Is there something in you that comes undone when you hear a report of child abuse? Or that cancer has taken another life, despite the prayers of the saints? Perhaps you’re rattled by the lack of accountability among media, corporate, and political moguls who seem to get away with unbelievable wickedness.
What about personal rightness with God? Are you crestfallen when you realize you’ve sinned against the Holy One of Israel? We stand in the righteousness of Christ; yet the knowledge that there is grace doesn’t – or shouldn’t – annihilate the personal sorrow when we know that we’ve grieved the Holy Spirit, transgressed His commands, or brought shame to His name. If we are intimate with God, we cannot be careless toward His feelings.
For those who love God’s order and His precepts, unrighteousness is grievous. For a long time I’ve been meditating on Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” There’s a promise in that beatitude! Not only are those who are so intent on righteousness “blessed,” but Christ says that they shall be satisfied!
Is the promise personal? Is it corporate, for the church? Is it for every single place the kingdom is invited in? I believe it is all of the above.
Jesus chose the words “hunger and thirst” to illustrate in the natural an intense craving for something. When you hunger and thirst, you can think of nothing else except your hunger and thirst. Such single-mindedness, such focus, cannot be denied nor ignored.
“The kingdom of heaven is not food and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy,” Paul tells us in Romans. To desire righteousness is to desire the kingdom of heaven to come into every situation, congregation, policy, individual, and even cellular structure! It is what Jesus told us to pray for above all else (Matthew 6:10) and to “seek first” (Matthew 6:33).
I’ve been reminding God of this scriptural promise, made by Jesus Christ Himself. And I believe that we are in a season of fulfillment of this. Like the popular song says, “These are the days of Moses, righteousness being restored.” He would not give the remnant this intense craving for righteousness if He did not intend to keep His word. For even the desire for righteousness comes from Him, and not from us ourselves.
Many church denominations focus on peace, but there can be no peace without righteousness. May the Bride make herself ready!
(Psalm 63) A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
(Psalm 107:9) For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. (Proverbs 10:24) What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
(Proverbs 21:21) He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor.
“He who sows iniquity will reap vanity, and the rod of his fury will perish” (Proverbs 22:8).
(Jeremiah 31:25) “For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”