God’s Righteousness

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I was told once that Christians can be divided into three groups:  Modern-day Pharisees, Christian Eeyores, and lastly, the Grace Community.  And I was told that I was the modern-day Pharisee type.  A lot of you were as well.  You know, the really annoying, judgmental, legalistic type?

 

But, c’mon, unless you used to be an Ultra-Orthodox Jew, you were nothing like a Pharisee. Neither was I.

 

The Pharisees were hard-core religious zealots who devoted every minute of their lives to being righteous; they were sincere and serious. Their zeal was based on the Laws that God spoke to Moses.

 

“For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” Romans 10:2

 

Not according to knowledge?

 

The apostle Paul goes on to explain in Romans 10 that their religious practices were “their own” attempts at righteousness, and had nothing to do with God’s.

 

Yes, God gave the Law to Moses, but He did not give it so that it would lead us to Him.  To a life of faith, of reality.  The Law was given to increase the knowledge of sin and to lead us to despair and to the feet of the Lord God. (Romans 5:20)

 

So, if you desire righteousness and holiness, your efforts at being ‘good’ will not succeed. The Bible is so clear.  Again and again we are told that, to be righteous in God’s eyes, you must have FAITH.  Before Jesus came, one had faith in God and the words He spoke to one’s heart.  After Jesus came, one puts their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection.  It is THAT that spells out the good news, the gospel; it is that that saves a soul from hell.

 

Paul calls the gospel “the word of faith.”  The gospel is “the word of faith” because it has to do with assenting to what God reveals to your heart, it is about saying yes, having faith, and telling God, “yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.”

 

The Christian life is a life of faith.  “From faith to faith,” as it is written.  We are saved through faith by grace, and then we grow to know Jesus through faith by grace.

 

Faith is the noun form of the verb “to believe.”  Faith is about trusting God.  It’s about        believing Him. You trust Him for salvation and you continue to trust Him every day afterwards.

 

. . . yet with most of us, there was a slight detour into “works.”  For me, it was a 15 year detour.  Although we were not as serious and sincere as the Pharisees, we church addicts were still nonetheless trying to establish our own righteousness based on “law.”  Our lives were guided by rules and principles and standards (not by the Lord.)

 

But God brought me back to Himself.  He asked me to quit church, to give up my religious idols. To surrender my pride to Him. He asked me to stop TRYING to be righteous.

 

It’s great news because anyone can do this; the gospel applies to anyone and everyone!    God’s idea of righteousness is attainable.

 

We don’t have to be modern-day Pharisees to be righteous in God’s eyes.  I’m still blown away by that!  So, thanks for listening. 🙂

 

“Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4

Christian Dream Interpretation — Lauren Daigle saw visions of her future career — Part 2 of 3

Lauren Daigle's 'You Say' Breaks Billboard Record, Becomes Biggest ...

Lauren Daigle was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus when she was 15 years old.  The infection necessitated a two-year absence from her high school.  During the two years of recovery at home, God gave Lauren dreams and visions of her future.

“He started imparting vision to me during that time. It was amazing because I was laying on the bed, wasn’t able to do anything and I would get visions of touring, and tour buses and being on and off stages, and venues, and interviews, and charts. I mean He showed me literally so much of it, and I would lay in bed and say God is this just me dreaming? Am I getting cabin fever, or is this really what you’re calling me to?

It was beautiful because not only in that time did He awaken a dream in me, but He also didn’t allow me to fall under to what the enemy wanted to create in that time – loneliness & depression. God let me see the next season.”

( “Lauren Daigle’s unexpected path to purpose.”   www.life1025.com

In the midst of suffering, God encouraged Lauren Daigle with hope.  Seeing into the future, He decided to share some of His knowledge with her which, of course, proved to be spot-on accurate. (Check out her breathtaking 😅 tour schedule here! )

I’ve experienced – on a MUCH smaller scale – two occasions of God showing me future events through dreams.  Two simple, short dreams that made a lasting impression, and that I later saw unfold before me with my waking eyes.

It’s pretty cool to have that happen, but I don’t think that is God’s main desire for us:  that we see future events in our night visions.  I believe His main goal in our lives is to show us how much He loves us, how much He accepts us, and how He wants to truly be our “life.”

I had a dream once that taught me about God’s acceptance; it literally changed my life, changed the way I relate to God, and changed the way I understood how He relates to me.  I call it The Black Crows dream.  This is how it went…

I was looking up into the sky at a large white sail that was being carried in the air by half a dozen crows.  As I continued to watch them fly away, I realized that it was not a sail, but a cloak, a robe.  My own white robe . . . and the crows were taking it away from me!  I looked on, bothered by this fact, and meanwhile I was chewing a piece of raw meat.  I just stood there, watching and chewing.  I was not able to swallow the meat; I found it to be inedible.

You are probably familiar with the idea of a “robe of righteousness”:

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

So when I woke in the morning after the Black Crows dream, I thought, “Okay, God.  I get it.  I hear You.  My sin is making me unrighteous, and that is why the crows were taking away my white ‘robe of righteousness.’”

Was my dream interpretation correct???  Heck no!

. . . Please click here for Part 3.😆

The New Life

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I was pretty shocked when I began to hear the Lord speak quietly to my heart that it was time to quit church.  “Not so, Lord,” I said, in the spirit of Peter from Acts 10 and 11.

 

But I finally relented.  . . . Although it seemed as though I was having an inner temper tantrum in my “obedience” to my Lord and Master, Jesus the Messiah.  (Good job, Lisa.)

 

The following Sunday, it was a huge surprise to me when Jesus made Himself known.  His presence was manifested to me. “Oh!!  Jesus!”  I said.  “Well, hello there!  It’s been so long!”  And His glorious joy was poured out to my spirit.

 

Of course He had never left me nor forsaken me.  But I had forsaken Him.  For 15 years.  Why?  Well, heck, I was trying to be a “good Christian.”

 

Before quitting church, the Lord had been stripping me of a belief system that was based on rules and regulations.  I was all about, “you have to do this, and you shouldn’t do that.”

 

He led me to quit church in 2004, and by 2006 the only ‘law’ I was still holding on to tenaciously was that we  “have to ask forgiveness for our sins.”  Finally, the Lord gently removed that one last requirement through learning the proper meaning of 1 John 1:8&9.  Simply put, John was speaking to unbelievers (most likely the Gnostics in his audience) in verses 8 and 9 of chapter 1.

 

So, I came to understand that I did not have to ask for forgiveness; that His death on the cross had already accomplished my forgiveness, and I simply had to believe that “it is finished.”

 

Realizing that I no longer had a Christian To-Do List, there was simply nothing left for me to do.  Except to love Him back.  To trust Him.  To rely on Him.  To depend on Him.  I began to live my life in a totally different way.  I trusted Him to lead me and guide me.

 

The way I parented our three kids became completely different; the way I viewed God began to line up with reality; I began to give my husband grace, and stopped trying to change him into a repentant and obedient ‘godly man.’  The TREE OF LIFE became my daily food; I had left behind the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  I now live every day with Jesus, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.  It’s a glorious life.

 

And if you’re wondering, no, I don’t go to “church.”  Well, I never went back to “formalized” church.  Yet to this day, I do gather together with believers on a regular basis, and there is more true fellowship in my life now than there ever was in the days when I went to church four times a week