"He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Psalm 15:5b)
In the previous devotional, we saw that God gives us constant access to His presence, and that He produces certain qualities in believers who dwell there. Believers who fellowship with God will have a foundational love for Him. Here, the psalmist shows how that love for God impacts our relationships with other people.
The words of those who abide with God (v. 3)
We all know that the childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a complete falsehood. Words do hurt. But when we dwell in God’s presence and worship Him, our words change from hurtful to helpful. Our conversation consists of praising God and encouraging others, instead of tearing others apart. If we hear “dirt” on someone, we don’t pay attention to it or repeat it to someone else. God changes our tongue, that “unruly evil” (James 3:6), into a beneficial tool.
The wisdom of those who abide with God (v. 4a)
Not only does God change our speech when we abide in Him, but He also gives us wisdom to make right choices. Walking with God allows us to discern and judge good and evil correctly (Heb. 5:14). We can identify evil as evil, and good as good. That may seem simple to do, but unbelievers don’t have this ability.
The actions of those who abide with God (vv. 4b–5).
Fellowship with God affects our actions, as well as our words. We keep our promises—even when it’s difficult to do so—because we abide in a faithful God. We give to those in need and expect nothing in return (Luke 6:35). And we’d never allow potential personal benefits—like people’s praise or bribes—to influence our choices between right and wrong. In our relationships, we act toward others the way God acts toward us.
So what is the expectation of those who dwell with God? If we continually stay in God’s presence, we will never be moved from God’s path.
Final Thought: Let your fellowship with God overflow into your relationships with people.
CJ Harris is the managing editor for Positive Action, where he helps plan, develop, and launch Bible curricula for churches and schools. Having served as a youth pastor and Sunday School teacher, he has a passion for teaching young people about the glories of their God. A bit of a history buff, CJ received his Ph.D. in Church History in 2011, based on a study of Reformation-era missions philosophy. He and his wife—also a student and teacher of history—have two sons.