In Position of Righteousness

March 5, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in Bibles with me to Psalm ninety-two and verse twelve. Psalm ninety-two and verse twelve.

Tonight we’re going to have interaction with the Word tonight. Praise the Lord. So that we can all be able to share with one another, and I can share with you, and you can share with me. Amen?

In Psalm ninety-two, beginning with verse twelve, it says,

12. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

15. To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

What does it mean to be righteous? What does it mean to be righteous? Somebody tell me tonight, what does it mean to be righteous? And when you speak, speak up so that we can hear you. Lift up your hand and tell me.

Yes, sir. What does it mean to be righteous? To be in right standing.

What does it mean to be in right standing with God? Well, to God be the glory. Amen. Allowing (glory to God) his will to be done. Amen? Not my will by Thine will be done.

And the thing that I love that he said was, positioning myself. I must learn how to position myself in righteousness. You see, too many times we are out of position. But if we get in the position of righteousness, that means that we will be able to have favor with God. God will give us favor when we stand in a position of righteousness in God.

And the Bible also says in that same verse that they will flourish. Somebody tell me what the word “flourish” means. What does it mean to flourish?

Yes, sir. To grow. Amen. To grow. To bloom. To grow and to bloom. Amen. Two excellent words. To grow and to bloom means to flourish.

Another word for flourishing is to thrive, to thrive. Have you ever seen something that’s thriving, something that is successful, something that is rich, something (glory to God) that is in a position (glory to God), and it keeps on spreading and spreading and spreading?

The psalmist is singing here tonight (glory to God) that the righteous will thrive like a palm tree. When I looked up palm tree (glory to God) there were many different types of palm trees.

One of the types of palm trees that I saw was a coconut palm tree. Glory to God. And it produces fruit. Amen? In other words, the psalmist was saying that I will be like a palm tree. And not only will I produce fruit, but the Bible declares in Revelations that the palm leaves, they symbolize victory. They symbolize triumph.

In other words, I am going to be like a tree (glory to God) that symbolizes the triumph and the victory of the Almighty God. Hallelujah. Jesus. Come on, give God a handclap of praise in here tonight.

The psalmist said that I would be righteous. I would be in the right position. I would be in right standing. Where I am, I am at a position of holiness. I’m at a position of integrity.

I’m at a position (glory to God) of doing His will, not my will. I’m at a position (glory to God) that wherever He leads me I will follow. Glory to God. I’m at a position that, “Who is going to go for Me?” I could say, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” Hallelujah to Jesus.

In other words, I’m at His beckoned call. I’m just like Paul. I’m a bond servant of Jesus Christ. And whatever He tells me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.

The Bible also said that they would grow like a cedar of Lebanon. When we look at the cedars of Lebanon, they grow humongous. They grow not only real tall, but even the width of them (glory to God) are so humongous. Glory to God.

In other words, you can’t blow them down with the storm. Do you hear what I’m saying today? I’m going to be like a tree in Lebanon. I’m not going to be swayed back and forth with every wind of doctrine. I know with whom I have to do. I know to whom I belong to. I’m going to be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters. And I shall not be moved.

He was saying not only am I in right standing, but I’m thriving. Not only am I thriving, but I have more power than the forces that be against me.

You see, when you have more power than the forces that are against you, no matter what they do (glory to God), it won’t affect you. It won’t affect your position in God.

This is what the psalmist was saying. This is what he was saying. It’s a powerful thing. It’s a powerful thing. He was saying, “I’ve got victory. I’m in right standing with God. I won’t be moved, no matter if I’m challenged.” The psalmist had a revelation.

He went on to say, “Planted in the house of the Lord.” He said, “I am planted in the house of the Lord.” The Bible says in First John two and fifteen, love not the world neither the things that are in the world. For he that love the world, the love of the Father’s not in him. For all that’s in the world is the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

He was saying, “I’m not planted in the world. I’m in this world, but I’m not of this world. I’m planted in the house of the Lord.” And this is where I dwell. And this is where I’m fed. Because if I’m planted there, I’ve got to be fed there. Because I’ve got to continue to do what? Like he said, grow. Hallelujah.

He said they will flourish in the courts of our God. There’s that word “flourish” again. They’re going to thrive in the courts. Glory to God.

