Righteousness Peace and Joy
The main theme, if you haven't already guessed, is having our relationships restored with people around us, with ourselves and with God. I will repeat myself over and over but there is a reason for it. We need to hear it over and over! Because I know for a fact that If we aren’t in fellowship (relationship) with God, how can He give us anything? We prevent Him from moving in our lives because of our OWN THINKING! Can you trust your possessions to someone you don't know? Would you hand over your billfold to a stranger to hold while you do an errand? No, of course not. But that's how we treat God, like a stranger. This is evidenced in the way we live our lives. Do we trust God with our life, finances, our family?
Until we understand the Love of God, we cannot receive anything from Him in the amount He wants us to have. So if we haven’t received His love for us personally, we certainly can’t love ourselves, let alone love others. Are you trying to forgive and love? Did you know that all your "trying" will only cause you to be frustrated?" Wouldn’t it be nice if you can simply "forgive and love?" Did you know that forgiveness and love brings health?
As we enter into this teaching session, it is important that you take your time going through it. Give it time to absorb. I’ve had people say that there is a lot of knowledge being imparted and it’s very over-whelming to take in all at once. But be "diligent" and don’t give up because a diligent person will obtain righteousness and honor. (Proverbs 21:21).
This ministry believes in the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We need to understand these three characters of God in their entirety in order to understand who God is for us. (Ephesians Chapter 4) We will be identifying each of the God-head separately for complete understanding and knowledge. Many don't know Jesus personally, God personally or the Holy Spirit personally. It's important to see all their attributes and characteristics so we can "know" them fully.
What Does Relationships Have to Do with Healing?
Our bodies are balanced in perfect homeostasis when our hearts are balanced in relationship with the Lord, ourself and with others.
I was in bondage to fear until I understood and received relationship with the Godhead fully. It opened the door for me to love myself and to love others. This is one of the most important teachings offered to help in your restoration and healing.
The book of Jeremiah talks about relationship with God, others and with ourselves, explaining the results of not abiding in truth! Take the time to read through Jeremiah for further understanding.
The following teaching describes the relationship we are to have with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, ourselves and others. Hopefully this will help you discern your own life. I found that we need to know ourselves before we can really move forward. And I would suspect that many reading this don't know themselves very well, some avoid seeing within their own hearts, and some refuse to admit their own failings. We have to get past all that, and face ourselves in truth. But we can only do this when we get a revelation on God's love for us. Because it's His love that will help us see within more clearly without guilt, shame, condemnation or fear. And if we do feel those things, we won't stay there long because we truly understand the Love of God.
The scripture that is used in this teaching is: "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. " (Romans 14:17)
After you have begun seeking more of the love of God, and applying forgiveness to your life and to the lives of others, there are still other things that can help with your sanctification process.
This is in the areas of righteousness, peace, and joy. I believe these areas have been lacking greatly in a Christian's life, otherwise people wouldn't be seeking so much ministry. There is a fine line between the "righteousness of God in Christ Jesus " and "self-righteousness " and a fine line between "peace that passes all understanding " and the peace that the world gives.
We will discover in this session these three attributes that God has so graciously given us. He knew that these three things would help establish us and help us as we journey through this life. These three areas have to be real in our lives in order to live the life we so desire.
Righteousness for the most part seems to be one of the hardest mysteries of God to understand and comprehend. Personally I know what the Word says, but somehow it's been difficult getting it into my heart so that it becomes "me. "
Righteousness is vital to a Christian, if we don't know we are righteous right now, and what that really means, we'll struggle as a Christian.
The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. (I would tend to say, the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but Righteousness, peace and joy - and I would stop there. But it's in the Holy Ghost that we are able to live in the Kingdom. These two small words "is " and "in " are powerful and need to be looked at closely. Where is the Kingdom of God? It is within us. How? Because the Holy Spirit came to live in us when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. So by deductive reasoning, we "are " righteous the minute we receive Christ, that is done by faith. The Kingdom of God "is " righteousness, which now dwells in you! We as Christians need to separate our actions from the truth. We may not do everything right, but we are still righteous! That has to be settled once and for all. We all wear the "robe of righteousness " right now! That's what is covering us and provides us access to the throne of Grace day and night. It's a cloak, a covering, signifying our sins are covered and we "are " holy right now and always. God demands holiness, and we couldn't freely come to Him until we had on that robe making us holy too. Jesus gave us that robe so we could have sweet fellowship with God.
