“Who may worship in Your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter Your presence on Your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.” – Psalm 15:1-2 (NLT)
There are two things that David fully encapsulates in this chapter, but specifically in these two verses. Two characteristics that all followers of Christ should have. These two things are Righteousness and Integrity.
Righteousness is to live in right standing before the Lord, while integrity is to live from the place of righteousness and to display it before the people around us. The one flows out of the other. This is the fruit that true, authentic righteousness produces. A lifestyle of right standing leads to a lifestyle of integrity.
I don’t often use this translation, but I love the way these passages are worded in the Passion.
“Yahweh, who dares to dwell with You? Who presumes the privilege of being close to You, living next to You in Your shining place of glory? They are passionate and wholehearted, always sincere and always speaking the truth – for their hearts are trustworthy.” – Psalm 15:1-2 (TPT)
The passionate and wholehearted. The sincere. Those who always speak truth. Those with trustworthy hearts. I mean, how powerful is that? How much more clear and precise can we make this before we gain the understanding that we should be walking in already? This is basic, fundamental Christianity.
Our righteousness and integrity, they are supposed to be things done from a place of passion and wholehearted devotion. We do not have to separate passion from this thing called faith. In fact, only when we are passionate can we truly display faith in what we believe. Only when we have surrendered wholeheartedly to the Lord can we stand firm in sincerity and truth. These are such important characteristics that are lacking in our Christian culture, and it’s because we do not model Kingdom culture. David understood something that believers today may never understand. David was king of all Israel, yet he was so passionate for the Lord, so wholeheartedly devoted to Him, that he became undignified as he danced before the Lord with passion. And the best part? He didn’t care what anyone else thought about it. He only knew that all he could do was worship the Lord to the degree that He is worthy of.
What holds your passion? What has the attention of your wholehearted devotion? Because if it isn’t the Lord, then it is an idol. We must return to the understanding that David had and that he displays through his words here. Anything less than this is a distortion of the Truth. And when we distort the Truth, we are not displaying and leading a life of righteousness and integrity.
“Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.” – Psalm 15:3-5 (NLT)