Some courts you’re not allowed into. You see, this is a special court. You know when you go around big houses, they have a court outside? And not only that. They have a gate before you can even get into the court. Do you hear what I’m saying?

So I’ve got to enter into the gates first with thanksgiving. And then I got to enter into the courts with praise. Do you hear? Oh, my God. Who am I preaching to in this house tonight? And once I have that revelation, I’m going to flourish in the courts of my God.

The psalmist said they will still bear fruit in old age. Look at your neighbor and say, “Longevity.”

You see, too many times in the house of God as we get older and older and more mature in the Spirit, we don’t have staying power. Do you hear what I’m saying? Because we tend to get bored with what we’re doing. Hello, somebody.

What we are doing becomes a ritual. And it doesn’t mean as much as when I was first appointed to that thing. When I was first appointed to it (glory to God) I was manning my post. But now that I’ve been there for a while I’m losing ground. And I can’t bear the fruit in that thing that I used to bear.

Have you ever seen an old tree when it gets real old? Sometimes it won’t produce like it used to produce. If they don’t have somebody that’s going to cultivate the soil every now and then...

But the psalmist says I’m going to have longevity in the house of God. I’m going to have staying power. In other words, the pastor’s not going to have to come looking for me. Hello, somebody. Because all you have to do is look, and there I am with the prettiest fruit you’ve ever seen. And every now and then he can pick fruit from me if he wants to. I won’t always pick it from him, but he can pick it from me. Do you hear what I’m saying? Hello, somebody.

They will stay fresh and green. There’s a Scripture that talks about leaves, and it’s medicine being for the healing of the nations. See, when I, my leaves stay green and fresh, it’s like a medicine that can be applied to those that are in need.

But see, in the body of Christ we find ourselves always picking our own leaves and applying them to ourselves. Do you hear what I’m saying? And as I continue to apply them always to myself, I don’t have enough for anybody else.

So by the time they get to me, I don’t have anything to give them. I don’t have anything to pour out, because I’m constantly in a struggle. Do you hear what I’m saying? I’m constantly in a struggle with myself and everything that goes on with me.

Saints of God, the psalmist was speaking about being in the house of God. When I came in this church to pray today, and when I got ready to leave, I had to turn around at the door and look back and just start praising God. And said, “Lord, when I come I get strength.”

I don’t have to have nobody in here with me. Do you hear what I’m saying? When I come to His house I get strength. He strengthens my inner man, that I can continue to run the race with patience, and finish my course with joy.

See, if I don’t have joy my fruit is not going to be right. If my face is always long and sad and looking for somebody to blame... Hello, somebody. My fruit won’t be right.

Have you ever seen somebody that complains all the time about everything? Everything. Constantly. Let me explain something to you that even the world knows. Listen.

When you are in the presence of someone that has negative energy... Listen, because I’m going to give you something. When you are in the Presence of someone that always has negative energy, that positive energy that you have, they will suck all of it out of you.

That’s why when you leave out of the presence of some people you feel all dry and sucked up. Because they done sucked it all out of you. And you be walking around like this. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost up in here.

That’s why I try to get away from folks that are always negative all the time. Even when there’s nothing, it seems, positive going on, don’t give off negative energy. For greater is He that’s in you than he that’s in the world. I got positive energy on the inside of me. I’ve got a positive force on the inside of me. And He should radiate. Not me. He should radiate.

Saints of God, the psalmist was saying some important words. He was saying some important words. Hallelujah, Jesus. Lord, bless the children.

They will still bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green, proclaiming the Lord is upright. He is my rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.

Everything that I produce will proclaim the goodness of the Lord. My attitude will proclaim the goodness of the Lord. My conversation...(tongues)...will proclaim the goodness of the Lord. My walk will proclaim the goodness of the Lord. It’s not always in my hallelujah, praise God. But it’s in those other non-verbal, sometimes, gestures that I give off.

The psalmist was speaking to us. Oh, hallelujah.

Turn with me to Psalm fifty-two and verse eight. Here we go again. He said,

8. But I am like a green olive tree...

When we look at an olive tree, it’s one of the longest living trees. And an olive tree produces oil. Do you hear what I’m saying? And oil is valuable. So what I produce and what I give out is of value to the house of God. And I am going to once again have longevity in the house of God, because of the anointing that is on my life.

There’s that word “flourishing” again. Thriving in the house of God. I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. I can do all of this because I trust in God and not in man. The Bible says cursed is the man that trust in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Do you hear what I’m saying?

