Who may ascend to your holy hill?

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Mt. Hood from Elk Meadows trail, Oregon

“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”  Psalm 24:3-4

Ascending implies that I must put forth effort to be accepted into the very presence of God.  God is pure and holy and cannot be in the presence of sin.

Jesus died for me and ascended to the right hand of the father providing a way for me to fully come into the presence of the living God.  He is my mediator.  The Holy Spirit is real too and lives within me and helps me understand how my life in the present must be cleansed.

I am His — but can I abide in His presence?  Are there idols that I’m worshipping?  Am I clinging to the trappings of this world in an unhealthy way relying on them to satisfy my personal and spiritual needs? Is my identity in these things rather than in God?

I am deemed successful by man if I attain wealth and recognition and align myself with worldly beliefs, values and desires.

Man’s need for material wealth and recognition was born in himself — from the first sin by Adam.  Beginning then, men wanted to dominate one another, to be better than each other.  Man wanted recognition for himself.  He forgot that there is One who is greater than he — God who created the heavens and the earth, the seas, the mountains, the deserts and all the creatures that dwell within.

I cannot come into the presence of God dragging with me ideals that I have formed as a result of living in this world.  They are not of God.

Yes, I must work to ascend.  Yes, I must acknowledge that He is pure and holy.  I must recognize and loose the bonds which have held me captive.  I must release from my hands all that I have strived for in my own understanding and for my own gain.   I must cast away my carefully-crafted identity and resume His originally-created identity and purpose for me.

I must allow my life to be transformed through my relationship with God — a life that WILL change as I  focus my time and attention on Him.

He will renew and restore me so that I may ascend to His holy hill and be in his presence forever.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:3

“But when the kindness and love of God, our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, our Savior.” Titus 3:4-6

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