Walking in Righteousness

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Matthew 5:6
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

The original Greek words for hunger, thirst, and righteousness put a bit of a stronger meaning to this verse. While hunger and thirst are definitely good words to use in the translation, we must not think this simply means just a little yearning for a snack or needing a sip of water but indicates a starvation and dying of thirst when you would do anything just for a crumb of bread and a drop of water. Righteousness here represents a purity of life. In other words, blessed are those who are starving for and dying of thirst for God’s will. Psalm 119 does a good job of expounding upon this concept:

1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3 They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. 4 You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!

One of our biggest issues in Christianity (and maybe just religion as a whole) is that we have this idea that we can make our own way. Our prideful thought process drives us to do “what is right” but our perspective of that is skewed. We cannot do right and we cannot be good enough. Our righteousness is filthy rags (as the Apostle Paul would describe it). Notice that Jesus did not say, “Blessed are those who are righteous,” rather, “blessed are those who seek righteousness.” In other words, it isn’t about achieving it, but desiring it. The psalmist worded it, blessed are those who seek Him with all their heart. When we seek Him, we will find Him. When we try to do God’s will, we will accomplish it. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will hunger and thirst no more because He gives it to us. So, if we truly do seek His righteousness in our lives, how then do we obtain it? How do we ask for it? How do we receive it? We find out in Luke 11:

5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Our Heavenly Father wants to pour out His Spirit upon us so we can walk in His righteousness, but He wants us to desire it. We see in these two examples that God wants us to not just say we want it, but to truly desire it. This is why I explained the gravity of the hunger and thirst we need to have for His righteousness. It is by the Holy Spirit we are empowered to walk in righteousness and avoid sinful behavior. He has made it possible for us to walk in righteousness so that we can live in communion with Him here and now; we just have to want it. If we do, we will be blessed, not only by the power to walk in His righteousness but also the blessing of being covered in His righteousness. Why wouldn’t you want that?

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