Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are you going up the hill?





Scripture

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?
(Psalms 24:3 NASB)
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully.
(Psalms 24:4 NASB)
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
(Psalms 24:5 NASB)
This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
(Psalms 24:6 NASB)

Observation

Somehow today I had pictured in my mind "Jack and Jill went up the hill." That's one of my earliest childhood memories of making the climb up the hill. They were diligent in what they needed to accomplish, because they needed a pail of water! We, too, are encouraged to be a part of the uphill climb but it's not for a pail of water, but rather, for the ultimate goal that God has for each and every single one of us, and that is to be with him. We are invited to ascend the hill and join God in his holy presence. The only problem is that not everyone is able to climb that hill. Remember when the children of Israel were afraid of the presence of God which surrounded the mountain and they only wanted Moses to go and meet with God. That was because they understood that to be in God's presence was to stand on holy ground. Not everyone can stand there because the very holiness and purity of God cannot tolerate sin. It is sin, not the person, that is destroyed in his presence. However, if one is filled with sin, they cannot exist in his holy presence.

So, who can climb the hill? Only those with clean hands and a pure heart. These are the ones who can climb the hill and join God in his presence. Those that do so will receive a blessing from the Lord, and righteousness. Why? Because they seek the face of God, and in seeking his face they draw closer and closer to him and they find him, there, on the mountain.

Application

Our Christian life might be viewed as a journey of ascents, as we climb the mountain of God, drawing ever nearer to him and his holy presence. At times, however, there may be a stumbling block that keeps us from enjoying his presence in the way that God would desire. We are stopped in our journey because we don't have clean hands and a pure heart. You see, these two represent for us the very essence of our spiritual life. A pure heart is what God desires. This is the very core of who we are. God wants to wound our hearts and pour out his love into us. When this happens we no longer have our personal desires and/or motivations, but rather we have God's desires being fulfilled in our lives. We have a pure heart because of him, not because of us. The heart filled with love for God draws us toward the one whom we love and we are drawn by desire to higher levels in our walk with him.

The result of a pure heart is seen in our clean hands. Not only are we filled with love for God, but also love for neighbor which is revealed in the very works of our hands. John Wesley said "there is no holiness without social holiness. " There is no way you can love God and not be motivated to minister to the world around you and make a difference. You can no longer sit idly by and watch as the world suffers. You are motivated by the love of God to jump in and make a difference.
You are invited to climb the hill. Along the way we must shed the things that may weigh us down and allow him to fill us with his Holy Spirit until we have a pure heart and clean hands. Are you ready for the climb?

Prayer

Lord, please examine me today and every day that my life will reveal a pure heart and clean hands, dedicated in service to you. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I like your word picture of climbing a hill and shedding baggage AS we move upward. "He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be..."

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