Psalm 23:3….He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
When David is speaking of the paths of righteousness, he is not talking about tree lined trails to walk along, rather a spiritual position that we have been given in Christ. I love how it says – not for my earning it, but for His names sake. How often do we feel inadequate to come into the presence of God? Yet here we see our position of right-standing with Him isn’t because of the things we do, but because of His actions when He sent His Son to die for us. When we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, we become righteous in His sight. It says in Romans 8:10 10But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. To impute literally means to regard a quality that applies to someone as also applying to another person associated with him or her. Because He is righteous, when we become His children that righteousness is then associated with us.
To put this in perspective- The moment my son was born he became a Sarno. Not because he deserved to be, not because he tried really hard to be, not because he wanted to be, just because he was born into our family. If he is good and obedient and does everything we ask him to, he is still a Sarno. If he disobeys and does what he wants instead, he is still a Sarno. If one day he gets mad and doesn’t like his mom and dad, he’s still a Sarno. If he decides he doesn’t want to be a Sarno anymore, too bad he’s still a Sarno. Even if he decided to change his name, he would still have Sarno dna. Get the point? When we became a member of God’s family, we became righteous. No matter what we do, no matter where we go, we are righteous. Nothing can take us out of our righteous position and we don’t have to work hard to achieve it. We simply have to see ourselves as God does- as the righteousness of God in Christ.
Remember what it says in Romans 6:18 18And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). Understanding this passage will cause us to change our thought patterns, our actions, and our words. A servant only does what his master tells him to do, and if we are servants of righteousness we will govern our lives by the righteous standard set out in the Word of God. By obeying the Word we will be led on those paths of uprightness and right standing with Him.