“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:4-6
Those who seek the face of the God of Jacob are marked by clean hands and a pure heart. If we say we are seeking Him yet our lives don’t reflect this description, it’s evidence that something isn’t penetrating our heart. We are still living for ourselves. There is a disconnect between us and the Most High God.
This can be a difficult topic to focus on, because it’s not exactly perfection. We still battle with our fallen nature that rebels against God, and we fall in our weakness. But knowing this, our Lord still calls us to “be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). In his letters, Paul writes to the church and urges them “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3), and to “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents” (Philippians 1:27).
So there must be intentionality on our part, a striving to remain faithful to this God who saves us. After all, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We have been bought with a price. The price of the death of the Holy One of God. And we are called to love God in return, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to surrender our lives to Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. Because He is worthy. Because His greatness is unsearchable and His wisdom and understanding are beyond measure.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). When we love God, we will fight to keep His commandments. And I love that John highlights the truth that “his commandments are not burdensome.” Because at times they feel that way. Our deceitful heart can begin to feel let down and unnecessarily held back. As if this isn’t really freedom. So how do we get to a point where we no longer see the commandments of God as a restrictive burden? Faith. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5). We choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. We recognize that we have been bought with a price. We choose this day whom we will serve. And we strive to walk in a manner worthy of His gospel, worthy of our calling, displaying our love for our God through our joyful obedience to Him. We live in determined faith, believing that our God is good and wise and that He knows better than we do, so we follow Him—fighting for clean hands and a pure heart—even in the moments when something else looks better.
“He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” Let us seek Him. Because He is great, and He is exceedingly worth it.