|RIGHTEOUSNESS: Making It Work
Sandra G. Kennedy
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Mar 20 2009 08:00 AM
Victory belongs to the Lord! It always has, and always will.
We know because of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection: He is the King, the Commander and Champion of our
Salvation. Jesus is Lord - and He has forever conquered the devil and his schemes.
Anything Christ commands Satan to do, he does - no if's and's or but's. That is no surprise. When it comes to our Lord
Jesus, we simply expect that. In our thinking, it is inconceivable for the devil to attain any kind of victory over the Lord.
We know Jesus wins every time because He is the Son of God - and He has the keys to death and hell.
However, what we haven't understood is that righteousness opens the door for us to walk in that same victory because
we are God's sons and daughters!
Righteousness is not only God's greatest gift to us through Jesus Christ, but it is one of His most outstanding
achievements. He took sin-filled, broken people like you and me, whose hearts were bent toward evil, and performed a
transforming work. As He came to dwell within our hearts, the power of darkness that imprisoned us was broken!
Out of His own good pleasure, God, through Jesus Christ, delivered us from the domain of sickness, sin, fear, lack,
death and translated us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son! We've been adopted into this Royal Family whose victory is
Almighty God has placed a robe of righteousness and the ring of kingdom authority on each one of us. We've been
given the awesome privilege to use that exalted Name of Jesus to Whom every knee must bow. And what's more, I
believe our Father has declared over us - much as He did over Jesus in the River Jordan - "These are My sons and
daughters, and devil, you had better listen to them.
Praise God forevermore! This is what righteousness does.
HE "DECLARED" IT
Our right-standing with God is what demands that the devil bow! We have to study the Word and renew our mind to
think and act as God does. And we have to pray and keep ourselves free of sin among other responsibilities, but
righteousness is what enables us to do any of that.
The Father has declared us righteous. Yet, if we do not understand our position in Christ Jesus within this Kingdom of
God nor comprehend and receive this free gift, our lives will be lived as mere men without power.
Freedom and victory are not automatic with the new birth; they come only with a godly and upright lifestyle filled with
integrity. Obviously, we must learn what this entails. We have to walk it out if we want it to work for us.
Let me state it as clearly as I know how. We can be born again, Holy Ghost filled, heaven-bound believers, and yet our
lives be in such disarray we never see victory of any kind. It may come as a surprise, but there is a cost involved to
walk at this higher level - and most of the Christian community has not paid the price.
We are still acting and talking like the old unregenerate man - we have not renewed our minds, nor taken the time to
plant the Word of God in our hearts where it has power. In addition, we haven't mortified the deeds of our body or "sold
out" to live for Him. We're not walking by faith believing that God really did what He said He would do.
Far too often, our lives reflect the fact we don't believe the Word, because when we believe something we put it into
practice. To be quite frank, the Church has absolutely not believed God and yet thinks it has.
The literal translation says that God's people are cut off from receiving a blessing because of a lack of knowledge. We
are missing what the Father has had for us from the beginning; not walking in the abundant life or the authority He has
purchased and given us.
As a result, we are living far beneath our call and the plan He established for us from before the foundation of the
world. In short, we are not walking out who we really are. Somehow, we have taken the low road instead of the high
because we have not believed what we did know and were ignorant of the rest.
Those who do not understand what is rightfully theirs don't pursue it. To be honest, some of us have known what was
available to born again children of God, yet we have not claimed it, and it has cost us dearly. But for those who are
willing, and actively paying the price, we will become different people as we allow God to transform us.
If we truly believe this, we can walk free of Satan's dominion. If we risk to live by faith and press into the things of God,
life will be victorious - because Satan has already been defeated. Jesus has already won the battle and fulfilled
everything necessary to set us free. The only thing He has not done is to make our decisions - that is left entirely up to
you and me.
KNOW IT! LIVE IT!
Millions know about the things of God, but they haven't become real to them. The kind of life we are talking about
apparently seems too good to be true to the average Christian and most perceive this lifestyle as too hard or
unattainable. It's obvious, since many in the Church are still wallowing in the world of flesh.
Far too many Christians are involved in the works of hell - in the realm of darkness - yet, we are supposed to be living in
the Kingdom of Light. We are involved in activities we know are inappropriate; trying to get away with as much as we
can, all because God and His Kingdom are not real to us.
To be honest, what brought me (Sandra G. Kennedy) to the reality of God was desperation. I lived a hellish life,
perhaps just as you did. Out of sheer despair, I cast myself upon Him because I knew no one could help me but Him.
The Lord then became a living reality and the Word of God began to speak to me.
