THE INCREASE: What Cannot Be Shaken – Mark Appel

“Lord, who may dwell in Your sacred tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.” — Psalm 15

This has been a prayer of mine, that I would not be a shaken person. There have been times in my life when I have been shaken, but those moments have now become markers in my life, showing me how the Lord has continually rescued me. Those moments have shaped my life and faith in Christ.

I’ve experienced times of doubt. In fact, if I’m being honest, I’ve had a lot of doubt. Those seasons have become both convicting and encouraging for me. They’re convicting because I read this Psalm and think, “If I really evaluate my life, I don’t measure up very well.” I had moments in unrighteousness this weekend, this past week and even this morning — moments when I was not acting as Christ would. How can I dwell in God’s sacred tent? How can I live on His holy mountain? (These are references of Heaven.) How can I live a blameless life when I seem to slip up again and again?

In the same way, this passage is a huge encouragement because ultimately, we know the answers to these questions. We know our righteousness is not counted by what we do, but by what Christ has done for us. Jesus embodies every aspect of this Psalm; He lived out the Psalm 15 life in complete perfection! Because of the shed blood of Jesus, when God looks at me, instead of seeing a sinful, broken man, He sees Christ in me. I don’t have to be blameless because God has made me blameless through Christ. Now I can live confidently knowing His blameless Spirit lives inside me, leading me in the way of Christ. If I’m in tune with His Spirit, not quenching the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) but following where He leads me, I will not be shaken.

I recently heard a coach say that we’re just the water bottle and Jesus is the water. We’re the three-cents of plastic carrying the thing which gives life to people. I have been gifted a life to be used as a vessel for God and His Kingdom. Every interaction I have should be used for the Kingdom. Every breath I take should be used for the Kingdom.

When I take time to pause and consider the Psalmist’s heart as he cries out to the Lord, I’m inspired to do the same. Yes, we can look at our own lives to see that we cannot attain blamelessness on our own, but when we look at Christ we see that we are infinitely loved by the Creator. We are not, in ourselves, crucial to God’s redemptive story, but by His grace, He has decided to use His church to accomplish His will. We are benefactors as well as participants in the greatest story ever told.

Mark Appel

Mark Appel was the number one overall pick by the Houston Astros in 2013. Currently, he’s pitching in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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