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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

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
If we are going to be worshippers that go to "higher places" in the Spirit, personal holiness is a key. Our salvation does not depend on our actions, but our advancement in spiritual things clearly does. How badly do you want "more of God?" Badly enough to abandon sinful habits? What about bad habits that are not sinful but that distract you from the things of God? What does "lift[ing] up his soul to what is false" mean? It seems like this passage is about being a person who can be trusted, who always tells the truth and knows it. That's awfully hard to do in this life. Have you ever told someone that something was happening where you were, even though maybe it wasn't, just to get off the phone? Ever said a check was in the mail when it wasn't yet? Ever told the officer that you didn't know you were going over the speed limit when you really did know it? I've done things like that any number of times, and I'm sure you probably have too. But this passage doesn't seem to leave any room for "white lies."

How badly do you want more of God's Presence in your life? Badly enough to tell the truth?

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