“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Interlude”
Psalms 24:3-6 NLT
In the Old Testament, to go up to the "House of God" was the highest moment of worship for the children of Israel. The Tabernacle was located in the middle of the camp of the twelve tribes while they journeyed through the wilderness to the promised land of Canaan. Once the Temple was erected in Jerusalem, they would, literally go "up" to "Mount Zion". The Temple was above the elevation of the surrounding cities and towns. Jerusalem sits at about 2,500 feet above sea level. To make ones trek to the Temple was to go "up" to the House of God! As one would consider the privilege to make this trip to Jerusalem, their thoughts would turn to the preparation for such a sacred experience. Introspective consideration would be given to one's spiritual condition. Going to worship the One True God was of utmost sacred and serious consideration. Allowing the Lord to search your heart and prepare you for your time at the Temple would be at the forefront of your life. Everyone in Judaism (the Jewish faith and practice) knew that this was the most important thing in their lives. Nothing else compared! Clean hands (a phrase used to depict righteous dealing in one's affairs) and a pure heart (righteous motives) were the two most significant things for consideration. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are under the grace of God. Grace is unearned favor (something not accomplished by effort) that is imparted upon the one who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior! We should be grateful, to the greatest degree, because of God's amazing grace. We are, now, the Temple of God (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). One thing we should always bear in mind: We are made God’s House by the grace of the Lord Jesus! Knowing this truth does not grant us permission to sin but, rather, freedom from the shackles of sin. The law of Moses showed us the standard of God's holiness. We cannot achieve it! God's holiness can only be received by grace through faith (see Genesis 15:6; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-10). The price for sin was the blood of the Spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (see I Peter 1:18-19)!!! We must NEVER lose sight of this very truth. As we contemplate the sacredness of this, we should respond with living a life that honors our Lord's holiness. Our words, thoughts, and deeds should be under the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23)!!! We should never excuse our sin as an allowance under grace (see Romans 6 - Whole chapter). Yes, we all have sinned and we all can, and do sin (see Romans 3:23 and I John 2:1-2). However, we should not allow ourselves to become comfortable with sin. Our sin should always drive us to a place of repentance (see 2 Corinthians 7:10) instead of acceptance. Christ is Holy! His children should strive to please Him with their character (pure heart) and conduct (clean hands). When we live under this mindset, we worship God in all that we are and all that we do! Worship should never be a place! Worship is about a Person - Jesus! As we live in worship of Jesus, we can, then, come in corporate worship of Him under the anointing of the Holy Spirit!
Prayer for today: Father, in the name of Jesus, search me by Your Holy Spirit and see if there is any wickedness in me. Purge me in the blood of Your One and Only Son Jesus! May my life be lived in honor of Your Holiness!
Rev. Curtis Norris