“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
“Then he believed in the Lord and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
Words mean things. It is not enough for people to use the right vocabulary. They must have the right dictionary. It is impossible to know what people believe until you know how they define the words they use.
It is possible for someone to use all the right words and mean all the wrong things. It has never been more important to know what words mean.
Righteousness is God’s gold standard for His creation. He is the one who defines it and refines it. There is no righteousness without being right with Him. Agreeing with God is the beginning righteousness. His is the only opinion that matters. If this makes you flinch, then you might want to check your alignment. Being right with God may mean you will be out of sync with people who expect you to get in line with them.
Moral absolutes make professing Christians cringe, and progressive secularists rage. When the light of the Word of God is introduced as a source for moral standards and social contracts, it creates great discomfort to those who are more comfortable with the twilight of evolving tolerance. When God’s people become more inclined to being in line with those who disagree with Him, they are on a slippery slope. If being right with others requires a person to be wrong with God, it is time for a turnaround. Take back the high ground.
Catch phrases, witticisms and moral platitudes abound in a culture that devalues moral absolutes. What God’s Word says is considered to be at the very least a composition of quaint, old school concepts that have become outdated and desperately in need of an upgrade. At the very worst, God’s Word is accused of being filled with hate speech, and just plain mean.
One of the more popular battle cries of the contemporary culture war is the phrase, “It is imperative that we come down on the right side of history.” That statement really has a great deal of merit, and can lead in the right direction if the emphasis is made on the right syllable. Coming down on the right side of history is all about being in agreement with HIS story.
Sin is a matter of missing the mark God originally set for His creation to be right with Him. Those who do not believe in Him are free to express their opinion, but they do not get a free pass to redefine who God is or what He meant about Himself. Today it is a popular concept to elevate oneself to a higher level of mercy and compassion than God, by disagreeing with Him in public. It usually means that a person feels their way to a new level of insight about God’s love and compassion. Because they do not want to offend a friend, relative, boss, base of a political party, or a hostile activist who disagrees with God, they put God’s Word on mute. Disagreeing agreeably with those who disagree with God does not mean that a true believer can remain silent. Silence may not be the same as kicking God to the curb, but is hardly an invitation for Him to sit in the driver’s seat. If disagreeing agreeably is the new gold standard for “believers” who desire to be politically correct, then they must be extremely careful not to devalue God’s Word. Silence is not always golden. Sometime it is just plain yellow.
Believe means to agree with God. It is rooted in the very same Hebrew word that entered into Christian vocabulary as “Amen.” The very essence of the word was meant to convey the concept of affirmation or agreement with something that has just been stated in the public arena. In the Hebraic form of worship and in the course of their daily life, they were expected to make a verbal response when a blessing from the Word of God was read, a prayer was prayed, or a statement was made about the character of God. To remain silent was not considered a virtue. The righteous would be expected to shout out, “I agree!” When Abram heard what God had in mind, he believed. His belief was expressed by a public identification with God. His agreement with God was in word and deed. In every sense of the word he gave God a big “Amen!”
God’s absolutes never become obsolete. The authority of God’s Word may become an embarrassment, but His Word will never expire. The ash heap of human history is filled with the remains and refuse of once mighty nations who chose to take their own counsel and to reject God’s. It is a popular concept to value diversity over authority. It is common for believers to back up in the public arena from declaring God’s word as authoritative. The fear of man has become increasingly pervasive, as “believers” have become alarmingly evasive. They have traded intimacy with God for intimidation by man. In choosing to be known as open-minded and culturally sensitive, courage has fled from their heart.
Being right with God is based upon being in agreement with Him. God’s Word is the final authority on His direction, protection and correction for His creation. The very thought that God’s Word is an authority is an anathema to a culture saturated with its own self-importance, and a church focused on self-preservation. Those who claim to be believers are often bullied into silence by purveyors of a conventional wisdom that rejects a one size fits all morality clause. To ignore God’s Word is a personal option that He grants to those who choose not to believe in HIS story. However, the wrong choice never brings about the right consequences. Putting on dark glasses does not remove the sun’s rays from doing damage to the skin, and ignoring God’s Word does not dim the consequences of sin.
People may not believe HIS story, but it doesn’t change the ending. Being right with God begins with agreeing with Him. When you choose to agree with God, expect those who believe He is wrong to be disagreeable with you. The gold standard of God’s creation is a righteousness that cannot be purchased by you, but it can be received from Him. You will come down on the right side of HIS story when you accept what HIS Son bought with His own blood. Through Jesus you can be right with God. He is still the only way.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!
For over 40 years, Gary and Dana Miller have invested their lives in the pastoral ministry of churches in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Georgia. Gary and Dana believe the hope of the world is the local church, and the strength of the church is sustained by praying people.
They have taught extensively on the role of prayer in spiritual awakening, counseled people to build strong marriages by equipping husbands and wives to pray together and have ministered internationally in Hong Kong, Japan, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Switzerland through their TALK LESS! PRAY MORE! Prayer Conferences.
Gary and Dana live in Fort Worth, Texas and have been married for 40 years. They are parents of two grown daughters, Ashley and Allyson.