Have a Swig of Righteousness for Your Thirsty Soul

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
— Jesus - Matthew 5:6

How does righteousness satisfy your soul?

Your soul craves emotional and spiritual drink. The body craves physical drink. When your soul is thirsty and you try to quench it with physical or emotional drink from the world, you’ll always be unsatisfied. But if you drink of spiritual drink when your soul is thirsty, you will always be satisfied.

The world has plenty of physical and emotional stuff to drink, water, wine, juice, whiskey, as well as fear, worry, temporary relief, and possibly even temporary happiness. But the thirst always comes back. Righteousness is the only thing that can satisfy a soul.

Your soul doesn’t thirst after righteousness because it’s never drank it. The soul doesn’t crave righteousness because it’s necessarily carnal or evil - your soul thirsts after righteousness BECAUSE it knows how satisfying it is.

Righteousness is a state of existence before God. You are at peace with God because of the work of Christ. When you are afraid or feeling condemned, and you remind yourself that you’re accepted by God because of Christ and it brings peace, you’ve just taken a healthy swig of righteousness. You’ve drunk from the preexisting truth that you’re ok with God, and that brings peace, which settles the soul rather than generates fear.

Did you follow that process?

As you reassure your soul that you’re loved and accepted by God because of Christ, you are confessing the truth that Jesus’ atonement on your behalf was enough for your forgiveness and righteousness. That sets you free from the fear of judgment and allows you to choose grace and live under its power.

Thirsting after righteousness isn’t when you recognize that you’re a dirty sinner and you need to be cleansed, thirsting after righteousness happens because your soul needs a little reminder of who you really are in Christ.

Drinking of righteousness is when you get ahold of yourself in the midst of sin or failure and snap out of it, back into an awareness of God’s love for you to the point that grace energizes you and you break out of sin’s grip.

When you’re tempted, you need to take a deep swallow of righteousness, by reminding yourself that Jesus was tempted in all ways like you are yet without sin and you allow his victory to empower you over sin.

Let Christ’s Suffering Serve As A Reminder That You’re Forgiven And Can Drink Of His Righteousness At Any Moment

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

When you’re being persecuted for your faith, being tempted to give in to sin, questioning your salvation or trying to find the motivation to minister to others, you can follow this pattern…

Here’s the pattern based on Hebrews 12:1-4

  1. Remember the great men and women of faith.

  2. Keep in mind they simply believed what God told them he was going to do.

  3. Make sure you are trusting that God will be faithful to what he said he would do for you.

  4. You can keep trusting what he said he would do by remembering what Jesus already did.

  5. What did Jesus do? Endured persecution, faced temptation to the point of sweating blood because it brought him joy to die for you to be a child of God.

  6. Acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King, acknowledge your place in him and live from the power of that identity.

Verse 4 is the key to personalizing God’s love for you and engaging his power that works in you. Before Jesus was arrested, blood seeped from his pores because he was fighting his flesh. Jesus didn’t want to endure the cross and face separation from his father, but it brought him joy to think of you in his family so he submitted and became obedient to the death of the cross. Jesus despised the shame of the cross but he loved the results of it, which was inheriting you as his family member.

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Jesus resisted his flesh to the point of bleeding through his skin. “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” But Jesus did, to destroy the power of sin and death over mankind. This is an encouragement for us because Jesus faced the greatest temptation we can face, as a man, and won! We can stand in his victory by walking through the pattern I outlined above from Hebrews 12.

I pray that you take the time to personalize Christ’s time in the garden as he wrestled against temptation. See your own struggles in his battle, see your victory in his victory, see your resurrection as a new creature in his triumph over sin, death, Hades and the grave. He conquered everything that could be held against you and removed it as far as the east is from the west, now live in the power of his spirit.

Practical Application of Being Satisfied by Righteousness

One way righteousness satisfies is when you live in it rather than giving in to sin, whether it be a physical action, emotional sin or drawing away from faith in God’s Word. For the record, anything not of faith is sin.

I don’t know if you have ever faced and conquered addiction or maybe had success in stopping a bad habit, but it’s incredibly satisfying and rewarding.

To see an opportunity for sin coming, feel the temptation in your flesh but choose to walk away and not give in may be difficult. But on the other side is satisfaction. You feel good about yourself when you make a good choice, and that’s ok. It’s ok to be proud of yourself. You’re not boasting in your own salvation but you feel good that you walked worthy of the holiness you’ve been given, and he gets the glory. This becomes a source of power for you and creates a new track record for your own self-image.

You are more powerful than you realize, you just need to make a habit of drinking from your righteousness when life gets hard. The more you do so, the easier it gets. Before long you find yourself living a light, holy, righteous and sin-free life because you’ve acknowledged Christ’s victory as your own and connected with the power of his resurrection within you.

Clint Byars

Believer, Husband, Father