“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” (Psalm 34:15).
Did you know that anyone can cry out but not everyone will be heard? God hears the cry out of those who are righteous and delivers them from their troubles (see Psalm 34:17). This is what makes the difference between those who attain God’s blessings and those who do not.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
Who are “they”? Those who are righteous! When we are not righteous, our lives will not be in accordance to the Word of God. People often wonder why God doesn’t act when He sees something wrong? Can God see? Yes! Can God hear? Definitely! People’s lives do not change not because of the lack of prayer or cry out but due to lack of righteousness. Put simply, God is not their Shepherd.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1). Whose Psalm is this? The Psalm of the righteous! When we say “The Lord is our Shepherd…” we are automatically affirming that we are His sheep! And as His sheep we must be righteous; in practice, we return the firstfruits (tithe) even though the world is against it, we sacrifice our will, we forgive 70 times 7, we follow His direction and listen to His voice. When we make Him our Lord & Shepherd, then these words “I shall not want” will become a reality in our lives! Nowadays, many are lacking physically and spiritually; the Word of God is not being fulfilled in their lives. When we are living in righteousness and our lives are surrendered to Him, we have the right to ask Him to execute justice in our lives.
So ask yourself: “Am I one of the righteous or the unrighteous?” How do you know which one you are? By analysing your heart and the way you live your life. Those whose lives are changing, are those who are walking in the Spirit and not according to the flesh (see Romans 8:5). That is, people who want to be one of the righteous.
Unfortunately, many are those who know the truth but are still living in sin. They lie, cheat, have intimacy before marriage, have bad eyes, grudges and live a double life. The truth is, they do not want to give up their attachment to the world and that’s why peace is still lacking in their lives. It is not enough to simply give our first fruits or keep up with church attendance, we have to live a life of integrity.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23).
Being righteous is a choice each one of us has to make and what you decide will make the difference in your life. Are you going to continue being unrighteous knowing that it’s your choice? Or are you going to be one of those who abandon their sins, doubts, communion with this world and truly make Him your Lord and Shepherd? Those who do this will enjoy the promises of Psalm 23 and will have their prayers heard by God.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16).