Hebrews says, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ " (Romans 8:1). The word we need to pay close attention to is "in. " We have righteousness when we are in the Holy Ghost as stated in Romans 14. We have no guilt or condemnation when we are in Christ. We need to ask God to help us get a revelation on being "in " Christ.
When I receive by faith the complete work of Christ personally (forgiveness of my sins and iniquities - all of them) then I am in Him. I am living in Righteousness. When we are in Christ, His righteousness perfects us. God demands holiness to be in fellowship with us, so when He sees us, He really sees Christ's righteousness. Romans 5:8 says that those who believe (being righteous) are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered (which is the robe of righteousness). It doesn't say we are sinless, it says they are covered.
The Bible says that to "DO " righteousness is to love our brother. Then I went on to think that to "be " righteous is to love ourselves. " Because we can't love our brother until we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:40) When we love our brother we are "doing " righteousness and when we love ourselves it's because we have received the complete works of Christ within our own lives to forgive ourselves and "be " righteous. We cannot forgive ourselves or love ourselves if we didn't receive Christ's sacrifice for our sins and received the forgiveness and love personally.
I believe many are still under guilt and condemnation, cannot forgive themselves, I believe it's because they have not applied forgiveness to their own sins through Jesus. In Christ is to believe that Christ's work on the cross is finished. Jesus even said, "It is finished. " What is "it? " Love perfected in his sacrifice. We are completed when we receive what Jesus did for us. If someone is "free " it's because they have applied the forgiveness to their lives Jesus came to give. To be free means to be free from the bondage and control of sin.
Abraham believed and it was counted to him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3) What did he believe? He believed God justifies the ungodly. In other words, he believed that God forgives sins. (Romans 4:5)
Nothing we "DO " can MAKE us righteous. Even loving our brother doesn't "make " us righteous. We need to believe we are righteous before we can "DO " righteously. So the first thing to "do " is receive the complete works of Christ once and for all, for our sins of yesterday, today and tomorrow - right now. And then pray God give you a revelation on Righteousness.
Romans 3:21-31 says that Righteousness means to believe that we have been redeemed by the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. BELIEVE and RECEIVE. Believe what He did, then apply it to our own lives by faith (power of Holy Ghost).
Note: I know I keep repeating myself, but this is one principle that needs repeating over and over. For me, I had a hard time understanding the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and if you are anything like me, it takes going over many times. So I'll continue.
Jesus said to the scribes, "You must eat of my flesh and drink of my blood to be part of me. " That offended them. But this is true. We are "in " Christ when we understand what it means to eat his flesh and drink his blood. I'm not a scholar in this, but God has given me understanding through the Holy Ghost. This simply put means that when we partake in remembrance of Him during communion, our faith is being worked. And as we do this, we recognize that we are "in " him. Eating his flesh means that we are healed, drinking his blood means that we are forgiven. Healing and forgiveness go hand in hand. This helps me believe even more what I teach about health and sin. Even this scripture depicts it. We are healed and we are forgiven when we are "in " him. But then why are we still sick?
Because not know do you need to "know " this truth, you need to believe and receive it. That's the hard part. But with God all things are possible. He will help you believe this and receive this. But he has to work through his Holy Spirit to teach you how.
Righteousness and doing things right are not the same. The Bible says to "do " what God has instructed in the Word. If you do it, are you righteous? Yes. If you don't do it ar you righteous? Yes. Our action does not dictate our righteousness. However, when we live after the righteousness one and believe all I have shared, then your actions naturally follow. What happens is that we think that "doing " is the same as "being " and it's not. That's why so many Christians are sad, they are mad at themselves because they just can't seem to do everything right. They feel guilty and bad all the time. It's because they don't realize that even in their sin and mistakes, they are still "righteous. " Remember, the robe of righteousness covers them all, doesn't remove them! "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. "
Trying to be good all the time will cause an individual stress. See, right acts follow those who believe they are righteous. If we "try " being good, we are in works of the flesh and destined for failure.
This is a prayer for you to speak to the Lord. It's only a sample, you can make your own prayer, but this helps you establish the righteousness in you once and for all.
"Father, I need a deeper revelation on righteousness. Open my eyes to the truth about it. Help me to see that righteousness is not outward things I do or don't do, but the inner heart of believing. I am righteous right now. Help me gain understanding Lord. Help me to remember that I am in you every day of my life. and when I slip up or forget, or act un seemingly, let me remember that I have Jesus as my Advocate and Savior to forgive me and restore me to you. Father, help me to see that. I don't even have to try to be "in " you because receiving Christ places me in the "in " crowd automatically! Help me to simply receive the righteousness of Christ right now, not because of what I've done, but because of what you've done. IN Jesus name, Amen. "
In reading scriptures, Jesus could speak a word, and it was done. Why? Because he KNEW who He was! He knew He was the Son of God and was given all power and authority. Did you know you have the same ability as a believer? Someone who has truly accepted what Christ did on the cross has these same abilities? But why don't' we? Because we don't have a revelation on the "Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus."
