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Elder Jason Malveaux
By Elder Jason MalveauxAssociate MinisterBethesda Temple Church
Scripture: Psalm 24:3-4
David knew that "to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple" was worthy of being prioritized above everything else on King David's prayer list.
‘One thing' must be our heart's desire to praise God in His Temple and to ask wisdom and instruction from Him that His blessing might be with us in all our personal endeavors.
Yet if we would ascend and inquire, we must have ‘clean hands.' Helmut Thielicke said of the elder son in the parable of the prodigal that he would ‘not so much as risk... dirty hands.' Meaning, the elder son was not willing to risk transgression against his father. He practiced, diligently, the ways that pleased his father.
But, lest we beatify the elder son, note that his father's ways did not please the elder son. The elder son was just as culpable for taking the father's love for granted as the prodigal. See yourself, oh faithful Christian. Does it please you to do the Father's will? Does it bring joy to you to obey God, or does it bring you joy that God obeyed you?
Is church second nature to you, taking for granted the MIRACLE that is your salvation, or do the embers of your love for Christ burn as hotly today as the first day you believed? Is it your aim to be transformed into the image of Christ or to be a bulging, bastion of blessing? Is Jesus a way to be better or have you settled the Christ as The Way, The Truth, and The Life?
The practice of clean hands does not begin in the hands, but in the heart. The Old Testament metaphorically called the passions and affections of the soul, ‘the heart.' When your heart's desire is to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind," the desires this world affords hold no sway over your being.
For if the kingdoms of this world were presented to you; your answer would be the same as our Lord Christ, "Get thee hence, Satan..." For the seat of desire to the transformed mind is not the kingdom of this world, but the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
Clean hands is the daily and diligent practice of making decisions and executing actions pleasing to our Lord and God, even Jesus Christ. It is moving with faith in God that regardless of outcome, His sovereign authority does all things well.
Clean hands believe God. Clean hands act in faith. Clean hands seek goodness rather than the greater good. Clean hands seek to be tools of Christ rather than a reflection of the self or satanic influence.
Clean hands are lifted without guilt in the sanctuary. Clean hands receive a blessing from the Lord, even life forevermore.