Within time, the truth of His word in my heart began to take precedence over the situations in my life until I was certain
that God really did love me. This truth persuaded me that God really was bigger than any situation I faced.
I began to gently reach out in trust - area by area - and believe Him to turn my life around. Slowly, but surely, He
began to transform me.
My responsibility was to study God's Word and renew my mind. It was my task to pay the price with my time and
attention tuned toward the heavenly realm, to change where I went, and to correct the words coming out of my mouth.
Occasionally, I even had to change my old friends for those who would encourage me to walk this new life with God.
I continued to fill my mouth and heart with the Word of the Living God and when adverse circumstances would surface,
words such as these would bubble up from my spirit and roll off my tongue: "No you won't Satan - The Greater One is in
me!" "My God is working on my behalf and will turn this thing around."
By speaking the Word over situations, we bring Him into the situations. Please understand that He is already in our
lives, but He doesn't manifest Himself unless we invite Him - and recognize that He is there by speaking His truths.
By physically declaring the Word of God, we establish His Kingdom reign over the circumstances we are facing and
allow Him to take charge. When we begin to do that on a regular basis, we view everything differently.
Friend, God does not force us to let Him take control, nor does He constrain us to think and speak His Word. That is
left completely in our hands.
The questions is: "How do we perceive God"? Is our Creator weak, wishy-washy, or short on power to deliver? Do we
see Him as hard-hearted and lacking compassion, refusing to heal, liberate, or set us free? Do we meditate on Him and
the Holy Scriptures until deep within us He towers high above life's situations, or do we see our problems as
insurmountable even with God?
Are we trusting His Words to be the solution to our dilemmas knowing that God cannot and will not lie? Are we
accepting His Word as final authority no matter what the circumstances? I admonish you to search deep within yourself
and be honest. Do you really trust God? Have you brought Him into your world? Or do you find yourself in despair as
you face the issues of life?
HE PROMISES, HE PERFORMS
Righteousness elevates us to a place with God so that all of heaven's resources are at our disposal. Yet, our doubts
are a major reason many find themselves up against a brick wall, unable to move forward.
We fail to make God's presence an actuality, and just squall and bawl over our problems, forgetting that our Father is
faithful to perform His Word. It slips our mind that He is the One Who walks through brick walls to fulfill His divine
Basically, we have lived our lives as if we were in this world without a Savior - and that is not true. We have to know
within us that Almighty God is bigger than any situation; I mean really know it!
He is not only able, but willing to do whatever is necessary to bring victory when we are truly believing His Word -
contrary to anything we may see with our natural eyes.
I remind you that Scripture states the things we can see in the natural are temporal. In other words, they are subject to
change (II Corinthians 4:17,18).
God's love for us, His power in us, and His presence must be beyond question. These issues must be settled.
RULING AS A KING
To live righteously is to conform to the will of the Father in thought, purpose, and action. God's Word is God's will. He
doesn't say one thing and mean another.
We have been bought with a price, purchased by the precious Blood of Jesus. The kingdom of darkness no longer has
any claim on us - unless we give it authority to rule and reign. But if we will receive this abundance of grace and His
free gift of righteousness, we can rule as a king in life by Jesus Christ, the Word of the Living God.
Believing, speaking, and acting on the Word is what brings victory because it is the power of God unto our salvation
indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32
Abiding, and living in the reality of the Word reveals truth to us. The truth we do and abide in is what sets us free.
It's not enough just to know the truth. We must receive it, walk in it, and allow it to become a reality.
Satan cannot take us captive without our cooperation because his power has been broken over us. He doesn't have
the legal right to enter our house and tear things up any time he wants to - unless we open the door and work with him
through ignorance, deception, or laziness. We have been completely removed out of his realm of authority.
Justification delivers us, not only from Satan's kingdom, but also from his power. We're free from the chains that have
held us hostage!
Righteousness, on the other hand, connects us to God to walk upright, holy, sanctified lives. Still we have to make
choices that steer our lives toward that desired end because we can be righteous, yet not live righteous.
It is imperative that we know who we are in Christ Jesus. Let me say it this way. All of us live each day based on who we
think we are - what we have told ourselves, what we have accepted from others, and what we have decided to be truth
and reality. Scripture states that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So walking in victory is greatly determined by
whether we believe we are victorious or not.
Our ability to walk free of condemnation is based on whether we believe we've been set free from it. You see, we all
have a "believer" built within us by God so we are believing something all the time, but it is crucial that we believe the
right thing if we want our lives to grow and flourish. We can be sincere in our beliefs, yet be sincerely wrong - and it will
be reflected in our lives.