We need a revelation on the "power of Jesus' resurrection (Philippians 3:10). What does it mean to Know Him and the POWER of His resurrection? It means that we need to know Him - all of Him. God the Father, God the Son, and the POWER of His resurrection is the Holy Spirit! We need to get a deep understanding of who is living in us, and what power He has - that it was the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead!
Do you feel dead, lifeless and/or depressed? Then you have no clue what that power is to you. And the Bible is very clear that only what you believe shall come unto you! And many are in this situation because they have lost hope. That hope needs to be restored. Malachi says, "My people perish for lack of knowledge. "
Once you get a deep down revelation on God's love in your life, it will also help you understand what being righteous is all about, then you will be able to see the "power of His resurrection " at work in your life! But as said before, the foundation HAS to be laid! First things first, then the other "knowing " comes.
See we all want to "know " everything. The need to know came from Eve. She wanted to "know " both good and evil, that is why she took of the tree of knowledge. She wanted to know. So now we have been cursed with that, but it can be broken. You can turn your desire of "knowing " to knowing the things I'm talking about. Not knowing why the neighbor has been gone 3 weeks, or why your kids haven't called, or why your husband does what he does… those aren't the kinds of things God talks about when He wants you "know. " Because I find that when we try to know those things, we need to out of our need to control. The need to "know " all things borders on witchcraft. Think about that.
So how do you gain the righteousness I'm talking about?
Take Your Peace!
Peacemakers shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9)
How many of us don’t have peace? I’ve heard people say, “I just want peace of mind.” The same is true for those who want stability. I had a friend tell me once that she would pay a million dollars for stability. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1). And it goes on to say that a double minded man would get nothing of the Lord.
Double-mindedness is our own thoughts against God’s thoughts. Peace starts in what we are thinking. If we are in constant array of doubt, belief, doubt, belief, this is double -mindedness. The Bible tells us to be of a singleness of mind. The mind of Christ.
Peace and Patience
If we desire peace, we must also desire patience. Patience and peace go hand in hand. If you have peace, you have patience, if you have patience, then you have peace. I believe this is why people don’t have peace; they aren’t willing to acquire patience.
James 1:3-4 “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” (If any of you lack peace, if any of you have wants, if anyone is discontented, then you probably don’t have patience.)
Jesus came to give us peace, not as the world gives though (John 14:27). He came to give us peace within our hearts and minds. Because He knew that “world peace” starts in the hearts of men, in the minds of men.
Now let me address the area of Peace: Peace and Righteousness go hand in hand. You cannot have Peace without righteousness. "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost " (Romans 14:17).
I've heard people say, "I just want peace of mind. " The same is true for those who want stability. I had a friend tell me once that she would pay a million dollars for stability. "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. " James 1. And it goes on to say that a double minded man would get nothing of the Lord.
Double-mindedness is our own thoughts against God's thoughts. Peace starts in what we are thinking. If we are in constant array of doubt, belief, doubt, belief, this is double -mindedness. The Bible tells us to be of a singleness of mind. The mind of Christ is available to us.
When Jesus left this planet, He left saying, "My peace I leave with you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. " (John 14:27)
That seems pretty clear, but what do we do? We go around trying to fix everyone and everything around us so we can have some peace. That's not what Jesus came to bring. He said he didn't come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34). And if you continue reading in vs. 35 explains what that sword is. It's having a right relationship with our family members, and with Him. So again, we go back to having a right relationship with others through forgiveness and love.
So how do you get the kind of peace Jesus is talking about? The Bible says that Jesus is our peace. Jesus represents a sound mind. Jesus represents the Word of Truth. The Bible tells us that we already have the mind of Christ. (Phil: 2:5) It doesn't say, we are to have it, it says we HAVE it! And when we have this mind, renewing it daily as the Bible teaches, we will find the peace that Jesus came to give. We have the mind of Christ when we "believe " we have the mind of Christ. We can also say the same about righteousness, we have righteousness when we believe we have it. It's very clear that we can only "have " what we believe. It can be there, it can sit right in front of us, but until we believe and receive it, it's nothing. (To have is to receive.)
