The Four-Fold Requirements
In Psalm 24, the psalmist was inspired by the Holy Spirit to ask, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” On this third day of the 40 Days of Ascent, I like to examine the four-fold requirements God made for accessing his hill.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. (Psalm 24:3-4)
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Get Your Hands Cleaned Up
“He who has clean hands …” What does a clean hand mean? By hand, the scriptures refer to our actions, behavior, work, and deeds. It is our outward life, everything we do with our body. This corresponds to what Apostolic Paul calls the Body in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. God says He wants our lives and actions to be consistent with the way of life of His Son, Jesus Christ. The scriptures say, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). The Blood of Jesus was shed to make our hands clean and render us guiltless. Pilate washed his hands with water declaring himself guiltless, but we know that he was never guiltless. To ascend the hill of the Lord, we must first accept all that the Blood of Jesus avails us by His death. We must come by the Blood. The Blood of Jesus makes our actions acceptable before the Father.
Nothing Less than a Pure Heart
“He who has clean hands and a pure heart…” The heart of man is his entire being, his nature, the center of life. This corresponds to what Apostolic Paul calls the human spirit in 1 Thessalonians 5:23; it is also called the inward being. The scriptures say “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). To have a pure heart, we must have experienced the New birth. The scriptures say “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Keep Your Soul Undefiled
“Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol”. God detests anything idolatry, which is equivalent to anything that contends for the place of God in our lives. This includes anything that appeals to our mind, will, and emotions. The Scriptures says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). Our mind can easily be taken over by worldly materials and pursuits, our will can easily get entangled in carnality and our emotions can get enmeshed in selfishness. We must heed the counsel of God to continually renew our entire souls with the Word of God.
No Deception in Your Mouth
“Nor sworn deceitfully”. If you study James 3, you will discover how critical our mouth is to our entire being; it can defy or dignify our spirit, soul, and body. It is a doorway to perfection. I believe the Spirit of God takes our mouth seriously because it matters to God. Prophet Isaiah had to be sanctified before he could be used by God. The scriptures say “For in many things we offend all. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). Truth must be the hallmark of our lives.