One thing David did that transformed the way that worship was perceived was that he set the example of worship as an action that was initiated from within the temple of the heart rather than an action initiated from within the structure of the temple. This was completely outside of what worship had been up until this point. When David asked the questions: “Lord, who will abide in Your tabernacle? Who will dwell in Your holy hill?” in Psalm 15:1, he was longing to be in the presence of the Lord and yet because he was not a priest, he could not be. Yet David was disqualified – according to the Law.
There were hundreds of requirements under Old Testament law governing who, how and when a person could approach the Lord and David was still stuck under those although he desperately longed for more. David knew he could not approach the presence of God from inside the tabernacle, so he decided to approach God from inside of his heart. Even today, many, many people who truly desire intimacy with the Lord try to find Him inside of the church, within the “tabernacle” rather than approaching God from inside the heart. The emotions, the lights, the sounds, the “experience” of worship – they’re all just decoys for the presence of God!
When David wrote Psalm 15, it was written based on requirements of the Old Testament laws pertaining to the blessing – and curses – of adherence to the Law. You had to be “qualified” under the Law to draw near to God in the temple. Under the New Covenant, Jesus Christ bridges the gap between man and God so that anyone who is covered by the blood of the Lamb can enter into His presence anywhere, anytime. However, the heart of David’s Psalm 15 still holds true under the New Covenant because of this important principle: How we live is a direct reflection of the intimacy of our fellowship with the Lord.
David knew he could not approach the presence of God from inside the tabernacle, so he decided to approach God from inside of his heart.
Here’s what David wrote:
“Lord, who will abide in Your tabernacle? Who will dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and does righteousness and speaks truth in his heart; he who does not slander with the tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor bears a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to avoid evil and does not change; he who does not put his money out to usury, nor take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be moved.”
John wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6). No, it’s not about perfection – it’s about the process! Under the Old Covenant the condition for fellowship with God was a righteous life; under the New Covenant through Jesus Christ the result of fellowship with God is a righteous life. You can worship God, but dwelling with Him, in His “tabernacle”, the place where He dwells is different. In Psalm 15 David noted 11 qualities of those who dwell in God’s presence and experience the divine covering that comes with a life lived in the light: (taken from the New Living Translation):
- They lead blameless lives
- They do what is right
- They speak the truth from sincere hearts
- They refuse to gossip
- They refuse to harm their neighbors
- They refuse to speak evil of their friends
- They despise flagrant sinners
- They honor the faithful followers of the Lord
- They keep their promises – even when it hurts
- They lend money without charging interest
- They cannot be bribed to lie
Not everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord chooses to walk this way land as a result they only experience a fraction of what God has intended and designed for a life set apart unto Him. Because God is light and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5) we, too, must “walk in the light” as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). There must be the sacrifice of self, sanctification, choices made to live set apart from what everyone else is doing, a deliberate setting aside of “weights and sins” to run toward Christ – all of these words were spoke to the church, the saved! David noted that, “He who does these things will never be moved.” (Psalm 15:5) There is a cost to pay to following Jesus Christ, but He is worthy- and worth it!
Thought for today
Not everyone who praises the Lord experiences the “they shall never be moved” part of God’s promises and then they start to doubt God’s promises and His power. While we can never discount the knowledge that the enemy will attack at every opportunity, he does have legal access into your life through any area of darkness- emotions, behaviors and actions, speech and confessions, interactions, relationships and anything else that is not in the light. Living a “set apart” life matters! If it were easy, every Christian would be doing it, but as Jesus said, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. (Matthew 26:41) We all contend with the flesh, so walking in the light must be daily, intentional, deliberate and a huge sacrifice of a lot you may hold dear, but living a life set apart unto Him (1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 14:2) is an important part of experiencing the fullness of God and “they shall never be moved”. Why? Because the enemy will try to move you and he’ll push you as far as he is allowed to. “Lord, who will abide in Your tabernacle? Who will dwell in Your holy hill?” If you want to push back, get on top of the holy hill where God dwells and shove that demon back into the darkness from where you stand in the light! <3
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