Righteous is who we are and it comes with a lifestyle. It is a belief system based on a trust in the Lord that He Who
knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).
Righteousness manifests itself as joy and peace in the Holy Ghost, because when we finally rise up out of the miry pit
and recognize who we are, great joy enters our lives. We realize we have been living like the devil, we have missed all
the things God has freely given to make us whole, and that we have been liberated all the time - yet we have let the
devil dominate us. And out of the unspeakable joy flows peace - peace with God and with ourselves.
WALKING THE WALK
Two areas we need to carefully monitor are our mouths and our attitudes. We can wound with words, but even without
one spoken word, our attitude can offend. There are things we have to change and choices we need to redirect. But
when we begin to move in righteousness - and remember, its power is released as we act on and abide in its truth - we
become free to walk in righteousness allowing the glory of God to begin manifesting.
If we are not abiding in fellowship with God, we lose a sense of His righteousness - that close connection that opens the
gate for His power to flow. But when we are endeavoring to please Him, we won't be trying to "get away" with anything
and subsequently grieve the Spirit of Grace with our sinful conduct. We won't be doing things "under the table" - or
cooling things in our refrigerator that shouldn't be there - or hiding things under our bed that are offensive to our Father.
Obviously, we can't go around calling ourselves righteous when we are living in sin. I (Sandra G. Kennedy) am talking
about holiness; that is, living uprightly before God and man. Righteous is who we are in the eyes of God, and
righteousness enables us to live holy in the face of God.
Although the desire to sin may dwell in our physical body, it is not sin until we have consented to an act that is forbidden
in the Word of God.
All kinds of thoughts can pass through our head - even hideous ones. What enters our mind will not send us to hell, yet
we cannot continue to entertain such thoughts. We have to be aggressive and start squaring our shoulders, declaring
"I am righteous" - and alter the way we think. Thoughts that are not put into action die unborn.
We must begin to change the way we relate to people - what we do and how we talk. Also, we must choose to stop
taking advantage of people. And when we act like a fool, we need to quickly make it right with God and man, saying
It's a matter of centering in on righteousness and how God wants us to act. He longs to fill this earth with His glory, to
the degree that this dying world absolutely falls on their knees in reverence before Him! He wants mankind to see His
manifested presence - and we, the Body of Christ, are the ones chosen by God to reveal His goodness to them.
Now is the time for the Church to awaken to righteousness and "sin not."
become new." II Corinthians 5:17
How do we make this righteousness a reality? A major player is our mouth. When we begin to speak over us what God
has declared over us, faith begins to rise within and redirects the course of our lives.
Another task we must complete is learning to forgive ourselves. How can we possibly hold onto a sin or failure that God
has forgiven? If we think we are a better judge than He, we've been deceived.
Hell has been able to restrain and oppress the Church by sins that were placed and erased under the Blood of the
Lamb years ago! We simply have not believed that the Blood is sufficient or that God really does watch over His Word
to perform it.
We have been set free, although the reality of that freedom does not come automatically. Liberty in a particular area
manifests when we continually act on the truth in that realm. It takes time to remove the grave clothes that have held us
in bondage, but we can shed them and soar as an eagle up in the heavenlies with Jesus.
A NEW KINGDOM
If our sins have been forgiven as the Word states, then, of course, guilt and punishment are removed. No penalty is
due. We are released from the fear of God's judgment on our lives. Sin makes us afraid of God - just as Adam was in
the Garden of Eden - yet He is merciful.
There is a provision to deal with sin anytime we yield to it, but we have to know, receive, and believe what our Father
has already done for us through Jesus. When we fail, the Blood is still available on that Mercy Seat in Heaven to forgive
and cleanse of any unrighteousness, and restore the breach between ourselves and God.
When we were freed at the new birth, we were born into a Kingdom we knew nothing about. From that beginning we
must learn how to walk in liberty, to understand how God thinks, and put these truths into practice. So, without a diligent
and dedicated effort to press toward God in the Word, quite often we fall back into our old sin patterns because we are
so much more familiar with our old ways.
We may love God, but we tend to withdraw and hesitate to plunge into uncharted waters. So, deep within our inward
man, we must continually push into the things of God.
"DOMINION AND POWER"
With righteousness, there is a freedom in God to be, to become, and to reach new heights. Remember the definition of
righteousness: it is the ability to come boldly into the presence of a Holy God without a sense of guilt, inferiority, or
We need to allow those around us to become righteous on their own. People are afraid of freedom, especially if we are
walking in it and they are not.
