Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:1-2, 10-12 NIV*
King David wrote this psalm after sleeping with another man’s wife and then trying to cover things up by having the man killed: pretty drastic misbehaviour, and not surprisingly it inhibited his relationship with God. [I’m posting this on Remembrance Day, and it’s worth noting that the man who died, Uriah, was an exemplary soldier serving on the front lines.]
Sometimes Christians fall like David did. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. And I’m so glad our God is gracious to restore us rather than throwing us out. The Bible promises that if we sincerely confess our sins, He will forgive them. (1 John 1:9) And He’ll help us face the fallout of our actions.
Other times Christians avoid the “big” temptations but get numbed or dulled by the distractions of every day. Pressures, annoyances, bills, telemarketers, H1N1… you name it, there are enough things to take our minds off God if we’re not diligent to keep Him in first place.
Today seems to be a day for reflection. Have I let my focus drift from the God who loves me? Is He first in my heart, or has that place been taken over by my own feelings and opinions?
Father, please create in me a clean heart, washed from unwillingness, resentment and hostility. Renew a right, righteous, healthy and steadfast spirit within me. Draw me closer into Your presence, take down any walls I’ve built, forgive any ways I’ve quenched Your Spirit, and be pleased to dwell in me. Restore the joy of my salvation that I didn’t see was missing. I need joy. And grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Because of Jesus, in whom I put my trust.
This song by Echoing Angels, “You Alone,” speaks to me of the intimacy we need with our wonderful God.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.