Over the years I have known people whose lives manifested a unique sense of God’s presence and power. Some are now in heaven. Some are still serving the Lord.

Psalm 15 cites the characteristics of a person who can “abide” in God’s tabernacle and dwell in His “holy hill.” This was the psalmist’s way of describing the experience of knowing God’s closeness and power. Such a person, he said, is upright and truthful (v.2) and without malice (v.3). He despises the vile, honors the godly, keeps vows no matter what, lends money unselfishly, and refuses to take bribes (vv.4-5).

As Christians, we are grateful that Jesus died so that we might be forgiven and have peace with God. But we tend to forget that Jesus also died to make us good. We must desire this so much that we are willing to turn from anything that is not Christlike. Paul said, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).

Of course, we can’t do this on our own. We must continually pray for God’s help, fill our minds with His Word, and submit to the Holy Spirit. As we do, God will become a living reality in our lives and we will be like the person in Psalm 15 who lived close to God.