What is righteousness? According to Google, righteousness is: the quality of being morally right or justifiable. In the biblical text, to be righteous means to be free from sin or justified. Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed GOD and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Let's take the word “accounted” and look at it from a natural standpoint. When we hear the word “account”, most of us think of our bank accounts. In our accounts, we only have what's been deposited; nothing more. All the same, we can only withdraw from what we have in our accounts. Some banks allow us to draw a little more than what we have, but doing so oftentimes comes with a penalty fee. Such is the substance of faith. When Abraham believed GOD, he was making a deposit into who GOD is, and because of this, GOD gave him access to righteousness. Through righteousness, Abraham became a new creature; a child of the Most High GOD. As such, nothing he desired could be or would be withheld from him since the earth is the LORD'S and the fulness thereof.
The Christians of today have a completely different mindset than the Christians born thousands of years ago. As the world attempts to get smarter through technology, they have denied themselves the truth and are actually dumbing down by the second. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).
Nowadays, most people live by chance, and not by faith. Sadly enough, many believers have submitted themselves to the system of this world, and as such, they reap the very same harvest and consequences that the world reaps. Many get saved, but few get delivered from wrongful thinking. Because of this, many churches have allied themselves with the world because the leaders who run them don't have enough faith to keep their churches afloat; therefore, they depend on the world's system instead of GOD. In doing so, they have forfeited their blessings to embrace what the world has to offer. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Why is it that many of GOD'S royal children live beneath GOD'S will for them? It's simple: To many believers, church is nothing more than a ritualistic ceremony that must be carried out to prove they are Christian. Many believers have bibles, but very few actually open those bibles unless they are told to do it while at church. Many know of CHRIST, but few actually know HIM personally. “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24). Let's face it: our minds have to change in order for our lives to change. We have to put off the old way of thinking and embrace a new mindset, and this isn't easy because the mind is very much like the body: it hates to workout. That's why the Bible tells us to follow after the Spirit and not be led by our flesh.
But let's talk about your life. Are you living in your inheritance through CHRIST JESUS or are you still one of the people who's “waiting on GOD”? There is something to be said about the term “waiting on GOD.” This term implies that GOD has work to do and you are waiting on HIM to do it. This is the mindset of most believers. Nevertheless, the truth is: GOD has already made provision for HIS children. HE has already spoken our inheritance into existence, but we need faith to access it. We were made righteous through CHRIST JESUS; therefore, we have the same blessing on our lives as Abraham had, but without faith, we can't access those blessings. In short: GOD is waiting on us to know HIM, believe HIM and live in the abundance, health and sound mind that HE has already provisioned for us. HE is waiting on us to access the abundance HE has provided in our faith accounts through CHRIST JESUS. But we must remember that we have an enemy, and his name is Satan. Satan is now defeated because of the sacrifice CHRIST made for us; therefore, Satan has no rights to our souls. What is he to do next? It's simple. He encourages us to doubt GOD by providing us with artificial intelligence designed to keep the believer in mental slavery. Satan redefined “wisdom” to the world and said that “intelligence” was the new “wisdom,” because man's intelligence is foolishness to GOD and has no power against the enemy. Satan placed layers and layers of covers over our eyes so that we could see only what he wanted us to see. He knows and understands that the only way that we can be free of his deceptions is for us to read our Bibles and have an actual relationship with GOD outside of religious practices and repetitive prayers with no intimacy.
