First off, your probably thinking that with the title of this note, i'm going to be addressing issues like the homosexual agenda. And actually, that isn't the case. What I want to talk about in this note is being clothed in righteousness according to the Cross of Jesus and living a life in the Holy Spirit. After going through FIRE, I've come to realize that the more you learn about God, the more you realize how little you actually know about Him.
Lately, I've been mulling over the idea about what is holiness to the Lord, walking uprightly before God and walking in character and integrity. I'm really hoping that some of the following thoughts won't come back to haunt me, but with the way that my life goes sometimes, I won't be surprised.
I've been doing a cover to cover reading of the Bible for sometime now. One verse that keeps coming back to mind is "All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6 NASB). One thing that I'm EXTREMELY grateful for is that there is nothing in, on or around this world that I can do to become righteous, other than accepting Jesus and thereby acknowledging that my life before hand and everything I do outside of Jesus is garbage. It's worthless, trash, rubbish, feces... you get the idea.
I can remember talking with folks when doing street evangelism and I ask them things like "so, do you know Jesus?" Their response: "yeah, I go to church." wow, where did that come from? I couldn't care less whether you go to church. I ask "Have you asked Jesus into your heart?" Their response: "I prayed some prayer when I was younger..." (At this point in time, they start getting fidgety... I usually know where the conversation is going at this point in time.) It's usually at this point in time that I have to start tearing through a lot of religious junk and Christianese. Which is ok, I know the talk well. I know how to dismantle arguments and find out that when someone who is now 20 prayed a prayer at 5 but they're living like a little heathen.
I've personally done a decent amount of counseling and have discovered that so-called "Christians" have no idea what the Bible says and means. Everyone and their cousin knows John 3:16. But so often we have a wrong perception of God's love, mercy, truth, justice.... etc. We think that because God loves us, we can do whatever we want and its all just going to be ok. Luckily, that's not the case. If it were, God wouldn't be true to His word.
In reading through the New Testament, I've noted that Paul thanked God very much for the blood of Jesus that was shed and then said "Hey, check this out: there is a life in the Holy Spirit that God has for each and everyone of us to have! God gives us grace to get rid of our junk and then rely on the Holy Spirit to give us power to live without sin. And He gives us these gifts not only for me, but for you as well and to bring others into a saving knowledge of who Jesus is and what He did. But its because God loves you and He wants the best for you while your here. But you gotta stop doing the stupid stuff (sin) that your doing."
I know for myself, I like hard messages/sermons. I like messages that get under your skin in a good way. When they get you thinking. I'm a firm believer that having a 'good' church is the best counterfeit to having something much better. Because when you have a 'good' church (you know, like all sorts of ministries, but having no substance to it) you totally fake yourself and others out. Spending 1 minute in the presence of God can do what 500 sermons can't do. I've grown up in the charismaniac churches/circles all my life. Got 'saved' at like 4 or something, baptized in water @ 9 i think (I just got re-baptized over a year ago because I wanted to) and then baptized in the Spirit @ about 12 i think. And there are times when you can fake yourself out and think you know it all.
I'm soo grateful that there isn't anything I can do other than accepting Jesus and being a disciple of His that gets me into Heaven. It's not works, but it's grace through faith. As a matter of fact, after graduating FIRE, I took a good little while and pulled back from having to be at meetings (i mean, i kept serving in with FIRE) but I stopped a lot of stuff. I felt I had left my first love. It's only when your clothed in the righteousness of what Jesus paid a price for that makes you any good.
Lately, we've been having these awesome prayer meetings (we might call them slosh meetings b/c we just get 'hammered' or drunk in the Holy Spirit at times). I don't know how to explain them in such a way that might be understood without being there. But these meetings are designed to change our likeness more into Jesus. It's not just to say "hey, we're having really good prayer meetings. you should be there to make us look really good." It's more like "Come and let God touch you so that you can touch a dying hurting world."
Sometime ago, I was speaking at a youth retreat and the Lord directed me to speak directly out of John 15. That's the Abiding in the Vine chapter. And I've been repeatedly going back to that for sometime now. That and Romans 8. (When you've really been touched by the power of God, I believe that one of the fruits of it will be an increased hunger for the Word of God.) It was in preparation for this retreat that I wanted to preach a good call to start a revolution. And while that was good and all, about 2 hours before I spoke, the Lord said "well, that's a good idea, but how about what I want?" That's when He gave me John 15.
In any case, let us continually look to Jesus for our everything. He gave us His Holy Spirit for a reason and purpose. Let's take heed and be clothed in righteousness according to God's standard.
God, gives us grace to walk as You deem worthy.