Brought to you today by guest writer and my main squeeze… my man, Dave.
Even though God is unlimited… His people can limit him.
How many times have we done that? I believe that most of it is done out of a lack of knowledge and not necessarily rebellion. In Genesis 1 we see Adam forfeiting God’s best out of rebellion. However we can limit God’s best in our life either way.
Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
If you want God’s best you must be willing to give your best.
Doesn’t that make sense? Is it right for us to get mad at God when we know we have not put in our best effort? How do you give your best? By walking uprightly.
“Uprightly” from a religious point of view can be a scary word. Sounds like it can’t be done. We had the dark ages because believers thought that to live uprightly you had to go and live in a monastery or a cave so that you could avoid all exposure with the world. We read about Noah who walked uprightly “the only man in the world” and it scares us a bit. We read about Job and go “I couldn’t do that”.
If we were to see a video of the lives of these men we would see that they do things much like us today. Eg. If they had pants to put on they’d put them on one leg at a time. They walked according to the revelation that they had.
Living uprightly has to do with Holiness and Godly living then and now.
Not to take anything away from it I’d like to bring it down to a level that we can put to practice and demonstrate that we can walk uprightly today.
I want to use the word “Excel”.
I don’t believe these two other men mentioned were perfect but I do believe they excelled in the revelation they had.
Whether you are a new Christian or been around the block, I believe both can have said about them that they are walking uprightly before God.
Excel = “to go beyond all previous efforts”.
You know where you were at in the Lord this time last year… what was your prayer life, the amount of Word, and your giving like? You know then what it will take to step it up a notch and if we are doing that then I believe we’re walking uprightly before God.
God says that no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. That’s God’s best!
When adversity comes an upright person is resolute and not willing to back down. To walk uprightly… just demonstrate to God that you are willing to go beyond your previous efforts. This doesn’t happen over night but it does happen by taking baby steps. Everyone can do that… one step at a time.
SEVEN AREAS TO DEMONSTRATE LIVING UPRIGHTLY:
1. Give God’s Word first place in your life.
Show some effort. Start your day off by reading the Bible, we are to hide it in our heart. If you normally listen to country music in the car – get a scripture tape or CD or a preaching CD. Substitute, “Achy Breaky Heart” with something that is going to build your faith – to get the Word in you. I’m not saying you have to do what the OLD Testament Jews did and tie it up in little boxes attached to the sides of their heads. Just show God that you are making an effort.
This isn’t going to happen overnight but every journey starts with a step somewhere. A baby just doesn’t get up and run. It is a process with many bumps and bruises along the way but eventually there is victory!
2. Live life in a manner that is pleasing to Him.
This includes holiness and obedience. To make it simple, ask yourself “Will what I’m about to do honour or displease God?”
3. Keep unforgiveness and strife out of your life.
You’d be amazed at how many Christians walk in strife or unforgiveness towards someone at home, at work or in their Church. Strife towards a family member or even a leader at Church. We come to Church full of strife and then lift up strife filled hands with a smiling mask on our face. How do I know if I’m in strife towards someone? Have you ever complained about that person? Do you constantly think about what they did to you or didn’t do for you? You are in strife.
You can’t expect God’s best when you are holding things against people.
4. Develop your love walk.
You can’t perfect this in a day but you can make small daily choices to walk in love toward someone who it seems isn’t toward you. Understand… the moment you decide to do this there will be a fresh opportunity that comes your way almost immediately to test this.
5. Watch your words.
Make them line up with God’s Word. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Choose to bring life into seemingly dead situations and watch God perform a resurrection. Don’t be quick to react ~ take the time to ponder and to properly respond.
6. Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
Most people think more about what they don’t have than what they do have. Some have such a victim mentality that they can’t rejoice with those who get blessed because immediately they begin to think to themselves. How come I don’t have that? How come I didn’t get one too?
Thank God for all He’s done for you. Live thankful for the things you have by taking care of what you have and then God can start opening the door for His best in your life.
7. Constantly honour God by giving your finances.
Why? This is the right thing to do. God so loved that He gave. Everything that God made was made to give. It’s natural until greed, fear of lack and the love of money cause you to withhold.
Proverbs 11:24-25 – “There are those who [generously] scatter abroad, and yet increase more; there are those who withhold more than is fitting or what is justly due, but it results only in want. The liberal person shall be enriched, and he who waters shall himself be watered.”
Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
I’ve heard many people complain over the years, “why is so and so always blessed?” Could it be that they’ve honoured God in their giving? People like this don’t wait until a giving or stewardship program is initiated they just give because they are following the lead of their Maker and Saviour.
God will hold back no good thing from those who walk uprightly. The Message puts it this way, “…He doesn’t scrimp with His traveling companions.”
Psalm 112:2-3 – “Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.”
Proverbs 14:11 – “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.”
Proverbs 28:10 – “He who leads the upright astray in an evil way will himself fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit good.”
Get it out of your mind that you have to be perfect first – make a decision to start walking uprightly today.