Psalms 24:3-4 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
Sometimes a translation of God’s word opens up a new understanding. I usually read from NKJV or the NIV, but my devotions for the next three years are out of the New Living Translation. I have been meditating on the NLT of Psalms 24. It is sticking with me and turning in my heart. Especially verses three and four. “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? ONLY those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”
Climbing the mountain of the Lord
Climbing is hard. It requires strength, focus, and sacrifice. Climbing God’s mountain in today’s climate is challenging. There are so many distractions around us. To climb God’s mountain successfully, you must not lose focus on the goal, to stand in the holy place with God. It will take determination and sacrifice to accomplish this. We cannot get caught up in today’s culture and successfully climb God’s mountain.
Hands and Hearts are pure.
Hands – Are you a hard worker? When you do your job, are you doing your very best? Even if others do not recognize you, are you performing your job as unto the Lord? This is climbing God’s mountain. Being lazy and pushing needed chores down the road are examples of our culture of ease, entitlement, and pleasure. Work hard with your hands, and you will climb the mountain of God.
Hearts – Are there people you hate? Do you align yourself with today’s culture of groups pushing their agenda? Jesus dies for us all. I have had to work (and still work) on my heart against people I judge as anti-Christian. We fight not against flesh and blood but against evil principalities and powers (Eph 6:12.) Let us pray rather than hate. Jesus says to love our enemies. Is your heart pure? Keeping your heart pure in today’s culture is climbing the mountain of God.
Do not worship idols.
Of course, we do not have physical idol statues in our homes, but we can have a personal desire that overshadows our walk with God. It can be a pleasure, status, fitness, beauty, wealth, and power. These goals are not necessarily evil unless they turn your life away from following God. At various stages of life, there are traps the enemies set for us to begin to focus on rather than the mountain of God. If you become obsessed with this goal and stop climbing the mountain of God, you may be climbing toward trouble. Check your weekly focus and how much time is devoted to it. Make sure you are not focusing on idols.
Never tell lies.
Even white lies? Even when it will not hurt anybody? Never tell lies. We are all human, and we all deceive others at some point. This culture lies to us every day. The scriptures say, “Never tell lies,” what will you do with this commandment? Do what I must do and repent. If you are reading this and recognize you need to come clean with someone, you are climbing the mountain of God. Much of what is said on TV is a lie or a variation of the truth. Let us come clean with half-truths, lies, and deceptions as we climb God’s mountain.
Climbing is hard work, but reaching the top of the mountain and standing in the holy place with God will be worth it all. Plus, working hard, a heart of compassion, dedication to following Christ, and never deceiving or lying to others will bring peace and blessings to your home and community.