When a Christian seeks after righteousness, God expresses a unique love towards them. But what does this desire look like in real day-to-day life? Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. So then, what is righteousness? Is it possible for someone to achieve true righteousness or is it only something we can follow after? Can something that must be followed after be granted back to the follower?
The apparent beautification and spiritual adornment upon the saints in Revelation 19:8 is that of something granted. When something is granted it is generally understood as perhaps an awarded gift but not something achieved by pursuit of something in anticipation of compensation. The righteousness that Abraham had was imputed from God and therefore not achieved. But although he desired for many years for the promise to be fulfilled, he did not noticeably pursue being righteous in the understood sense of the word. By believing God’s spoken word against all odds, the miraculous happened. I do not know that God ever told Abram that he must be righteous in order to receive the gigantic miracle of Isaac. It was given to him simply because he believed the promise of God against all the natural impossibilities.
We cannot waver when it comes to the promises of God nor consider them optional. The promises of God are His territory, and when we receive them we are on His property and within His ownership. So, we know that we must enter His property to receive His promises. But how can we know when we are upon the sovereign property of God? Once we are the property of God by His divine order of ownership we are deeded as His in covenantal recognition. In what manner and timing does this transaction take place? Man fulfills the criteria for receiving the outcome of God’s promise when his natural state of mind, being unbelief, is changed to the condition of simply believing. This is the entrance, or door, to kingdom living. It is the faith of the son of God as found in Galatians 2:20. This glorious place is a position of rest with Christ in heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This glorious place is one that most people cannot identify with. John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? The glory of God is the premises of God. Our walk with Christ is one of trust and faith in that which is finished. Our labor now transitions into believing without hesitation. I believe this to be the place where a life of prayer before God proceeds. It is the ministry that rests in faith and trust by the spoken word. Toil ceases when trust and faith begin.
The magnificent bride of Jesus is described as being arrayed in fineness—as in fine linen. Linen is a textile of exceptional coolness. A distinctive mark of the saints in the book of Revelation is that they are arrayed in sweatless service before God. This mark of sweatless service speaks of a deeper advancement into the kingdom of God that many do not experience. The service of many Christians is fraught with much sweat and turmoil.
As the saints of God move deeper, pressing into Holy of Holies, they take on a boldness that many cannot comprehend because of shallow and carnal representation. This spiritual boldness is not understood or clearly observed by the majority. It is, however, witnessed by a great cloud of spiritual witnesses.
To dwell in the secret place of the Most High is a surreptitious existence because it does not meet the approval of the carnal observer. It is viewed as myth or unrealistic imagination to some. Dwelling in this secret place is an astounding divergence from the way most experience the Christian life. The purified fineness of service, ministry, worship, and labor to our heavenly Father takes on a new meaning. Much of what we know in the realm of religion, and in the inner condition of the heart, is not describable as fine. This fine linen is clean and white, and these robes of pure white are called righteousness. Revelation 19:8 and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Emphasis added.) This is the righteousness that was displayed upon Abraham after it was granted as a gift of grace because he believed.
Isaiah 51:1 Listen to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. (Emphasis added.) We were hewn out of the rock, found in the hole of a deep pit. Follow on, my Christian companion, and waver not at obstacles. What are obstacles to God anyway? They are stepping stones—steps of faith! Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. It is also apparent that righteousness is something that can be thirsted after. So, thirst and hunger after righteousness, you will be filled!