Have you ever looked closely into Psalms 24? It begins by proclaiming who is in charge (God) and then describes the qualifications of those who can find favor to enter into His holy place, His holy hill. One must have clean hands and a pure heart; he or she must not lift up their soul to falsehoods; and one must not swear that a lie is a truth. This is the one who receives righteousness and blessing from the Lord.
Psalm 15 walks hand in hand with Psalm 24. Psalm 15 tells me that someone who is walking with integrity and is doing righteous works is accepted. Someone must speak truth in his heart and not slander another. One should not act in an evil way towards his neighbor nor accuse or blame him unfairly for a fault. One should turn away from those who choose evil ways and honor those who fear God. He should be one who keeps his word – regardless of the consequences. He should not loan money with extremely high interest rates and should not betray innocent individuals. Whoever can follow these guidelines will never be shaken the Psalm says.
These are all good rules to guide our behaviors. But, I have to admit that I have fallen short of that list more than once. How about you? So are we totally unable to come into God’s presence because of our behavioral shortfall and inability to make ourselves righteous? Is all hope lost for finding favor with God? May I take this opportunity to proclaim a resounding, “NO, we are not disqualified! “ Our loving, heavenly Father, made a way for His children to come into His presence…and it wasn’t based on behavior. He sent His son, Jesus, to be our righteousness. How marvelous is that! He knew we would fall short, mess up (sometimes on purpose) and “blow it”( repeatedly). But if we will accept the death of Jesus on the cross as payment for our sins and shortfall and ask for His forgiveness and covering, Jesus forgives us and shares with us His righteous standing with God. We are given Jesus’ desire to be on our best behavior for the love of our God. We become one of the privileged who can walk boldly into God’s holy place, His holy hill. We have unlimited access to the Creator of the Universe…Almighty God.
Do you feel comfortable approaching God in His holy hill? Do you feel confident that He finds you qualified? If you wonder about it, take the time today to talk to Jesus about accepting His work on the cross for your forgiveness and access to Almighty God. If you will accept His work on your behalf, you will never again need to try in your own efforts to meet the qualifications needed to be in the presence of our Holy God.
I know one thing. I am sure glad I am saved by grace and not by works, otherwise I would never qualify.