Updated: Sep 22, 2020
As I sat down this early morning, I was quickened again to read Psalm 15. As I read this Psalm, I recalled several years ago examining this scripture during a time of intense chaos. I was seeking the Lord passionately at that time regarding this question: God was either very real, alive, and capable of changing me and my world or I was finished. I sense this is a crucial time for the body of Christ. We have come to a crossroad that is requiring us to move forward either wholeheartedly in the Lord or aligning with half truths that ultimately lead us down the wrong path.
At that particular time what I had experienced from those who represented Christ was not pretty. I know none of us are perfect but something was missing - that something challenged me to make a decision. I wrote about this in my first book, Emerge, Forsake Rejection and Misunderstanding for Empowerment, because this challenge forced me to dig deeper in the word but also evaluate my own life in the Lord. I believe the Lord is requiring us to do the same. Which path will you choose?
Psalm 15 opens with two questions that I had often thought meant the same. Yet the word dwell in these two questions actually have two different meanings. In the first question, "Lord, who may dwell in Your tabernacle?", means to abide as a guest or to sojourn as a stranger; it is temporary. In the second question, "Who may dwell in Your Holy hill?", dwell means to live permanently, having residential status, enjoying God's fellowship, presence, protection, and provision. I realized then and now am concluding that many Christians, including myself at times, abide as guests only. We come to God's tabernacle without completely understanding what it means to dwell on His holy hill, enjoying all the benefits of residential status with Him. We only believe in part instead of the richness and totality of His Word. We are taught to accept most of the rules and regulations but we dismiss the very Comforter that He sent to help and guide us, the Holy Spirit. As a result, we miss out on His power and the closeness He desires to have with us.
I chose back then and I choose today to become one who dwells in his holy hill. Verse two provides an answer in making the same decision I chose to make - "They are passionate and wholehearted, always sincere and always speaking the truth for their hearts are trustworthy." We are definitely a work in progress as we pursue to be passionate, always insincere, and speaking the truth. Our goal is to demonstrate Christ in all we say and do. In these days, it has become extremely difficult to do this. Yet the call from God has become one we cannot dismiss. Our cries are being heard; the bowls are being tipped; and we must step into our assignments. We are the vessels he uses to change the world. We can no longer ignore our assignments or the depth of our relationship with him that is needed to accomplish these assignment.
If we back up and read Psalm 14, "The fool says in his heart, there is no God." (NIV) and in the Passion Translation it says, "Only the withering soul would say to himself, there is no God." Reading these two versions opened my eyes to what is happening today - our souls are withering - which is exactly what the enemy of our soul wants to do. There is a strategic plan to cause us to wither up and announce there is no God. It wants to crush us under the weight of deception, lies, burdens, and corruption so that we, the body of Christ, join forces with the enemy. Sounds like a conspiracy theory, right! But we cannot succumb to its weight. We must not become reduced to the laws of man but rather follow after true freedom in the Lord.
Psalm 14:4 provides God's perspective - "The Lord looks down in love, bending over heaven's balcony, looking over all of Adams's sons and daughters. He's looking to see if there is anyone who acts wisely, any who are searching for God and wanting to please him." Even though there appears to exist lawlessness and a falling away, God is seeking those who act wisely in this season. God is looking over heaven's balcony and he is noticing many of his people who not just 'dwell as a guest' but those who are seeking and dwelling on a permanent, residential status. They have been in hiding but God is now bringing them forth with power, greater awareness and discernment, and big voices. These ones are those who see through deception and are willing to arise and enter into assignments of intercession, new platforms in the governmental, educational, media and religious realms to advance God's agenda. These ones listen carefully to the Lord before aligning themselves with corrupt motives being able to not only discern the times we are living in but also have absolute truth as their foundation. These ones stand firm on God's truth determined to act wisely and stand with him forever. These ones are His dread champions - fearless, mighty warriors - who will engage in warfare to take back what was originally ours - our rights, our families, our children, and our minds. This is what God calls living in the shining place. It shines forth the light for our paths, the light for justice, the light to be righteous, and the light that guides us completely in these dark times.
It is my prayer that we all choose to dwell in that permanent place with God. When I made this decision, it changed my life. He is not an abstract savior; He is alive, loving, and relational. He has given me the ability to be strong in the midst of trials, secure in my walk with Him, protected at all times, and comforted through every situation. God is definitely looking down from heaven and calling you to live in His shining place as a resident. Make the choice today! Become totally invested in His way, His truth, and His plan for your life.