslidden.” Those who embrace this spirit fail to console the guilt-ridden because they feel they deserve to feel guilty; even when they are looking to repent, but do not know how. They have overlooked the passage of Scripture that says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:1-3, KJV). They forget James 5:19-20 which says, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (KJV).
You do not fight arrogance with arrogance; you fight it with humility. In this case, if you fight fire with fire, everything burns. The only appropriate fire in this struggle is the fire of God, which destroys pride. It works much like a controlled burn that a firefighter uses to prevent further damage. Spiritually speaking, as water quenches fire, so does mercy extinguish wrath and anger. Humility will reach out to the arrogant by treating them well and refusing to debate with them. It employs patience and meekness, along with prayer. Those who are truly humble do not desire the downfall of the arrogant; rather, they desire their repentance for their good. The arrogant are just as destitute as any other sinner who commits what many consider heinous acts. As difficult as it may be, we need to be compassionate for them. How many of us have been stung by the realization that we were self-deceived at some point in our lives? Face it; it is easy to fall into that trap. Ironically, it would be effortless to be arrogant with the arrogant. We must approach them with love. After all, God approached us with love. Selah! Romans 12:16-21 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (KJV).
1Corinthinans 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (KJV). Some individuals have great passion for things, but their passion is misguided. Others have passion for the wrong things altogether. Some become very passionate about being promoted, but they want it for the wrong reasons. There are deep desires that the Lord wants us to have, but if our motives behind them are wrong, we will miss the purpose. Our vision must agree with God’s vision in order for our passions to align with His. He may very well want to promote you, but His purpose for the promotions may be different from yours. That means you are not ready. Find His purpose and align your heart with His, and then you are one major step closer to being positioned for promotion.
If we are going to do the work of the Lord, then we must keep it His works. That means we labor in harmony with Him. We have a great privilege to co-labor with God, but the moment we make it about us, we move into another realm (1Corinthians 3:1-11). Jesus told us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (see Matthew 10:10). It is important to fully embrace the fact in the fullness of Truth that it is His Kingdom. We cannot afford to be busy about building our own, especially since we are not our own (see 1Corinthisans 6:19-20). When the Father gives you a vision and a passion for something, find His purpose for them. When you find the purpose, labor with Him in obedience and you will become fruitful in your endeavors.
Obedience to God requires walking by faith, which comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). That also means our death is a requirement to walking by faith. Without it, the flesh will resist obedience to the Spirit and the Word. Carnal reasoning opposes godly wisdom along with knowledge and spiritual understanding. It uses rationalization to justify its stance against the righteousness of faith. While carnal thinking uses the façade of “realistic thinking,” it ignores God’s reality. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (KJV).
God has a purpose for you, which also means He has a purpose for your “lot in life.” Some people are miserable because they are in the wrong place altogether. Some hate life even though they are in the right place. The problem is their reason for being there is misaligned. For example, some go to work to earn a paycheck. They fail to realize that the job is an excuse to being in a particular place in order to minister to a particular person or group of people. If they would do for love what they do for money, they would find themselves full of joy. Quit your job and work for the Lord! “Jobs” are of the world; labor of love is of the Kingdom. Stay where you are at, but work for Jesus. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (KJV).
Ministry in an occupation does not necessarily mean, “preaching the Word”; it means living the Word. It has more to do with treating people well, which includes helping them be promoted. It means doing things with an excellent spirit. Ministry takes genuine interest in others and does not make them projects. It always points to Jesus, and our actions should speak louder than words. If we use many words while failing to live the life, our words have no meaning. Our job is to love people well, and promotions should align with that purpose. If you want a promotion in order to be admired or served, you are not ready. Promotion should better position you to serve others while glorifying God. That means your promotion should benefit others. If you are strictly trying to benefit yourself, you are in the wrong place. That’s not to say you should not receive benefits; it simply should not be what drives you. So, why do you want to be promoted?