In Psalm 15:1, David expresses a deep desire to know God on a more personal, intimate level. He poses the question, “O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?” The words “abide” and “dwell” are a picture of spending time in the presence of God. Abide means to sojourn, as in “visit for a little while,” but dwell is a more permanent picture of taking up residence.
David answers his own question in the next four verses, showing us what a citizen of God’s kingdom looks like. In verse 2, he describes what the overarching attitude of our lives, our actions, and our words should be if we desire to enjoy the presence of God in this life.
A citizen of God’s kingdom walks with integrity.
Our walk is our way of life, the manner in which we conduct ourselves. Integrity is a word that means whole or complete. It means to live “completely and entirely in accord with truth and fact.” No hidden agendas. No secret motivations. Transparent, and completely committed to aligning every aspect of our lives to the truth of God’s Word. It is an attitude of wholehearted submission to God in every circumstance and every decision.
A citizen of God’s kingdom works righteousness.
Our work is our deeds, the practical application of our integrity. It means to do, to create, or to practice. Righteousness is equated with justice. It’s a legal term, an accounting term. When we are “righteous” all accounts are balanced, and everything is “settled up.” The outcome is perfectly right and fair. God is the Righteous Judge, and as Creator, He alone is the one who defines what “measures up.” This is why the Bible talks so much about obedience to His commands. To “work righteousness” we simply do what God says, not what we think is right or fair. We make decisions based on what He tells us is good and right. We judge according to His standard of righteousness. As believers, we are imputed with Christ’s righteousness, and we are called to employ righteousness in our actions.
A citizen of God’s kingdom speaks truth in his heart.
Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth is defined as actuality or fact. It is the body of real things, events, and facts. It is what really is. Our verbal words matter, but even more so, we need to speak the truth in our inner man, our soul. We cannot worship God while we are lying to ourselves. We must face the truth at the very core of who we are. What is in our hearts comes out of our mouths. We cannot worship God with just our lips. It must go deeper. We must let God shine the light of truth in our hearts, taking every thought and word captive to what God says is true.
If you are indeed born again and the Spirit of God lives in you, you will desire to abide and dwell in God’s presence. Our faith cannot be separated from our daily lives but will reveal itself in our attitudes, practices, and deeds.
Are you walking with integrity, whole-heartedly surrendered to God in every aspect of your life, or are there parts of your life you would be embarrassed for God to reveal?
Are you doing what is right according to God’s Word, or do you compromise in the face of culture, convenience, or the desires of your flesh?
Are you speaking truth in your heart, allowing God’s Word to expose any lies you may believe, or convincing yourself that truth is relative according to the whims of the moment?
Integrity. Righteousness. Truth.
These are the hallmarks of the citizens of God’s kingdom. The New Testament describes it as walking in the Spirit, as Christ lives out His life in us. Are you enjoying His presence today?