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December 20, 1999

Fill Me with Your Presence

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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 51:10-12
Even when we are doing everything we can to follow Christ and obey His commands, we are going to mess up. We are going to rebel. We are going to sin.
If we truly are in a right relationship with Jesus, such behavior will create a sense of heaviness in our hearts. We will feel guilty because we know we have violated God’s laws. We will be sad because we know our actions have brought Him grief.
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, our relationship with God is secure even when we sin. But when our fellowship with Him is broken because of sin, our hearts are devoid of joy and gladness. And even after we confess our sins and do whatever we can to make it right, that heaviness sometimes remains. That’s when we need come to Him in prayer, imploring Him to erase the black cloud of guilt that covers our hearts. We need to ask Him to make our hearts pure, to bring the joy back to our souls.
That’s what David was asking for in this psalm. He wasn’t asking God to restore him because he was weary and tired. He was begging God to restore the relationship between them that had been broken by his sin. He wanted to take joy in his salvation again, and he wanted God to make his spirit steadfast so that he wouldn’t fall again.
We deceive ourselves if we think we’re never going to fall into the kind of behavior that creates that kind of heaviness in our hearts. We might not succumb to adultery and murder like David did, but we’ll succumb to sin. When that happens, we need to throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to cleanse our hearts and bring back our joy. We can pray such prayers when we’re kneeling beside our beds, while we’re sitting at our desks at work, or while we’re in the middle of a conference call. It doesn’t matter where we do it. But if we want to be effective for Christ, we do need to do it.

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