July 31 - Desire for God's Presence

By Richard J. Bennett

Today's Scripture: Psalm 24:3-6

Central Thought: We cannot truly enjoy and desire God's presence when we harbor sin in our hearts.

    Most of us have faced a time when life was not treating us kindly. You are fortunate if you have never been in a pinch financially and had to borrow money from family or friends. More often than not, you end up feeling uncomfortable being around the person you borrowed money from. It is not much easier being the lender, because you start wondering why the borrower can afford to buy this or do that but seems to have trouble paying you back. Borrowing (or lending) seems to be a hindrance to a good relationship.

    The Psalmist recognized that there are things that can hinder a believer's relationship with God. This is why he commends the one who has 'clean hands and a pure heart,” who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).

    Does this mean that only those who are perfect may enter God's presence? Of course not. If that were the case, no one could do so. But it does mean that we cannot allow sin to go unchecked in our lives. We must daily confess our sins, knowing that God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us (see 1 John 1:9). We cannot allow the debt of sin to remain and hinder our ability to enjoy our relationship with God.

    Do you find your desire to enter and enjoy God's presence decreasing? Examine your life to make sure you have 'clean hands and a pure heart.” If not, confess your sin to God that your desire to enter and enjoy God's presence is restored and stronger than ever.

Devotional Prayer: Heavenly Father, please cleanse me of anything that keeps me from desiring and enjoying Your presence.

Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 29:1-36; Romans 14:1-23; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 20:12