Have you ever disqualified yourself from doing great things because you believe that you are not worthy of God using you? I believe that some of today’s religious teachings have actually held us back from doing great things, too often because we don’t feel that we have earned God's approval.
Here’s what I mean…I can’t tell you over the years how many talented and gifted people I have seen rotate through the revolving doors of church. One minute you see them in church every time the doors are opened, and then suddenly, they become MIA for weeks and months on end. Do you know people like that?
Religion is quick to blame that person, labeling them as “uncommitted” or “backslidden”. The fact is, however, that many of these people are so hungry to live in harmony with God, and to live out their God-given purpose.
So, where have things gone wrong?
In my opinion, one reason we see people giving up - on God AND on church - is because we have a wrong perception about what it means to be “righteous”. We have believed that God is pleased with us only when we behave in a righteous manner. On the other hand, when we sin, we often believe that we are at risk of losing God’s stamp of approval. This causes so many people to believe that they could never be qualified by God to do anything of significance. Hence, they give up on themselves, on God, and on their dreams.
Romans 4:22-24 says, “And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (NLT)
To be honest with you, in the past, I just plain ole’ didn't understand this scripture. In my mind, I asked, “God, how in the world could you have counted Abraham as righteous, and by the way, make him so successful? This guy disobeyed you on more than one occasion, and then lied about his wife being his sister - not once, but twice!”
But now I see it…
Abraham was not deemed righteous because he had a stellar behavioral track record. He was considered righteous because he BELIEVED in the God who is connected to Jesus. Period.
The Greek word for “righteous” is “dikaiosýnē”, which means “the approval of God”, or ”divine approval”. As verse 24 promises, you too are considered righteous before God if you simply believe in Jesus. By no means am I saying that sin is okay - it’s not. But our sin does not disqualify us from God’s love, support or blessing.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19, NKJV).
By Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, you have been MADE righteous. No person or no act of sin can take that away from you. You have God’s stamp of approval. He has qualified you to accomplish great things. So have confidence that you can do anything, with Him on your side!