Peace comes by getting the bad thinking out of our minds. (Refer to the Mind-Body connection session for more information.) I know that I have peace when my mind is at peace. Things can be falling apart around me, but if my mind is at peace, then it doesn't matter what is going on around me. But the only way my mind can have peace is to get the truth in there so that the lies are cast out. That is why we need to renew our minds every day. Junk tries to get in every single day, and if we go on too long, those thoughts can take over. That is why it is critical to keep our "minds on Him. " When we do that, He keeps us in "perfect peace. " (Isaiah 26:3)
And as we get the Word into our hearts, it begins to work into our lives resulting in "doing " rightly, "having " peace, and all the blessings that you desire.
The Bible tells us to put on the "shoes of peace. " We put on peace by walking in truth. The truth is to heed what the Word says, and the scripture of all scripture is Matthew 22:38-40. If we "obey " this scripture, we are putting on peace! And again, we cannot obey anything until we know the person we want to obey - as described in the session on "God's love. "
I don't believe you cannot get in a prayer line and have peace placed on you. Peace comes when we pursue it, no one else can do it. And it's God's peace and His peace alone that has to dwell in you. We gain His peace by building our relationship with Him. Peace comes when we have righteousness. Peace comes when we trust and believe God loves us. Peace comes when we have patience, because we trust and believe God for everything in our lives.
Did you know that patience brings peace? I know that isn't what you may have wanted to hear. But there are scriptures that support what I am saying. Look them up for yourself.
Romans 5:2-5, Romans 15:4, II Corinthians 6:4, I Thessalonians 1:3, II Thessalonians 1:4, I Timothy 6:11, Hebrews 6:12 (in this particular one, it says through faith and patience you shall inherit the promises of God), Hebrews 10:36, and Revelation 14:12.
The last one is the one (Revelation 14;12) I want to focus on (yet read them all as they will help you greatly) it says, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. " Those who have patience WILL keep the commandments of God. When we keep His commandments, we stay in peace. When you have the patience of God, you will overcome the devil.
But you need to remember the BIGGEST thing that we as Christians forget! When (not if) we don't keep the commandments, we need to confess our sins and receive forgiveness immediately. That way we stay in obedience at all times. It's not that we do everything right all the time, it's when we do something wrong we stay in right standing with God because we have applied the sacrifice Jesus gave for our sins! That is why there is a scripture that says we no longer sin. It's not that we are not sinners; it's that when we sin, we are immediately purified through receiving forgiveness.
Peace and patience go hand in hand. If you don't have patience, you don't have peace. And if you recall, patience is a love virtue! As a matter of fact, if you read each virtue, patience is within each one. In order to have long suffering, you have to have patience to do so. In order to not be easily provoked, you have to have patience to not be provoked. Patience is weaved within First Corinthians 13. In some translations, the first virtue says that Love is patient. James 1:3-4 "Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. " (If any of you lack peace, if any of you have wants, if anyone is discontented, then you probably don't have patience.)
Let me explain with a practical application. Some of you are aware of my seatbelt stories, and I'll use it again to make my point.
I find that when I don't put on my seat belt, I am ever watching for highway patrol. So when I do see one, I'll put it on quickly. It only causes me to be edgy and anxious while driving. But on the other hand, when I simply put it on, I drive in peace. I'm not worried if a Highway patrol pulls up next to me, because I "obeyed " the law.
Peace comes with obedience to the ordinances of man (I Peter 2:13) and obedience to the royal law found in James 2:8, we are to love one another and Matthew 22:38-40, we will be in obedience! As we take God at His word and "do " what He asks, Righteousness, Peace and Joy will come. But again, when we mess up, we are to go immediately to God and confess so that we stay clean before our Lord.
Then finally, an area that will produce peace is walking in truth. By staying truthful we won't have to remember what lie we spoke. By staying in truth, you please God. "I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth. " (III John 3.) You want to live in Righteousness, Peace and Joy? Then speak the truth with all men (Ephesians 4:25).
Here are some Scriptures to help you on your journey:
(Isaiah 26:3) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, BECAUSE he trusteth in thee. This is a powerful scripture, so let's look at it closely.
God keeps us in peace, we don't keep ourselves. Scripture says, “He will keep us in perfect peace when our mind is on Him. We don’t keep ourselves in peace, As a matter of fact, if we do anything, we are to pursue it. We pursue it by keeping our mind on Him! He does the rest. But, we can't really keep our minds on Him as long as our minds are filled with other things that are robbing us of peace. And the reason we cannot keep our mind on Him is that we don't really "know " Him. We don't really "know " that He is with us in every breath we take, every move we make and that He's ever watchful of us. We don't really know His character, one of love and peace and compassion. Some still see God as very mean. We cannot trust someone we don't know. We cannot walk in righteousness if we don't really know the "righteous " one.