I don’t trust in horses and chariots. But I trust in the Name of the Lord my God.

“I will praise you forever for what you have done. In your Name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise You in the Presence of Your saints.”

And tonight I’m in the New International version. I know some of you are saying, “Well, where is he?” I’m in the New International version.

But the psalmist had a revelation about trees. And when we go back to that palm tree and we look at the palm tree, and we look at the climate that a palm tree grows in, it grows in a tropical climate. In other words, it’s warm enough for it.

You see, I need somewhere where the Anointing is, don’t I? Because that Anointing is going to heat me up. I’ve got to have the what? Right atmosphere. I have to have the right conditions about me. I cannot have conditions that are full of envy, strife jealousy, confusion, doubt, unbelief. Because I won’t flourish like that. I have to have atmospheres, an atmosphere that’s conducive to my growth. Hello, somebody.

Trees. Likening us to trees. Because trees are sturdy. They’re sturdy. They’re sturdy.

Go with me to Proverbs chapter twelve. In Proverbs chapter twelve and verse twelve it says, “The wicked desire the plunder of evil men: but the root of the righteous flourishes.”

The root is that part that’s not seen. You see, it can seem like I’m flourishing in here, but what about that part that you don’t see? I can only put on a show for a little while. Hello, somebody. I can only pretend and be an imposter for a little while. But after a while my roots going to tell on me. Because what I produce will either be right or it’ll be wrong.

The roots are that part that take in the nourishment, the minerals, the food. See, your roots have got to run deep. You see, your roots cannot be shallow.

Because if your roots are shallow, as soon as something happens... Oh, my God, my God. As soon as somebody say something I don’t like, as soon as somebody does something I don’t care for, I’ll be uprooted in the house of God. And I’ll find myself going from church to church to church to church to church to church, because ain’t nobody church right. Ain’t nobody right but me.

Sometimes God will uproot a plant to plant it in different soil. But He won’t put you a place... Let me tell you this. He won’t put you in a place and tell you to be there and then uproot you before the time. It’s a lie from the pits of hell. Either way you’re wrong. Because you ain’t here God right from being there in the first place, or you’re wrong for leaving. One of the two.

My roots are so important.

Turn with me to Proverbs fourteen and eleven. And this is our last Scripture tonight. It says, “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.”

When we think about a tent, it’s a dwelling place. The place where I live is about to expound. It’s about to be enlarged. You remember the prayer of Jabez. “Enlarge my tent, my territory, my tent.” Enlarge my surroundings. Do you hear what I’m saying?

The Bible tells me in the... In Proverbs chapter three it tells me that my barns will overflow, when I trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not to my own understanding, but in all of my ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct my path.

My barns are going to overflow. What He blesses me with, where I live won’t even be able to contain it.

Tonight... (Tongues.) I feel the Holy Ghost. Tonight the Lord is speaking to us about flourishing. In other words, prospering and thriving and being successful and being rich. We are supposed to flourish in the house of God.

We’re not supposed to have our lip all poked out all the time. But we’re supposed to flourish. Flourish. We’re supposed to have longevity. Do you hear the psalmist tonight? We’re supposed to have good fruit. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

And what happens is, the young ones look at the older ones, and they pull from your fruit. And if you got a bad attitude, they going to have a bad attitude. If you won’t come to church, they won’t come to church. Oh, they leave... They go by example. If you’re cutting the fool and still up here, then they’re going to cut the fool and expect pastor to still put them up there. Hello, somebody.

If you’re always gossiping... Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello. Then they’re going to gossip. Whatever you do, that’s what they’re going to do. And they may not even want to do it, but it’ll be that spirit. And if they don’t watch themselves, they’ll find themselves doing the same thing.

But if you’re flourishing (my God, my God), they’re going to want to be just like you. They’re going to want to flourish in the house of the Lord. They’re going to want to stay in the house of the Lord. They’re going to bear fruit in the house of the Lord. They want to be anointed in the house of the Lord.

So tonight remember you’re like a palm tree. You’re like a cedar in Lebanon. You’re like an olive tree. What an awesome combination. The Bible says a three-fold cord is not quickly broken. If I will walk in this revelation of who I am, then no devil in hell is going to be able to stop me.

Give God a handclap of praise tonight.

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