Mountain stream at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Craving an upright lifestyle

What matters to God? What makes Him happy? What makes Him sad? If He had a top ten list of things He’s cared about, what would be on it? I think a lot of people spend a lot of time searching for God’s will when the answer to finding it is right in front of them. If we want to know what God expects from us, He’s told us. The Bible is full of instruction on how to live and what God expects. And we need to start living the way He says before we can begin to question His will.

And one of those things He expects is living right. It’s everywhere in Scripture. God expects us to do the right thing. We’re supposed to live righteous, justly, set apart, holy, peculiar lives. We’re supposed to be different, but, like everything else in our lives, it starts with attitude.

Mountain stream at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Mountain stream at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is Matthew 5:6.

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.

That word justice there really means righteousness or uprightness or right standing with God, according to the Amplified Version. I wanted to clarify that because you could read this verse and instantly think that we’re supposed to desire justice like a vigilante. If our lives were to be devoted to justice, that would change a lot of things, but that’s not what this verse means. We don’t understand justice–not really, because none of us are truly just. So how can we be devoted to an ideal that we don’t understand?

So Jesus isn’t telling us to run out and kill others in His name, whether you think you need to kill an individual or shoot up an abortion clinic. We are supposed to desire righteousness and desiring righteousness is personal. It’s an attitude. It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle.

We need to love doing the right thing so much that we crave it.

It’s harder and harder to do the right thing, though. And this statement goes beyond just doing right; we’re supposed to think right too. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who love Christ and follow Him. It’s difficult enough to do the right thing in a group of believers; it’s so much harder to do the right thing in a group of people who don’t understand your worldview.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t associate with people who believe differently. Not at all. That’s the opposite of how we’re supposed to live. Shutting ourselves away from the world is wrong. But when it comes to those close, influential friendships in your life, if you want to continue to follow Christ, you need to choose friends who will draw you closer to Him. If you allow people who believe differently into that close inner circle, you’ll fall away from God. Maybe you tell yourself you won’t, but it’s inevitable. Why? Because it’s much more difficult to hunger and thirst for righteousness when you are hungering and thirsting for something else.

Righteousness isn’t our default.

Craving an upright lifestyle isn’t natural to us. Maybe it was supposed to be before Adam and Eve sinned. I don’t know. But now we’re born with an innate desire to do wrong, and we have to teach ourselves and build healthy habits to seek God and live the way He wants us to. You don’t have to teach a child to do wrong; they just do it anyway.

I’m so thankful for Christ. That’s why the verse can say we will be satisfied if we desire righteousness because through Christ we have right standing with God. Through Christ, we are justified. Through Christ, we are considered righteous. So there’s nothing we can do that will take that righteousness away from us if we’ve accepted it–even if we don’t live like it. But if you don’t live like it, you’re not going to be satisfied.

Right living matters to God. If it didn’t, He wouldn’t talk about it all the time. Doing the right thing, making wise choices, living the way the Bible says in every area, matters to God–whether it’s your thought life or your friendships or marriage or work or church. Whatever. The Bible is our guide to right living, and if we do what it says, we’ll be satisfied. God doesn’t forget and He doesn’t ignore. If it feels like a sacrifice to do the right thing, do it anyway because God will make it worth it. Maybe you don’t feel He will, but He will.

So if you know what the Bible says, do it. If you don’t know what the Bible says, find out and then do it. And the more you do the right thing, the easier it will be, because God will prove Himself to you. You just have to let Him and you have to open your eyes long enough to see it.