|Jones Valley, Huntsville, AL|
A simple sharing of Psalm 24...
I am surrounded by mountains. In the winter months, their brownish peaks tell of both dormancy and awaiting life. In spring, their leaves of verdant hues fill in empty spaces in my horizon, creating beauty and expanding joy.
Our city is flanked by the foothills of the Appalachians, so their blue-green peaks are ubiquitous. One of my favorite places to tread is Jones Valley. Just eleven years ago, when we first moved to Huntsville, it was only pastureland. Now it is also now a vibrant, growing shopping center. Most of my buying ambitions are satisfied there. I love to bargain shop! When I come out of Target or Marshall's or Ross (my best places), I am always taken back by the mountains in the distance before me. God's creative force forces praise from my soul. I walk to my car, humbled and thankful that He is my God and that there is no other!
Mountains are a statement of God's power!
Is that the powerful force David discussed in Psalm 24? "Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?" The Psalmist continues to write that purity ushers us into God's presence. Purity levels the mountains of separation between us flawed humans and our holy God.
The desperate need of God's presence and power in my life compels me to seek purity. Every day. At morning, noon, evening, and in-between. Each moment, I seek wholeness, so that I will be whole in His presence, so that I will "receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God" my Savior (v.5).
If I seek purity, I meet with majesty. Yes, God's majesty awaits a sanctified heart.
Yet, sometimes, I must admit, purity seems so far, so unachievable. Because it is.
It is unachievable in my own strength. Without the cross, without grace, I am hopelessly abandoned to self-will and sin.
So, the seeking of "the mountain of the Lord" and "God's holy place" begins in determined abandonment of my own nature. I am thinking of Mary whose great solace was taking "a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12:3). I am thinking of Ruth, who told Naomi, "Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16). I am thinking of Paul who wrote to the Corinthians, "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him (2 Corinthians 11:2).
Inspiring and urging voices lead me to purity. Father, how I need your purity, so the glory of God will be seen in me.