Here are a few things that have successfully crossed over into the homes of many believers:
The Following of the Ten Commandments: Many believers still live by the law when CHRIST has redeemed us or set us free from the curse of the law. Nowadays, many believers have plaques in their homes designed to remind them of the rituals they must perform to please GOD. But the law did not justify a man; it only condemned him. Faith justified the man because it gave him access to righteousness just as Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness. Should we then follow the Ten Commandments? The answer is simple: We should follow the new law of love. “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40). Does this mean that the Ten Commandments has been abolished? No. It only means that they were established because everything GOD commanded them to do or not to do in the Ten Commandments was teaching them to exercise the behaviors of love. You wouldn't murder a man in love. You wouldn't covet what your neighbor had or steal from another human being in love. You wouldn't commit adultery nor would you lie in love. Therefore, what we ought to be doing is learning to love one another as we love ourselves. This can only be done when we have learned to love GOD with our whole hearts. People actually love GOD enough to stop certain sins, but not enough to stop engaging in whatever sins have them bound. This indicates that they don't love GOD with their whole hearts. In John 14:15, GOD said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Again, that's "if" we love HIM. When we love HIM, we will keep HIS commandments, but we have to know HIM to love HIM. Because of the attachment to the Ten Commandments, many believers choose which commandments to follow and which ones to disregard. GOD brought it all together as one commandment: love. Without love, we cannot please GOD.
Ritualistic Praying: How many times have we taught our children to say this over their food?: “GOD is great; GOD is good. Let us thank HIM for our food. By HIS hands we must be fed. Give us LORD our daily bread. Amen.” In doing this, we are teaching our children to simply chant words without understanding what they mean. We grow up learning rituals, and we often come before the LORD as if HE doesn't exist. If we know and understand that GOD is real and HE hears us, then we must know and understand that HE desires intimacy with us. That's why we have to teach our children to pray so they don't grow up becoming adults who see GOD as nothing more than a lifeless figure who can't hear, love or understand them. All the same, we must go before HIM with fresh words everyday. Sure, we repeat the prayer that CHRIST taught us in Matthew 6:9, but we must also understand that this prayer is a covering. It pretty much covers what we need covered; things we would often forget to pray for. For this reason, GOD asks us to pray to HIM in the Spirit. Romans 8:26-27 reads, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
Lack Mindsets: So many believers live in lack because they have rejected wisdom to follow after man's intellect. They have rejected GOD'S eternal knowledge to follow after man's temporal and misguided understandings. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6). The way we think is directly linked to what we have in our bank accounts, and what we constantly inherit in our lives. In order to access the blessings of GOD, we have to have faith in HIM and HIS WORD. To have faith in HIS WORD, we must know what HE said. To know what HE said, we have to hear the WORD of GOD. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Always remember that your bank account will often represent your faith account.
Undisciplined Children: So the world said that disciplining one's child is cruel. (Just as it said that GOD could not possibly send anyone to hell because it's such a cruel place). The root word of “discipline” is “disciple”. When you discipline your child, you are making a disciple of your child. When foolishness is allowed to dwell in a child, foolishness is allowed to take that child into captivity. Many will say that discipline is simply placing a child on punishment; nevertheless, this is not witnessed in the biblical text. Instead, GOD told us how to discipline our children. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Someone else would come along and say that the word “rod” is used as a metaphor, but that's not true. Proverbs 22:15 says that “foolishness” is bound in the heart of a child. The Bible also tells us what is to fashioned for an “adult” fool, and it speaks this in the literal sense. “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back” (Proverbs 26:3). As you can see which this scripture, GOD is not using metaphors. What the Bible is telling us is that we must discipline our children, and corporal punishment is not a sin. As a matter of fact, we live in a generation where corporal punishment is discouraged and crime has peaked at an all-time high. Many, if not most, churches are afraid to teach about corporal punishment because it is so widely shunned. The enemy has managed to confuse the people by making it difficult for them to differentiate between abuse and humane discipline. There are many people who have abused their children, and because of this, we are being taught, led, encouraged and forced to disobey GOD. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die” (Proverbs 23:13). Because of the world's system, many children don't become disciples of CHRIST because they were not disciplined or "discipled-in".