I'm not talking about Salvation, but perhaps I should, because a person who is saved has believed on the one who sent Jesus. Hebrews says that "We must first believe that He is… " First things first. Since I had a problem with doubt and unbelief, I focused all my attention on knowing that God existed, all the time. What I mean is that I would believe God was there in some of my situations, but not in all. I could believe God to get me up in the morning, but I couldn't believe Him to pay my bills. So then I took it upon myself to "do " something because answers weren't coming from God quick enough, or it seemed, not at all. This is where doubt sets in. We have to believe He is there ALL THE TIME, and He is good ALL THE TIME. We do this by getting a revelation on His Love, His Righteousness, and His Joy. "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink (outer condition) but Righteousness, peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. " (Romans 14).
So far we have recognized some things about our own heart condition that pertains to peace, patience and righteousness which describes all the ingredients for living the abundant life that is spoken of in the Word.
We do have a part to do here. Patience comes by trials. Patience produces peace. Peace results in righteousness. It all works together and not one without the other for completeness in God.
Jesus IS our peace. "My peace I leave with you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. " He bequeathed us His peace. It's yours for the taking.
Take Your Peace! Nothing outside of you will give you peace. "Outside " peace is what the world wants to see. All beauty queens are asked what they would like to see in the world, and their candid answers are "World peace. " When Jesus came, He didn't come to bring peace (worldly kind) but a sword (inner peace). Peace comes from your own thoughts. But know that with peace come trials of patience because they work together. By working together will result in you having contentment in all things. No stress, no worry, no anxiety ONLY PEACE. The kind that no matter what is going on around you, you cannot get upset.
If you'll notice, peace was something everyone needed to pursue. If you look in the Bible, many greetings and departures address this. For example, ending in the book of II Thessalonians says, "now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.. " And the greetings in I Timothy says, "Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith, grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. " It's throughout the whole Bible! There is a reason, we all need to remember to "take our peace. "
If you are willing to pursue peace, then follow along with this prayer:
"Father, I am not walking in peace like I want to. I know that I have caused much of my own upset by not trusting you. I confess my lack of patience Father. I confess my fear of "desiring " patience because I know that everyone knows what happens when we ask for patience! But, I will not fear, and I ask you now for more patience. I confess my distrust and my guilt. Forgive me for not trusting you in all things. Help me to trust you Father. Help me to believe you. Help me to know you. Help me to gain more understanding on the way you think. I know that to think like you, and the things you want me to think about will produce peace. Help me to get a revelation on your Love for me. Help me to receive your love every single day, no matter what I have done. Help me to get a revelation on Righteousness. That to be righteous is to believe. Help me to pursue peace and not fear having to go through trials for patience that will bring peace. I confess my doubt and unbelief. I confess my fear of what I may need to experience to attain peace. I am determined to hope in You Lord. Help me to put on my shoes of peace daily, and walk the talk, dying to myself daily that produces patience, which results in peace and relationship with you and with others. I receive healing and restoration now and give you permission to work things out in my life that causes patience to be tried, so that it produces peace. Help me to trust you more every day, help me to believe you have my best in mind, every day. In Jesus name, Amen. "
Along with pursuing peace, be sure to continue forgiving. Forgiving keeps the way open for God to pour more peace and love into your life. Forgiving causes us to walk "peaceably with all men " as the scripture tells us to do. We don't have to "try " to be in peace, we will just "be " in peace.
Stop and reflect on what you have learned, not rush on to the next teaching before it has had time to really do a work in your heart. All head knowledge is only going to cause you to be top heavy! We need to allow time for the seeds planted to grow and take root into our hearts. We not only need the "knowledge" but the understanding. Understanding gives revelation, and revelation makes it a reality in our own lives. Not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge that changes us. By doing this, you are "receiving." We not only need to "know", we need to "believe and receive."
Praising God is crucial to having all you learn take permanent residence in you. We remain in peace when we are strengthened in our spirit and that happens when we thank the one we are doing all this for.
And lastly, all work and no play is not scriptural. If you become overwhelmed or "heavy" spirited, stop and take a breather. It reminds me of flooding. If the water comes too quickly it doesn't have time to absorb into the soil, causing flooding and all that water is wasted. But if the water comes softly, and just enough that the ground absorbs, and then it does great good!