God’s verdict is totally just and fair. If we want to know what’s right or wrong to think or do, God will show us what’s right according to His laws. That’s what a judge does. He decides whether what someone’s done is right according to the law. Sometimes, people will go to a judge to find out if what they intend to do is legal. And our Father invites us to do the same. We can come to Him and ask Him to show us if this or that is in line with His will.
And this is so important for our walk with Him. You could paraphrase this verse like this: ‘I will worship You with integrity as I learn what you decide is right’. But it isn’t only about specific things that we might do. It has much more to do with my state of heart. When God looks at my heart, how does He judge it? Is it ‘upright’?
Recently I read this account of what this means. Shortly before revival broke out on the Scottish island of Lewis in 1949, a group of men were praying together in a barn. Andrew Woolsey recounts what happened when one of them read from Psalm 24:
‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord.’ Turning to the others he said: “Brethren, it seems to me just so much humbug to be waiting and praying as we are, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God”. Then, lifting his hands toward heaven, he cried: “Oh God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?”
He got no further but fell prostrate on the floor. An awareness of God filled the barn and a stream of supernatural power was let loose in their lives. They had moved into a new sphere of God-realisation, believing implicitly in the promise of revival.
This man came to God and asked Him to judge his heart. In his spirit he ‘learned God’s righteous judgments’. He moved from lack of integrity to openness and transparency before God. And from that he was able to worship Him ‘with an upright heart’.
As God speaks to us through His Word, He wants to judge our hearts. Not to condemn us, but to enable us to deal with everything that’s out of line with His truth, and to worship Him with integrity. Then, and only then, will his power ‘be let loose in our lives’.
Today’s prayer is based on Psalm 139:23-24
Prayer: Father, I acknowledge that You don’t look at my outward appearance, but at my heart. Lord, I come to You today and ask You to search my heart; to see if there’s anything there that offends You; to bring me to repentance, and to lead me on in the fullness of eternal life. Amen.
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