LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? (Psalm 15:1)
God designed us with the capacity for intimacy with Him. We find Adam and Eve walking in the garden with the Creator, but then sin disrupted that fellowship. It still does. The good news is that God sought out those first humans and He seeks after us today. David shows us how to have intimacy with God in Psalm 15.
The question is whether we will respond to this Holy God—will I deal with the sin barriers in my life? The implication in David’s question (v.1) suggests that we dare not rush rudely into God’s presence, but must pause and approach Him reverently. Does He love us and desire our company? Of course! Yet, He is God so holy—above and beyond us.
Our walk must be upright (v.2a). We do not slink around as a serpent, but stand upright with a spine stiffened by conviction. Our feet move in lockstep with God’s commandments.
Our work must be righteous (v.2b). Our hands are not used to serve ourselves, but to serve God by serving others. It isn’t just that we refrain from doing the wrong thing, but that we actively pursue doing the right thing.
Our words must be sincere (v.2c-3). Notice that what is on our lips is connected with what is in our heart. There is to be no hypocrisy or inconsistency between what we think and how we talk. Integrity demands that we mean what we say and say what we mean. Our words are spoken to build up not to break down. Backbiting is banished from our mouth. Such a person does not take advantage of his neighbor or use his friends. He or she has the best interest of others at heart.
Our associations must be godly (v.4a). You cannot run with the wrong crowd and walk with God. They are going the opposite direction. We will be influenced by our associations. If we are enamored with today’s celebrities who have the morals of alley cats then we will find ourselves thinking, talking, and acting like them. If we honor holy men and women by meditating upon and modeling after them, then their influence will inspire us. When I study the lives of men and women who were intimate with God, they create a hunger in my heart for the same experience.
Our possessions must not possess us (v.4b-5a). The person who walks with God is a giver and not a taker because that is the nature of God. He or she will keep their commitments, no matter what it costs them financially, because they know if they fail to do so it will cost them much more spiritually. Such a one resists the corrupting influence of the love of money. Their character is not for sale.
We will not always do everything perfectly, but we can do it better progressively (v.5b). These traits will be the hallmark of our life. When people think of us, these characteristics will come to mind. Best of all, God knows the inclination of our hearts and the God-directed life will bring us into His fellowship. Our feet will be firmly planted on God’s path, with no backsliding. We will not find ourselves taking the Devil’s detours.
It is our privilege to have fellowship with God. Through Christ our salvation makes us righteous before God, and by His Spirit our sanctification enables us to live righteously as we draw near to Him.