Oh My Righteousness!

Posted: August 28, 2012 in Spiritual Growth
Tags: , , ,

If I started this blog by spouting off about my righteousness, you would think I was some kind of prig, completely full of myself. But a few days ago, I was reading Psalm 18 and I read these words penned by the hand of King David.

“The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.” (Psalm 18:18-23 NIV)

Say, what, David? Can we honestly conclude from this passage that David never sinned? Hardly. Some of his most famous sins are right there for our reading pleasure, for all the world to see. Reading these kinds of passages make most of us Christians a little uncomfortable. We tend to kind of gloss over them. We take more comfort in the occasional phrases, “It is all God and none of me.” “I’m far from perfect.” or “We just won’t ever get there until we get to heaven.” While all of these phrases may have some element of truth in them, I have a feeling that David had a revelation we could all get ahold of. David, even in his pre-cross lifetime, had an uncanny revelation of the redemptive heart of God.

Some may say that many of us are “living on the wrong side of the cross” and I would agree. You see, so often we say we are aware that Jesus paid it all, but we still see ourselves as though he hadn’t. David, even David who did not yet know of the cross, still took the forgiveness of God seriously enough to see himself as utterly and completely righteous, clean, and pure.

We are always making a big deal of our inadequacy before God as if we were trying to convince ourselves and others of how humble we are. David is humble before God. He acknowledges that it was God who made him clean, that it was God who brought him where he was to that day, but he allows himself permission to delight in the rewards of the Lord and to celebrate his own cleanness of soul. He celebrates the times that he was tempted and did not turn away.

If these statements were not audacious enough he goes on to say this:

“You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.” (Psalm 18:43, 44 NIV)

David is actually delighting in the fact that foreigners cower before him in all his power and majesty. I don’t think David is talking figuratively here. David really did defeat powerful armies and become the head of nations. He was given so much power that when he said, “Jump!” everyone asked, “How high?” Did David say, “Nah, I never really wanted that much power. Give it to that other guy.”? No, he did the equivalent of skipping around like a school girl because of the power and honor that the Lord had bestowed upon him.

I think we as Christians need to loose ourselves from the chains of false humility by having the freedom to celebrate what the Lord is doing in and through us. If you get a promotion, praise the Lord! Pat yourself on the back for not cheating or gossiping when you had the chance. We need to stop apologizing to ourselves and others for having big ambitions for the Lord. Ambition can be holy when it is not relegated to the realm of the self. God does bless us with “spiritual blessings” to be sure and these are the blessings that endure. However, he also blesses us in the earthly realm and when he does this, we need not give an apology for receiving it or act like we don’t care.

If you are a blood-bought believer in Jesus Christ, do me a favor. Read Psalm 18 with new permission, permission to delight in yourself the way God does, permission to jump and shout with glee when he rewards you in this life. Get a revelation of just how good God is and how good your life is in Him!

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