Have you ever heard this statement, “you need to straighten your life out” or from your parent, “straighten out”. Well, our Heavenly Father wants us to “straighten out” as well. Straighten out from what? Crooked ways.
Crooked ways make you a crook! The funny thing is that the main person you rob is yourself. God desires for His children to learn His word and make a decision to live by it.
David the Psalmist made some very distinct statements regarding straightening out his “ways”:
Psalm 119:1-11 (KJV)
1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
I italicized the specific statements made in these verses to show an emphasis regarding the things we need to do to straighten out.
The blessing flows through a straightened vessel.
Notice what these verses say, vs.1 “walk in the law of the Lord”, vs.2 “keep His testimonies and seek Him with your whole heart”, vs.3 “do no iniquity, walk in His ways or God’s ways”, vs.4 “keep His precepts diligently, vs.5 “direct your ways to keep His statutes”, vs.6 “respect all the commandments”, vs.7 “praise Him with uprightness of heart and learn His righteous judgements”, vs.8 “keep His statutes”, vs.9 “cleanse your way by keeping His word”, vs.10 “whole heartedly seek Him and do not wander from His commandments or word”, vs.11 “hide the word in your heart, to keep you from sin”.
All these verses give clear instructions on how we are to straighten out our crooked ways. Let’s read what Psalm 5:8 (KJV) says to us:
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Unless we make the effort to straighten out our ways, it will never get done. Once we give our lives to Christ, we are declared righteous. According to 2 Corinthians 5:21 Jesus made us righteous or right standing with God, yet, for us to experience the benefits of this righteousness, we must choose to live that righteousness.
This is why knowing what Jesus has done for us through His death, burial and resurrection is so important for the Believer.
Paul stated in Romans that we are free from the power of sin through the Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Now, being free and living free are two different things. Living free requires action or faith. How many Christians today live like they are still obligated to sin? Unfortunately, many Christians today live defeated lifestyles because they feel that they are not able to live free from sin.
Notice what Paul states regarding our freedom from sin:
Romans 6:11-14 (KJV)
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Paul informs us that we have the ability to live an upright lifestyle, but if our minds are not renewed to this principle, we will continue living our lives as though we were never born again into Christ and His righteousness.
Every born again Believer has been declared righteous by God through the blood sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to renew our minds to this benefit. Without righteousness, we would not be able to live by faith. Knowing that we are right standing with God allows for us to have faith in Him.
If we see ourselves as sinners, we will always have a guilty mindset, which would generate negative feelings of what God desires to bless us with. This would breed an underservant attitude toward God, which would limit God’s ability to bless us.
According to what Paul said, we do not need to allow sin to control our lives. Verse 12 specifically says that we have the authority to operate free from sin in this mortal body. He did not say a glorified body, which is what we will receive after we have been resurrected. But, Paul specifically stated that we could live free from sin “in this mortal body”; this is talking about the body we have right now.
here is an old saying that many people use today to justify sinful actions and the saying goes like this, “I am only human”; this is an excuse for a lack of discipline. We have been empowered by God through His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a victorious, overcoming lifestyle.
Make a decision to live who you really are, the righteousness of God. He has declared us righteous, but if we do not believe what God has promised us regarding this, we will always live bound to sin, fear, guilt, condemnation, shame and feelings that you do not deserve the blessings of God. This is not enjoying life to the full.
In reality, straightening out your life is really straightening out the way you think about how God thinks about you. God loves you and has made it very simple to establish relationship with Him; simply by receiving Jesus as the Lord of your life and believing that God has raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 10:9, 10)
Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
This is the heart of a Father; God has a Father’s heart and only desires for us to experience His love and blessings.
Remember, Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. (John 10:10)