"YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS." -Hebrews 1:9NASB
Everyday this past week, I talked about one thing, righteousness. Today, I joined live the service by Dr. Paul Enenche, and what do you think he spoke about? Righteousness!
I decided to look deeper into this word. I came upon this verse. Every word in this verse just jumped at me all at the same time. My brain was receiving God’s Word so much that it was overwhelming. The joy I experienced was too awesome to even describe. God gave me my own private video of what He has done for me because of my obedience, even when it hurts.
Let me try to break it down.
So, what does righteousness mean? It means to be morally right. We are to live a life that is upright. A virtuous life can be lived with ease. A life of worthiness, filled with great purposes, is a life dreamed by God for us. It’s achievable. We are to love justice and hate injustices. Stand for honor and truth. Protect the innocent. It’s all about integrity, honesty, and honorableness.
Righteousness means to live blameless with good ethics in an immoral world. Doesn’t matter what so and so does and do. It’s all about what you do. It’s about integrity and decency. It is about pleasing God not man. We honor God by what we do and what we speak.
This walk in righteousness means you live a life that is blameless. Now, as naive as I am, I learned a long time ago, when you choose a life like this you're going to be hated. This means evil and hateful things will be said about you. We need to look no further than the life of Jesus Himself. He was accused of drinking. He was accused of blasphemy. He was accused of wasting money (By His own discipline, Judas). You see, this is powerful right here. It was His friend, the one He had discipled, the one He had made treasurer of the money, the one that He ate with, the one that He traveled with, the one that He shared with, the one He trusted; Judas became His enemy.
How can anyone be in the presence of a righteous person and be so evil? Judas, and those like him, do not live in the realm of righteousness, honor, integrity, and holiness. That’s how. So, you see the difference between a Peter, Paul, John, and a Judas? The character of a person is all wrapped about one word, “Righteous!” Righteous people do not engage in evil doing. It is disgusting and disgraceful for them to do so.
The Spirit of God is on the side of the righteous. This is why they excel in all they do. It is God’s Spirit who leads them into righteousness and holiness because that’s who God IS. When you seek righteousness and holiness what do you think will happen? Obviously, it is a no brainer, you walk in it. You become noble-minded. There are things you will never think of doing. There are places you will never dare to go. There are lines you will never ever cross because you're in a different realm all together. “Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High will remain in the shadow of the Almighty.” It is this place we dwell in. There’s nothing not understandable about this verse. It’s crystal clear. We remain where we dwell. Ask yourself where am I dwelling? Then choose righteousness.
There’s something we must do to be righteous. We must love righteousness. I just described above what righteousness means. I absolutely, love every single word I wrote above. Because I choose to live a life worthy of the calling. I’m not ashamed to admit, nor do I make any apology to live a high-minded, sinless life. Before you say, “it can’t be done.” I’m going to say, “Yes, it can be done.” You see, it’s all about choices we make. We have a moral compass. You ever feel that little guilt thing? I do. When I start to cross that line, I feel it. Immediately, I stop. I rethink my decision. I step back. I love righteousness more than anything else. Therefore, I refrain from doing many things I might be tempted to do. I am not a slave to sin. I’m an overcomer.
I teach and tell my children, “Hey guys, I have spent my entire life after your birth to bring you up in a godly way. I have taught you day and night, and in between what is right and what is wrong. I cannot live your life for you. I hope, pray, and beg God that you have seen me and will imitate what you have seen. Please, please, I beg you do what you have been taught.” If you have been around us, you would have heard me say this a gazillion times to my kids. This how much I love righteousness.
What are the benefits of those who walk in righteousness? They are guiltless and blameless before God. I love this. This is everything right here. I’m never bothered by what people say. I know of things said behind my back. Yes, it’s hurtful because people believe lies. But I always say, “Ok, go prove what you just said." There are too many people that know my business on purpose. I do it on purpose. I submit to my board and to close godly friends that are not afraid to speak truth to me. So, I am never concerned about what anyone says, or the foolish people that believe it. You see, I dwell in the shelter of God’s Wings. He is going to take care of me and my reputation because I love righteousness and holiness. You understand my point?
Listen, because we choose to live in righteousness and holiness what is our reward? “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
I have been anointed, sanctified, consecrated, accredited, vindicated, redeemed, approved, accepted, and blessed by a God that has final say in my life, our lives. There’s an oil of gladness. This means I’m content in all circumstances even if I don’t like them. I’m satisfied in a weary and dry land. I’m happy with all the blessings God gave me already and rejoice in what is to come. I have an expectation because I’m living in that realm. It might take years to see the vision come to pass. But I’ve written it down because it’s for an EXPECTED time. I’m not going to give up because the righteous are given words of hope by God Himself, keeping the promised words alive. The faces of the righteous glow in dark places. They are blissful because they know God will never fail them. They are a delight and joy to be around. They are constantly being blessed so that they can be a blessing. The hand of God is upon them, and it shows clearly upon their lives and the lives of their children. We don’t have to look beyond Abraham to see the blessings of Righteous living. It went on to Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
Let us live in righteousness and receive the oil of gladness. I’m sad to say, this isn’t for everyone because not everyone chooses wisely. If it were for everyone, this verse would not end in, “More than your companions.” This tells us clearly, God honors, blesses, and points out a righteous life. We will have more joy than we know what to do with it. You ever see people that bring you joy? This would be why.
Now I ask yourself, “Don’t you want this kind of life?” There’s only one way. Love righteousness. Live righteous regardless of what people or this world have to say. God should be our only concern. My week was blessed, and I’m thanking God in advance for ALL He’s about to do this coming week. The temptation is to do what’s not right, but we are overcomers because of what Christ did. Let’s make the right choices and truly live the blessed life. May you experience the oil of joy and gladness like I do, Amen!
Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President
Thread of Hope, Inc.