LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken. (Psalms 15:1-5)
As I read through the list in Psalm 15, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I deserved the reward of dwelling in God’s ‘sacred tent’ or living on His ‘holy mountain’. Have I been blameless? Spoken truth? Slandered not? Have I done no wrong, cast no slur on others, despised the vile and honoured those who fear Him? Have I kept an oath … regardless, given interest free loans to the poor, and rejected bribes against the innocent?
The Holy Spirit began to speak to me through this passage. I tried to reason my way out of the questions. After all, I had never taken a bribe and I had never lent money with interest, but could I honestly say my walk is blameless and that I always do what is righteous? Maybe? Sometimes? Not sure? Suddenly, I was faced with an all-or-nothing moment. Being obedient in most but failing at others meant I was at risk of missing out on relationship with Him.
We can live a life that brings Him praise, if we choose to live by His direction. We may fail in our attempts, but growth lies in allowing Him to help us rise up and move forward again. The list will look challenging and impossible to satisfy if we look at it through our own eyes, and consider accomplishing it in our own strength, but we have His promise that nothing is impossible where He is concerned.The important thing is to recognize our limitations and to see Him as the source of our strength and the One who is ‘able to keep us from falling.’
As we strive towards perfection, we have the gift of His Word to guide our paths. As you look at the bits and pieces in these five verses, what is going through your mind? As you do your mental checklist, remember that you do not need to walk alone. The perfection of His strength comes in our weakness. Are you willing to be weak so He can prove Himself strong through your circumstances?
Inventory / Introspection: Taking this passage of Scripture segment by segment, what have I repeatedly done to or failed to do?
Personal application: I will pick one of these guidelines and seek God’s direction in making the Scriptures come alive in my heart and in my daily walk.
Father, thank you for the forgiveness that comes from You. I am grateful that when I seek Your face, You are faithful to cleanse me. I ask You now to forgive me of the times I have dropped the ball, deliberately or otherwise. I want to walk in Your footsteps. Show me Your way.
As I look over this list, there are items I can say that I am not guilty of, but there are still other areas I need to work on. I lay all I am at Your feet, and I ask that You will give me opportunities to put Your words in action. Some parts seem harder than others, but I know that all things are possible with You. I pray that You will help me to respond to those around me with Christ-like love, and that You will give me the wisdom to make decisions so that Your name is honoured and glorified.
May my heart and hands be clean before You.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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