Bring God Joy and Pleasure
Recently I posted about Justification. It’s one of two different layers Scripture tells us about if we’re to understand righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
The second layer is Sanctification. Sanctification is another big Bible word. It means growing in holiness and living a life of righteousness. When you are experiencing sanctification, the heartbeat of your very existence is to do those things that are right and holy and bring God joy and pleasure. You position yourself to live in obedience to truth. Jesus says that when you hunger for a life of holiness and thirst to do what is right and pleasing to God—and that’s the filter everything else passes through—you are going to be filled. You will be happy and satisfied!
People who are bound by habitual sin and who struggle repeatedly with the same old thing that keeps them in bondage, need to hold on to this truth. If you will hunger and thirst for righteousness instead of the thing that has a vice-like hold on you, you will be satisfied. You will find contentment and be joy-filled. You will not have to go to this sinful thing that will not last, and will only bring guilt, shame, and ruin to your life.
There’s one step you need to take to get free of that bondage, and His name is Jesus. This one step of hungering and thirsting for righteousness in Him will fill you to the point where you’ll realize, “Any sinful scrap that beckons me can’t have any power over me when my Father has set a banquet table in front of me!”
I met Jesus twenty-five years ago, and I hungered and thirsted for Him. As I went after Him with everything that I could, I realized that what He filled me with was so superior to anything else. All the temporary things I had thought were so important to my happiness before suddenly had no power over me.
Romans 6:12, 13 says, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
What was Paul saying? Live a righteous and holy life. Don’t compromise and live in sin. Don’t even flirt or toy with it. Christians, we have always been called to live lives of righteousness and holiness, doing things approved by God and bringing His blessing on our lives. It’s not, “Blessed and happy are you when you hunger and thirst for sin, compromise, and unrighteousness.” Long for sanctification, holiness, and righteousness, and you will find that it brings the blessings of God.