Psalm 24:1-2 ESV
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.”
Amen! God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – not only created the earth and all who dwell therein, but it belongs to him. He owns it all! He is King! He is completely sovereign and in control over all that he has made.
No army waged against us, and no devil coming against us to attack us can outwit God. They cannot thwart God’s plans and his purposes. They are only able to do what they do because God allows it, for it serves his purposes in some way.
So, we never have any reason to fear what is going on in the world or what may or may not come next, or how it may or may not impact our lives. We can trust our Lord completely, that he is in control, and that he is working all things for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Psalm 24:3-6 ESV
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah”
What must we do to be in relationship with Almighty God? What must take place in our lives for us to be able to come into his holy presence? And, for us to be in fellowship with him, and to be his servants and his ministers? And, for us to be saved from our sins, and to have eternal life with God?
We must believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives. And, that faith in Jesus is God-persuaded, and it is God-given, therefore it submits to Jesus Christ as Lord. For, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are now HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should WALK in them. (Eph. 2:8-10).
Thus, by faith we die with Christ to sin and self, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we now walk (in lifestyle, in practice) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh – all in the power and the working of God’s Spirit in and through our lives (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).
And, this is not a one-time experience in our lives and then we are good to go until we get to heaven one day. This is a walk of faith, not stagnant faith. We must persevere. We must endure. And, we must continue in Christ until the very end. Daily we must die to our flesh and to sin, and daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s evil schemes against us (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 6:10-20).
For, our hands represent our deeds, so clean hands are righteous deeds, done in the Spirit, not in the flesh. And, pure hearts are unadulterated, and not given over to the lusts of the flesh and to the desires of this sinful world. But they are hearts surrendered to Jesus Christ to walk in his ways and in his truth, living in obedience to his commands, by the Spirit.
To What is False
Now, this is really important that we get this part, on multiple levels. We are not to lift up our souls (hearts, emotions, the core of our being) to what is false (or to an idol), and we are not to swear (make a pledge) deceitfully (tell a lie or yield to what is deceiving, and therefore not being true to God).
Too many people who call themselves Christians are lifting up their souls to idols and to what is false, to lies and deceptions, and to what is evil and immoral. They are following their own fleshly appetites and the sensual indulgences of their flesh, no matter who gets hurt in the process – wives, husbands, children, grandchildren, neighbors, and/or friends, etc.
For, it is all about them and what they lust after. They do not fear God, so they don’t honor, respect, or obey him. But, they keep playing their games, living in hypocrisy, putting on performances, hoping to fool most people, while secretly they abuse their spouses and they cheat on them and they lie to them repeatedly, and then they keep making excuses for it all, too.
But they are without excuse! Those who have known the Word of God for a long time, and who have taught the Scriptures, and who know the truth, if they continue living in that flesh, fulfilling the lusts of their flesh, not only do they trample the Son of God underfoot, and treat as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and not only do they insult the Spirit of grace, but they will die in their sins (Heb. 10:29; Gal. 5:16-21).
Receiving a Blessing
On the other hand, those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to the flesh and to the idols of this world, and who walk in integrity, holiness, and righteousness, by faith in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Spirit of God, they will be blessed.
They will be blessed with the Lord’s righteousness, with salvation from sin, with eternal life with God, with the peace and joy of the Lord, with purpose and direction, and with gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. They will have communion with the Father, and fellowship with the Son of God. And, God will lead them in the way that he would have them to go.
For they are those who seek God’s face, who seek him with all their hearts, who desire after God to do his will, and who want to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, because they love God and they have been called according to his purpose, which is to glorify the Lord with our lives.
Psalm 24:7-10 ESV
“Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah”
To me, this is a call to worship Almighty God, to let him into our lives to be our King. And, this doesn’t happen just by saying some magic words or just by acknowledging who Jesus is and what he did for us on that cross. It is not a religious ritual or some formality we go through just so we can “get saved” and “go to heaven.” This is not what this is about!
This is about receiving Jesus Christ into our lives to be our Lord (owner-master), that we might worship him by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world (Rom. 12:1-2).
This is about forsaking our lives of sin and our idols to follow our Lord Jesus with our hearts and lives, committed to him and to his service. It is about no longer living for the sinful passions of our flesh but yielding our lives to Jesus in surrender to his will for our lives, daily saying “No!” to the flesh and “Yes!” to God!
This is about no longer playing church, or playing Christianity, going through the motions only, while living a secret life of sin behind closed doors. This is laying it all down on the altar, giving it all up to follow Jesus wherever he leads us in doing whatever he calls us to do, no matter the cost.
For, this is about living in the fear of the Lord, honoring, respecting, submitting to and obeying our Lord. For, this is our true worship of him.
Writer(s): C. E. Couchman, M. W. Bassford
Scorned by those who watched;
Mocked by all the wise;
Loved within belief;
Son of God.
Born to take my death;
Slain to give me life;
Jesus Son of God.
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