Where do you stand with God? It is a simple question on the surface, and yet it requires an answer that reaches into the depths of our souls. Some ignore it or consider it irrelevant. Others just do not care. But those who do often answer it without sufficient thought or meditation. They assume they are right with God, so they reply in the affirmative without significant reflection on God’s perspective. This matters significantly. Feeling like you are saved and being saved are two very different things. Calling yourself faithful and God calling you faithful are two vastly different things. This is what makes David’s opening request in Psalm 26 so challenging: “Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart” (Psa. 26:1-2). David was willing to have the LORD look on his life with a microscope—not because he was perfect but because he had integrity and faith. He was ready and willing to change whatever he needed to change and do whatever he needed to do. Therefore, he drew attention not to what he did openly, which anyone could examine, but to His mind and heart, which only the LORD could examine.
This draws attention to a simple truth. Our integrity and faithfulness begins within. It is not a simple matter of sincerity but rather a commitment to God’s will that swells up within and then is expressed without. Faithfulness responds to God’s love with a life lived according to God’s revealed truth (Psa. 26:3). Faithfulness does not have anything in common with false religion, hypocrisy, or wickedness (Psa. 26:4-5). Faithfulness lives daily in innocence, anticipating opportunities to worship God (Psa. 26:6-7). Faithfulness prefers fellowship with the LORD to the company of the world (Psa. 26:8-10). Faithfulness focuses on God’s mercy and redemption that make integrity meaningful (Psa. 26:11). Faithfulness means that we stand with God and His people (Psa. 26:12).
These principles should form the basis for daily reflection, and we should examine them and ourselves in the light of the specifics of God’s Word. We should spend time examining God’s truth (John 17:17) and considering where we still fall short of living that truth. We should examine our doctrinal ideas, our religious practices, and our very lives to root out inconsistency and worldliness. We should live as God’s servants and God’s worshippers, considering what He wants from us instead of just what we want to offer Him (John 4:24). We should come to identify with the LORD so much that popular culture seems out of step rather than feeling out of step with popular culture (Rom. 12:1-2). We should remain constantly aware of all that God has done through Jesus Christ to give hope in being “faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10). And we should obey our LORD with such steadfastness that we show a willingness to stand with Him when all others fail (1 Cor. 16:13). Where do you stand? It is not as simple a question as you might think. But it is a question you should ask yourself regularly, inviting the LORD in to examine your answers now so that you are ready for the final test on Judgment Day.