A word of caution: others don't usually rejoice when we begin to walk out who God says we are unless they are in lock
step with us. This is sad, but true. They try to trip and set us up for failure. But greater is He Who is in us than he who
is in the world!
with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and
ever. Amen." Jude 24-25
What a powerful proclamation. The God we serve is able to keep us from stumbling. If we have faltered in the past, it's
because we have taken charge and negated His actions to keep us upright. When we walk in the flesh instead of the
Spirit, we fall. Yet, because of the capacities of righteousness, He is able to keep us from stumbling in this life, and
present us faultless, coming into His glory with joy. Glory to God!
UNDER OUR HEEL
Many Christians say "We will be victorious in heaven" and that is certainly true, but the devil won't be there! And we are
instructed to be overcomers here on this planet. It's important that we keep the devil under our feet here.
As members of the Army of God, we must take action against the evil running loose so that the will of God can be done
on earth as it is being done in heaven!
Life in this crazy world necessitates victory because we have an enemy that catapults resistance and turmoil from all
directions. But in truth, our right-standing with God equips us with all of heaven's resources to keep the devil under our
heel and realize success in the Name of Jesus! If we could only receive this truth, our lives would be much different.
IT'S YOUR CHOICE
We have been declared righteous before the courts of heaven through Jesus Christ. The Father has made provision
that no person need go to hell, yet people are bursting hell wide open every day, defiant in the face of a Holy Righteous
God. He did not intend for this to happen, but people make choices which regulate the course of their lives.
In the same manner, God made a way for us to live uprightly and abundantly - for our sins to be completely forgiven and
erased - for us to live above the norm as we journey through this life.
Through our Lord, He has made a way to force hell to bow its knee to the voice of God's Word coming out of our
mouths in the Name of Jesus! Yes, that path is established, but just because God has made it possible does not mean
it is working in our lives. These things depend on our choices and our cooperation with Jehovah. We have to accept
and follow Him as Lord and Savior.
Next, we must begin the process of developing our faith, believing what God says is available to us truly does belong to
us. Our inheritance is in place and established, but it is we who must seize these gifts He offers and say, "I want it. I
receive it. Thank You, Lord."
Those of us who take the provisions of God's grace and this free gift of righteousness and pull them to our bosom are
the ones who walk in abundance and in the fullness of what God has intended for His children from the beginning.
PROCLAIM AND OCCUPY
There are likely millions upon millions of Christians who know that Jesus came to "save" them from sin, but are unaware
that salvation brought anything else and, therefore, are not experiencing the fullness of what He has made available for
His people. Remember, God said, "My people perish for a lack of knowledge."
What we know and understand, and what choices we make are absolutely crucial. If we do not occupy and live out the
provisions He has given, even though they are ours, there are those who will take squatter's rights from us and we will
have to run them off.
We move forward in Christ through revelation knowledge of what God has done. Continued compliance to the truths of
God's Word makes us free - accepting Him at His Word and knowing He cannot lie.
God is completely on our side - and if He be for us who can be against us (Romans 8:31). Yet we must proclaim,
occupy, and take what God says is rightfully ours. The new birth is a free gift from above, yet we must reach out and
lay claim to the gift that has been offered.
MAKE IT YOURS
It is against the will of God that any man perish and go to hell. Yet the Father doesn't force anyone to accept Jesus as
Lord and Savior. This new birth doesn't occur just because we are hell-bound. We have to hear it, believe it, and act
on the Gospel.
Healing is the same. There is provision in God's Word to walk free of sickness and disease, and that is the will of God.
But healing does not occur just because our bodies are sick and dying. Nor does it manifest just because we cry
buckets of tears before Almighty God. It requires our will, our choices, and our actions for any of God's blessings to be
evidenced in our lives, even though they do belong to us.
Every ability to break hell's bondage has been given freely through righteousness, but we have to claim it and make it
ours. We must hold it tightly because Satan is always trying to make us believe something other than the truth of God's
Word. He doesn't want the Lord to release the victory that will surely follow.
Aren't you glad this awesome God we serve has already defeated the devil for us? Hallelujah!
world, but also in that which is to come:" Ephesians 1:19-21
Righteousness has raised us up with Jesus in heavenly places. Think about this. If Jesus is highly exalted and He is
lifted high, far above all principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness, and we are seated up there with Him,
where does that put us in relation to Satan's kingdom? Far above it. Glory to God Almighty!
He has done marvelous things for us. This means that all darkness is under our feet as well. But to enter His victory,
we must become knowledgeable of the gifts He has given us at the moment of the new birth, and be transformed to
think, talk, and act like Him.
YOUR ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, by Sandra G. Kennedy, Copyright 2004, LifeBridge Books.
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