Living With God

Lord, who may be a guest in your home? Who may live on your holy hill?
2 Whoever lives a blameless life, does what is right, and speaks honestly. 3 He does not slander, or do harm to others, or insult his neighbour. 4 He despises a reprobate, but honours the Lord’s loyal followers. He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise. 5 He does not charge interest when he lends his money. He does not take bribes to testify against the innocent. The one who lives like this will never be upended.

–Psalm 15 (NET)

My attention was caught by the title of a chapter in a book by A.W. Tozer. It read, “God is easy to live with”. It made me realise that I had never really looked at my relationship with God in terms of living with him as I would with my wife or a friend. Normally, when you live with someone you need to come to an agreement on how you will live, “how can two walk together except they be agreed” comes to mind. Usually in sorting out the terms of living together some compromise is made on both sides. This was further emphasised when we recently did a study on Psalm 15. This psalm was aptly called, “hanging out with God” by David Shiels. The psalm describes the kind of people that can live with God.

The words of the song, “Jesus take me as I am, I can come no other way” often express what we feel when we come to God. It would be nice to leave it there, but although we come as we are, change is expected. Psalm 15 is very clear about the kind of people who can live with God. It should go without saying, that repentance from sin and turning to God are the first steps on the road, but it doesn’t stop there. Jesus may take us as we are, but he certainly doesn’t leave us there. He also does not want us to be satisfied with how we are, he wants us to look forward to what he wants us to be. There needs to be an openness in us to God for the changes he desires to bring.

The psalmist doesn’t mince his words. We need to live blamelessly, do what is right, and speak honestly. We should not slander or harm others, we shouldn’t condone those who despise God and his ways. We shouldn’t go back on promises we have made just because they have become difficult or costly. We should be free with our possessions and help those who have been wrongfully accused. Doing these things are a sign that we are ready to live with God.

We could end at this point, but I love the last sentence in the psalm, “The one who lives like this will never be upended”. Often we find that situations or circumstances turn our lives upside-down. This is not so with those who live with God. It would do us all well to approach God once again and see what we need to change to bring about a conscious manifestation of the presence of the living God. Perhaps this psalm can help us?

Let me encourage you to read this psalm slowly and repeatedly. Ask God to show you how you can become the kind of person that can dwell with God.

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