Divorce: Marriage was never created to end; especially amongst believers. Nevertheless, fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, and this figure remains the same within the church setting. Why is that? Because many believers are submitted to the world's way of thinking in relation to marriage. At the same time, many believers find themselves marrying unbelievers. This causes a divide in the home because one party desires to serve the LORD; whereas, the other party desires to serve self and such a divide opens the door for the enemy. Many believers today marry unbelievers with the intent of introducing them to the LORD, and this is flawed thinking because the unbeliever has will just as the believer does. If they didn't exercise their will to know the LORD before they married, chances are, they will continue not knowing or serving the LORD after the vows are said. Nevertheless, many believers think they can love an unbeliever to CHRIST, not understanding that GOD loved them (the unbeliever) first and HE loves them more than they do; nevertheless, it was still not enough for them to cause them to serve HIM. Can a marriage with an unbeliever work? Sure, but only if the unbeliever eventually surrenders to the LORD. All the same, marriages between believers and unbelievers rarely work because of the divide placed in the house. “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). The only way such a union would work is if the unbeliever was to become a believer or the believer was to become an unbeliever. Many believers find themselves turning on the LORD when they marry unbelievers. Ask Ahab and Solomon.
Idolatry: Idolatry often goes by undetected because when most people think about idolatry, they think about someone worshiping an object made of man's hands, but that's not always the case. Idolatry is spiritual adultery. It is giving anything or anyone the position in your life that GOD is supposed to have. Idolatry is trusting in something or someone more than you trust in the LORD. Idolatry is loving something or someone more than you love the LORD. Idolatry is fearing something or someone more than you fear the LORD. The average Christian home practices one or more forms of idolatry unknowingly. How so? Many believers have a wrongful and idolatrous relationship with their money, so they depend on money rather than depending on the LORD. Many believers place their spouses or their children above the LORD in their hearts, so their minds, plans and days are consumed with everything family. Nevertheless, GOD gets a ritualistic visit from them on Sunday morning. Many believers fear man more than they fear the LORD; therefore, many are quiet and will not promote the truth out of fear of being persecuted.
There are many ways that our minds have been warped, but the only someone who can change our minds is us. GOD gave us the key (Bible) and the door (CHRIST). We have to unlock the WORD and walk into a new way of thinking. If we seek HIM and let HIS WORD penetrate our hearts, we will find that our minds will slowly begin to change. As our minds change, the way we view life, people and situations will change. It is then and only then that we can live in the blessings of GOD and enjoy every perk that righteousness has to offer. Most of us have been bound by so many mindsets; some of them generational, while some of them are learned thinking patterns. The way to change this to evict our old way of thinking and let the WORD live in us.
Five Tips to Free Yourself From Mental Bondage
1. Read your Bible daily. Your Bible is your instruction manual, and without it, you won't know how to properly operate in the realm of the earth. Also be sure to go to church and learn to submerge yourself in the WORD of GOD. It's like learning a foreign language; only with the WORD, you speak a language that's universal.
2. Understand that the WORD of GOD is Truth, and it will NEVER return to HIM void. It's pretty hard for us to conceive that every WORD GOD has spoken is and will continue to be established; therefore, we often challenge HIS WORD with our understandings. We often get into relationships that are not approved by HIM; nevertheless, HIS WORD prevails. We often hold ought in our hearts towards our neighbors (brothers and sisters in the LORD), and we attempt to justify ourselves because of their behaviors; nevertheless, the WORD of GOD prevails. If we understand that the WORD is true and there is no getting around it, we will stop challenging the LORD and learn to obey HIM.
3. Wherever you find yourself bound, study some scriptures and apply them to your life. You need to memorize the scriptures and speak them until you believe them. For example, if you are having trouble in your body, you need to study scriptures in relation to healing. Please understand that when CHRIST JESUS walked in the flesh and healed people, HE would often ask them if they believed GOD could heal them. It was their faith that set them free. It is your faith that will set you free as well.
4. Be willing to let go of friendships and relationships that keep you bound. Don't worry about who you will offend. It's better to please GOD and offend man than it is to offend GOD to please man. Understand that you are journeying through this thing called life, and you should not park in someone's mentality and stay there to entertain them. Keep growing in the LORD so you can keep going into the blessings of the LORD. Many believers today are bound by the relationships they refuse to release.
5. Pray and ask GOD to deliver you. GOD loves it when we ask HIM for something. Please understand that anytime we ask for something, GOD hands us a seed. When we ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding, that seed is oftentimes our time. We are to sacrifice our time to get to know the LORD better and this may feel challenging at first, but once you get used to the LORD, you won't have any trouble approaching HIM.