Monday, May 31, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: Praying Boldly


For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

We have been in an extended study of Righteousness over the last few weeks. We have seen the importance of not just knowing we are Righteous but actively receiving of this great gift. We have seen the multiple benefits of receiving Righteousness.

 Relationships, how we can have victory despite our failures, laying hold of healing, just some of the powerful truths understood and received through the precious gift of Righteousness. Today, it seems good to explore yet another benefit of Righteousness received. Our prayer life will radically change when we know we are the Righteous. 

  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16b NKJV

 Further illustrating the benefit of Righteousness, James goes on in this same chapter describing Elijah as a man of like passions as any one of us. In other words, it wasn't that the Prophet Elijah was someone unique or special in the sense that only his prayers would have worked. James is letting us know that Elijah was just as imperfect and flawed as the rest of us, but he was Righteous and God heard him.

 Prayer may seem boring or drudgery or a chore to those believers who don't understand who they are in Christ, and lack the full knowledge of just how much God loves them. Some see prayer as a spiritual rule and a task they must complete. It is not communing with a loving Father but rather an obligation that requires fulfillment. 

 We must renew our minds about prayer. Prayer is all about communing and intimate fellowship with a loving Father. It is true that there are various types of prayer, the prayer of Faith, or petition prayer, intercessory prayer, the prayer of commitment, and consecration, etc. No matter the type of prayer we pray it is still a time of communing with our Good Father.

 It is not a chore or a hard task to spend time with someone who greatly loves us and longs to bless us. It isn't a mere religious obligation needing fulfillment to fellowship with a friend. It isn't a burden to spend quality time with the one we love. Prayer and devotional time are no different. We are engaging in intimate fellowship with a loving Father, who desires our best and wants nothing but our good when we pray. The more we know how pleased God is with us and how much He rejoices over us with joy, the more exuberant and fulfilling prayer will become for us. We are gladly welcomed in the presence of God. 

 Too often though, even if we do spend time in prayer, many believers come to the Father as if they were unworthy. They see themselves as beggars. They see themselves as mere servants begging for a meager morsel to barely get by for a day. 
Is this the posture God seeks from His kids? 

This is the posture religious tradition has painted for the Church for centuries. Unworthy. Unqualified. Unfit. 

 When we receive of the Gift of Righteousness these mindsets are shattered and these strongholds in our thinking come crashing down. We rise up as the Righteous sons and daughters of God and take our place at the King's table. We boldly receive all He has provided for us.

 I am not speaking of an arrogant, petulant demanding of our Father. No, God gives Grace to the humble. I am speaking of that Cross. I am speaking of such amazing Love that gave all He was for all we are not. A wondrously loving Savior who for the joy set before Him gladly gave His all for us. We honor our Father and our Savior King Jesus when we boldly receive all He purchased for us on that cursed tree.

 For years, many taught the Church that we were the mere stewards of God. That we were God's servants. Is that our position in Christ? Did God send His Son so He could have an innumerable number of servants? This thinking is rooted in the mindset that God is the harsh taskmaster who looks for dutiful servants to complete all the tasks he assigns. 

 We are not the servants of God. In identity, we are the children of God. We are His family. God in a sense, sowed His Son to reap a family. We are the beloved children of an extravagantly loving Father who longs to fellowship and bestow kindness and mercy upon us. Our Father so loves us He eagerly lavishes us with His Goodness. We who believed are the beloved sons in whom He is well pleased.

And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:6-7 MEV

 Brother, didn't Paul call himself a servant of God? Yes, he did in some of his greetings to the churches. We know the Word doesn't contradict itself. Paul was referencing his work, his calling, his purpose. Saying it this way, in identity, he, like all believers, are sons and daughters. What we do is serve the Lord, serve one another, and we even serve the lost, in the sense of providing shelter or clothing or sustenance and in showing the way of salvation through Christ alone. We are sons who operate in steward or servant principles.  The point is in our identity we aren't slaves or unworthy servants without rights and privileges that come with sonship. 

 When we receive of the great Gift of Righteousness our prayer life is transformed greatly. We are no longer the servants begging for crumbs. We no longer see ourselves as the unworthy pleading to enter the Master's presence. We arise to take our place in Christ. We boldly enter in and feast at the King's table without reservation and freely receive all He has in His hand. 

 In summation, Receiving Righteousness transforms our self image and our interaction and fellowship with God our Father. Our prayer life is infused with refreshing and joyful exuberance. Prayer isn't a chore or task. Prayer becomes something we look forward to and no longer dread. Our prayers become bolder and we see the enemy flee as we, His children, take our rightful place in Christ. Come and sit at the King's table, there is a seat waiting for you, the Righteous. 

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay 

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