The Approachable God
“O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.” – Psalms 15:1-2 NASB
In Psalms 1, we read these familiar words, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalms 1:1-2 NASB). I don’t know about you, but when I read these words I get a little nervous. Why? Because there are days when I actually walk in the counsel of the wicked, I stand in the path of sinners, and I sit with the scoffers. There are days when I don’t delight in the law of the Lord. And as far as meditating on it day and night, well, I fail that test miserably. But when you read these Psalms, you could easily become defeated because it seems to paint a picture of God being in heaven and holding out some fairly unattainable goals for us as His children. The blessings seem so conditional, and I tend to fail to hold up my end of the bargain so often. The standards of God are high. And the ability of man to meet those standards has always been low. In fact, it is impossible for any of us to meet the righteous requirements of God.
But then I remember that it is because of Christ that I am able to approach the throne of God. It is because Christ has paid for my sins on the cross with His own life that I am reckoned as righteous before God. I have access to the Father not because I can keep His holy standards, but because Christ has done it for me. I am the recipient of Christ’s righteousness. These Psalms remind me that my God is holy and that He has high standards. He blesses the righteous and condemns the wicked. But I can rest in the knowledge that I AM righteous before God because of all that Christ has done. My sins have been forgiven. My debt has been paid. I stand before God uncondemned and clean. I do not have to EARN His favor, it has been freely extended to me. Now, any efforts at make at living a holy life are done out of love, not obligation, and they are made possible by the Holy Spirit living within me. I don’t have to muster up the strength to live a holy life. God makes it possible through His Spirit. Paul reminds me of this fact. “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NLT). Even though I sometimes find myself still walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the path of sinners, and sitting in the seat of the scoffers, I have the ability to choose differently. And more often than not, I do. Why? Because God has made it possible for me to live a righteous life. He has given me the power to choose His way over mine.
Father, thank You for grace. I would have no hope if You had not sent Your Son to die in my place. There is no way I can keep Your standards. I can’t measure up to Your righteous requirements. But because of what Jesus did, I don’t have to. He did it for me. And now You have given me Your Spirit to make it possible for me to live a life that brings glory and honor to You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men