Righteousness is the key to standing before a holy God, not in condemnation. Our righteousness must come from God, if we are going to see the power of God work in our lives. The believer must develop a righteousness consciousness instead of a sin consciousness.
Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
The message to the Church is that you are to be established in the righteousness of God. When this takes place, you will see holiness in your life. This is only possible when you become a doer of the Word, instead of only a hearer. The person who is a doer of the Word is likened to the man who built his home on a rock, see Matthew 7:24-27, and the storm affected both houses.
The storms of life will affect both types of Christians. God loves both, but the one acts on the promises of God, and the other does not. The person who is studying the Bible and acting on it will not be controlled by problems, however the one who only listens to the Word, will be devastated by the problems. There is nothing you can do to earn godly righteousness, because Isaiah 64:6 tells you that all your righteousness is as filthy rags. God has to provide divine favour by covering you with the righteousness of Christ, otherwise you would be unacceptable, standing before a holy God.
God CANNOT TOLERATE SIN because of His nature. From His viewpoint you must be free of sin before He can accept you. HOLINESS is very similar to THE GLORY of God. It is FLOWING out of His PERSONALITY and PRESENCE. ABSENCE OF SIN is the RESULT OF HOLINESS and is NOT HOLINESS ITSELF.
Holiness is the CHARACTER and NATURE of God because GOD IS HOLY. Jesus is the holiness of God extended to you, and He provides the way BECAUSE HE IS THE WAY. You are ACCEPTED by God because Jesus was holy, and covered you with His righteousness, so God sees you exactly as He sees Jesus. Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and BLAMELESS, and IRREPROACHABLE in His sight.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Paul tells you in Ephesians that you don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. You are faced with the same type of spiritual battles today. In many countries the enemy of your soul seems to be winning the battle.
Many times this is because you do not realize that you are fighting a spiritual battle. You must recognize who your enemy is, and learn to recognize when he is trying to attack you. Learn what his limitations are, as well as your limitations. Learn how to do battle with him. Satan will not flee from you if you have not been submitting or being obedient to God.
James 4:7 SUBMIT THEREFORE TO GOD. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Using carnal methods in spiritual warfare is totally useless. The satanic forces are working very hard in every country of the world. God has given you the authority to stop their progress, because they were defeated at Calvary. Jesus is expecting YOU to use His name to stop their work. Many Christians have the mistaken idea that spiritual warfare starts with binding the enemy. Spiritual warfare must start with praise and worship. It is extremely important that you start the battle with the protection that God has for you. The enemy wants you to have a spirit of heaviness, so that you will feel defeated before you start to attack him. He wants you to have the attitude that you can’t afford to antagonize the satanic forces. God has a different plan for you. He wants you to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
In the above verse as well as in James 4:7 you see the need of righteousness and submission to God. Some have the attitude that Satan has been chasing them all week, instead of fleeing from them. Most of the time there’s no need look any further than examining our obedience to the desires and will of the Lord for our lives. You will receive satanic attacks even when you are totally living for the Lord, but they will have to flee from you when you resist them through the authority of the name of Jesus. A higher spiritual force is needed to overcome this satanic spiritual warfare.
It is imperative that you have the power of the Holy Spirit operating through you if you are going to be victorious in this area. Remaining full of the protection and power of the Holy Spirit will be determined by how much you keep in step with the Holy Spirit. The secret to success is to be guided by the Holy Spirit on an hourly basis. Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, (keep in step with the Spirit).
The enemy’s primary purpose is not to trip you up with temptations, but to smear the name of Jesus. His idea is to show the world that his temptations are stronger than the protection Jesus has to offer. These temptations can trip you up very easily when you start to drop the armour God has for you. Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Are you fighting these forces by your own might, or are you using the might and power of the Lord? Quoting Scripture or using religious phrases will be useless unless your life is reflecting holiness, instead of the actions of the world.
In Numbers 16:1-33 Korah, Dathan and Abiram came against Moses, starting a rebellion against his leadership, and claimed that everyone in the congregation was holy. The end result was that the Lord allowed the ground to open up and swallow up these priests. Their "holiness" was only superficial and was totally unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord. Many people fall into the same trap by thinking their church attendance or other religious activities will excuse their faults in the eyes of the Lord. It takes more than lip service or church attendance to really be pleasing to the Lord. David in Today’s English Version, asks the following question in Psalm 119:9, "How can a young man keep his life pure? By obeying Your commandments." Holiness in your life will only be possible as you depending and obeying the guidance of the Holy Spirit and God’s written Word.
A number of years ago I phoned someone and asked them to meet us at a certain place. He was about an hour away, so I told him to watch his speed, as we would wait for him. Along one stretch of road the speed limit was 45 miles per hour, but he drove about 63. When a policeman stopped him, he told the man that he thought that was only the suggested speed limit.
The policeman then told him the he suggested he pay the traffic fine. Many believers treat the Lord the same way by acting as if His commands are only suggestions. Continuing with this type of attitude will completely take a person out of the area of holiness. Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. In some countries when a man is dressed a certain way, the people refer to him as "a holy man," when in reality the way a person dresses does not prove an inward lifestyle. Holiness will be demonstrated by your lifestyle, and will be noticed by others.
How do others see you and what do they think of how you live? Is it pleasing to the Lord, or is it only for show as seen of the religious people in the days of Jesus. Mark 12:38 Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 "the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 "who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation." It will take real commitment on your part if you want to be included with the group who hear the Lord say: "Well done you good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." Each of us would like to be in that group, but how many are willing to maintain the lifestyle that qualifies them to be included?