An Attitude for an Audience with GOD

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”  Psalm 24:3-5 (KJV)
When my wife, Gloria, and I were raising our three boys, we established standards for appropriate behavior in our house.  The boys knew that in order to enjoy the benefits of our home, their words and actions needed to be acceptable in accordance with our criteria.  Gloria and I had the right to establish these standards because it was our home. 
God also has established standards for those that desire to enjoy fruitful fellowship with Him.  These standards are addressed by the Psalmist and posed as several questions in the beginning of today’s passage.  These questions are inseparable from one’s destiny!  Are you good enough to be a citizen of heaven and stand faultless before a holy God?  Other questions that come to mind are: To whom are the questions addressed?  What are the standards that must be met in order to ascend the holy hill of the Lord?  Are we able to meet these standards on our own?  We find the answer to these questions in verse four of the passage.  God’s standards include clean hands, a pure heart, and a soul that is not vain or deceitful.  These four criteria address all aspects of our lives including:

  1. What we touch, handle or do,

  2. Our conscience, thoughts, affections and passions, and

  3. Pride and integrity.

Those that adhere to the Almighty’s standards enjoy blessings from His hand in the form of righteousness that leads to salvation.  According to the Scriptures, righteousness is a requirement to enjoy a right relationship with God and a rich reward which God bestows on His people.  As the Gospel song “None but the Righteous” says:
None but the righteous shall see God
Shall see God
If I hold to His hand and live by His command
None but the righteous shall see God
Got to be born, born again to see God
If I hold to His hand and live by His command 
Got to be born, born again to see God
However, the Scriptures also say that we have a sinproblem that prevents us from meeting God’s standard of righteousness on our own. 
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 (KJV)
“As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.’” Romans 3:10-12 (KJV)
It is only through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we can be made righteous.
“…not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Philippians 3:9 (KJV)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (KJV, emphasis mine)
To bring this concept full circle, let’s go back to the opening passage.  The Psalmist is clear that there are actions required to indicate an attitude of the heart that is acceptable to God.  And while our righteousness comes from faith in Jesus Christ, He also gives us the power to live righteously in a manner acceptable to the Lord.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV)
Challenge: Have you accepted the covering of the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that you may enjoy faultless fellowship with God?  Have you decisively determined to walk rightly before the Lord or have you capitulated to the culture with an attitude of compromise?  I encourage you to remember the admonition of the Apostle Paul: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

For the Glory of God,