Intimacy, Holiness, and Power

“Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” Psalm 15:1

My heart echoes the cry of the psalmist. How do I get close to God? How do I develop a deep and abiding relationship? Can I move-in with God? What must I do so I can dwell with God?

The short answer is…

“The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart…” Psalm 15:2

And my heart clenches tight as my mind works out a way I could meet these standards.

Blameless…well maybe if God grades on a curve…I'll make it.

Righteous…I am right most of the time…Check.

Speaks truth…I'm not a liar. I mean when it really counts I'm honest…Got that one too. God's so lucky to have me.

All the while my heart whispers, “You can never live up to this standard. It is hopeless, so why try.”

Is there no other way? Must I wrestle with either being self-righteous and far from God or give-up trying to be holy at all because I know I fail and also remain estranged from God?

There is another way. It is accepting Jesus' holiness as our own by admitting we cannot live up to God's perfect law. Then believing that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and rose again to show His sacrifice was accepted. Finally we must confess that Jesus is now in charge of our lives.

Once we realize the amazing gift of forgiveness that God gave us through Jesus then not only do we long to be close to God, but we long to live holy lives in gratitude for all He has done for us. Self-righteousness melts away because only Jesus can save us. Hopelessness vanishes because God gives us power to live holy righteous lives.

And the light dawns in our hearts. We can live on God's holy hill in close relationship with God. We are blameless through Jesus. Righteous through faith in Jesus and through His free gift we can say no to unholiness. And as we live holy lives though difficult circumstances come and it seems the earth is shifting beneath our feet, we will not be moved. For Psalm 15:5b says, “…Whoever does these things will never be shaken.”

Have you accepted the free gift Jesus has offered you?

If not pray: God I know I cannot live up to Your perfect law. I believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for the laws I have broken and rose again. I now want Jesus to be in charge of my life and I want to live for Him always. Amen.

Are you using God's power to say no to unholy behavior and yes to godliness?

Ask God to show you areas in your life you have unholy behavior. Ask God to forgive you and for the power to say no to unholiness. Now walk in the holiness of God with the help of His Spirit.

Continue your New Start 15 by visiting Kathy Howard’s blog tomorrow.