We’ve been answering the question, “Why Doesn’t my faith work?” We’re investigations why it sometimes feels like our prayers are not being answered, and we’re not living in the blessing or promises of God in certain areas of our lives.
Deuteronomy 16:20 says, “Follow what is altogether just (uncompromisingly righteous), that you may live and inherit the land which your God gives you.”. In other words, in today’s context, when we live righteous lives, our prayers will be answered and we will walk in the manifest promises of God. This is only one of the 87 scriptures that speaks about the benefits and blessing for the uncompromisingly righteous - those who choose to follow wholeheartedly after the Lord and His ways.
So, living righteously obviously has much to do with us not just getting God’s ear, but moving His hand in our lives too. Interestingly enough, all 87 scriptures are found in the Old Testament. When we cross over into the New Testament, these promises remain just as true, except, now they have an added value - they become appropriate and accessible to every born-again child of God - through faith!
Does that mean we don’t have to focus on living righteous lives in order to receive God’s promises? Um...No - that’s not what it means at all. According to the New Covenant we have in Jesus, He has made us righteous through His redeeming blood and given us a new nature by His Own Holy Spirit.
This means because we have been made righteous, instead of trying to live righteously in our own strength, we are now empowered to do so by the Holy Spirit Who lives inside us. If you remember, in my previous letter, I spent some time teaching this truth. Now today, I want to show you how faith in God and His Word is the mark of an uncompromisingly righteous child of God. Which is wonderful, because we are promised that it’s the uncompromisingly righteous who walk in God’s blessing and favour!
Now do you remember why it’s so important for us to have strong faith? It’s because the Bible teaches us faith is the way we inherit God’s promises. So faith and righteous living go hand in hand when it comes to seeing our prayers answered.
Don’t get confused by the scripture that says our good works are as filthy rags to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6), thinking it means living righteously doesn’t have anything to do with our prayers been answered. When we read that scripture in context, it has to do with us receiving salvation. Nothing we ever do will earn us eternal life. That is a gift that’s received through faith alone. We are speaking about living righteous lives once we have received the gift of salvation.
Once again, we must remember that for the born-again child of God, faith and righteous living go hand in hand when it comes to seeing our prayers answered.
Let’s take a look at the patriarch of faith, Abraham, for a moment. Do you remember how God credited Abraham’s unwavering, rock solid faith as righteous? Take a look at what Romans 4:3 says, “Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God).”
I particularly love what verse 23 of Romans 4 says, “But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,...”.
There it is again, Abraham’s unwavering faith in God was credited to him as righteousness - this speaks of his position in God. In our new covenant through Christ, we have been made righteous - this is our position in God.
The Bible says that it’s this position we have in God that empowers us to live righteous lives before Him. It says it’s credited to those who, “trust in, adhere to, and rely on God”.
Do those words sound like someone who doesn’t love to walk righteously and in obedience to God’s Word? Of course not! In fact, here’s a little side note I feel to mention: When people try to convince you that righteous living is not necessary for a born-again believer because there is no consequence to sin anymore, tell them to go read their Bible in context.
When people are constantly looking for a “loop whole” to condone living in disobedience to God’s Word they are more than likely trying to find an excuse to accommodate sin in their lives they are not willing to give up, and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If anything, this kind of teaching should sound off very loud alarm bells in your spirit!
If we truly know the character of God, and love Him with all our hearts, there is simply no way of separating our joyful willingness to be obedient to His ways from having faith in Him. If you love Him, you’ll enjoy being obedient to His ways. (John 14:21).
Psalms 45:7 echos this very sentiment, “You love righteousness, uprightness, and right standing with God and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.”
So, to recap what we’ve covered in today’s letter, we’ve continued to lay the foundational truth that loving and having faith in God is the mark of someone who is joyfully obedient to His ways. What does that have to do with are prayers being answered - there are more than enough scriptures supporting the fact that faith and righteous living cause us to walk in an open heaven where God’s promises become our reality.
Next week, I want to speak about a key principle of righteous living, found in God’s Word, that will keep our faith activated making our prayers effective.
All my love,