I love it when I’m reading the Bible and I “discover” a verse that “wasn’t there before.” This morning, Psalm 85:13 stood out to me: “Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.”
On the one side, the coming of Jesus into our lives makes us righteous, purifies us. His feet are like burning bronze, fire (Revelation 1:15), and when he steps in, he burns up all the garbage.
But on the other side, continuing in holiness prepares the way for him to work in us. When I live a holy life, a separate life, I become a place welcoming to the Spirit. Paul wrote, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” If I can grieve him, then surely I can be welcoming to him, too.
Philip Mantofa, an Indonesian evangelist/pastor of a church of 30,000 said something I really like, “The Holy Spirit, his first name is ‘Holy.’ Holiness is our part, Spirit is God’s part.” (Check out Furious Love, an awesome movie where I heard the quote.) I do holiness, and God sends the Spirit.
If I choose to receive the holiness of God and work with him in his purifying work in my life rather than working against him, I make my life welcoming to the Holy Spirit, and he moves in to a greater degree. If I reject the holiness he wants to work in me, then I grieve his Spirit, I cause him sorrow, and he stays away.
I want to have as much righteousness in me as possible. I want it to be like a road upon which the God of the universe walks, a road leading straight into my heart. May I never allow any rock or pothole on that road.
Paul writes in Philippians 2:12-13: “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”