Have you ever wondered how to get close to God? I’m not talking about “getting saved.” That’s just the beginning of a relationship with God. I mean developing and deepening that relationship, building intimacy and fostering a real sense of His imminent presence.
Because God is a person, one of the best ways to develop our relationship with Him is just like we do with the people in our lives. We have to spend time with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, and build a “history” of sharing life together.
However, the Bible also gives us some direction about specifically deepening our relationship with God. In Psalm 15:1, David asked God, “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” The Message translates it like this: “God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list?”
If I were asking that same question, I might say something like this: “Lord, who can hang out with You? Who gets to be in Your ‘inner circle’ of trusted friends?”
We get God’s answer in Psalm 15:2. “He whose walk is blameless.”
Well, I long to enter God’s presence, but I’m not sure I would describe myself as “blameless.” What does that even mean?
The Hebrew adjective translated as “blameless” in Psalm 15:2 in the NIV and “uprightly” in the KJV, means “entire, whole, complete, perfect, sound, faultless, upright in one’s conduct, especially toward God.” (Definition from The Complete Word Study Old Testament.)
Good definition, but that’s too general for me to get my head around. I need a practical description. I need to know what “blameless” looks like in daily life?
Thankfully, the Bible tells us. Psalm 15 and 101 describe a “blameless” life (Read them now if you have time. They aren’t long.) The following list of characteristics is derived from these two psalms of David.
- She practices praise (Ps 101:1) – Regularly contemplate the holy nature of God. Recognizing His worthiness will not only foster praise, we will also be moved to obedience.
- She lives with integrity at home, in business, and in the world (Ps 15:5, Ps 101:7)– Sometimes we fail to purposefully watch our words and actions at home like we do other places. We tend to let our guard down; to allow our first, sinful instincts to rule. We need to be as careful at home as we are away from home.
- She turns away from everything vile or vulgar (Ps 15:4; Ps 101:3)– “Blameless” women do not compromise with the sinful ways of the world. We don’t allow ourselves to become desensitized to immorality, crudeness, or risqué humor by watching it, reading it, or listening to it. Instead, we long to be holy. (For a sad example of how Christians can so easily slip into the culture, read my “Holiness is not a Shade of Grey.”)
- She ruthlessly guards against evil thoughts and behavior (Ps 101:3-4) – We must proactively rid our lives of every thought and action contrary to the nature and character of God and work to live holy lives.
- She does not use her words to tear others down (Ps 15:3)– Our speech should be edifying and encouraging. That doesn’t mean everything we need to say will be easy. But it does mean it will be helpful to the hearer.
- She does not collaborate with ungodly, wicked people (Ps 15:5, Ps 101:3-4) – The only way to never encounter ungodly people is to leave this life and transfer to heaven. However, we can choose not to enter into agreements, projects, or business dealings with people whose worldview is not Christ-centered.
- She embraces honesty (Ps 15:3, Ps 101:7) – Satan is the father of lies. Anytime we are less than honest we have yielded to the tempter! Let’s commit to total honesty in our own lives and conduct. We should also expect honesty from the people around us and distance ourselves from those who refuse to be honest.
- She does not seek gain that brings harm to others (Ps 15:5) – God wants us to use our God-given skills, talents, and gifts to support the Kingdom, serve others, and provide for ourselves and our families. However, any effort for gain or advancement that takes advantage of others is sinful.
- She squashes pride and conceit (Ps 101:5) – Pride fosters an abundance of sin. Those who want to live blameless before God will seek humility by keeping both God and herself in proper perspective.
- She helps, encourages, and protects the godly (Ps 15:4) – God calls us to serve others and meet the needs of those who cannot help themselves. Do we respond when they cross our paths?
Wow, seems like a tall order, doesn’t it? And this isn’t even an exhaustive list. But I’m sure you get the idea. “Blameless” is akin to “holy.” It doesn’t mean “perfection,” but it does mean we actively strive to obey God and continually grow in holiness. If we live like this we will be very different than many in our culture. We will be less like the world and more like Christ. In fact, that’s exactly God’s point!
The good news is, if you’re a believer, you have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to help you live a “blameless” life. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us. As we walk blamelessly and strive to live holy lives, we will also enjoy the intimate, abundant presence of our holy God.
Which of these 10 characteristics do you struggle with the most? Why is that, do you think?