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Psalm 51: 10 – 12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.

Although David lived before the Messiah came and claimed victory, he is in so many ways a New Testament person. When you read his writings you see that he not only had a revelation of the Holy Spirit but that he also had a relationship with him. In today’s passage you see the essence of the New Testament regenerate child of God and the process of renewal.

God cleaned us by the sacrifice of Jesus. We were literally washed clean of all of our transgressions. He recreated us into the glorious version of ourselves that we were ordained into at the beginning of time. The footnote for “clean heart” says “upright heart”. Our hearts have been made upright before God. We are upright, or righteous, before God because of the cleansing of our hearts wrought by Jesus. But salvation did not end there as you can so plainly see from this text.

God, next, renewed our spirits. Imagine the joy our spirits experienced when the rejuvenating power of the Holy Spirit came into us and renewed our own spirits. Our spirits are cast in the same image of the Holy Spirit and we are truly part of him. David says renew my spirit in that image so that I am steadfast, unwavering and strong. We, like David, can stand surely and steadfastly in the grace and honor of our Lord knowing who we are because our spirits have been renewed in Christ Jesus. 

And then David makes this oh so interesting comment, “Do not take thy Holy Spirit from me.” David knew what it meant to live with the Holy Spirit of God. That was a very uncommon occurrence before Jesus came. David also knew that the Holy Spirit and his walk with him accounted for the great successes he enjoyed as well as the blessings. The Holy Spirit protected him under some very difficult circumstances and David had a revelation of how to walk daily with him. This statement reflects the next step of our regenerated life. We are renewed in Christ and move into close personal fellowship with all three persons of the trinity. Our cleaned hearts are now fit habitation for the Holy Spirit so we can invite him to come live within us and be our daily guide and teacher. It does require an invitation of course. The Holy Spirit is a good house guest. He will come if asked but would never invite himself.

One can almost hear the insistent, almost desperate tone, in David’s voice when he says, “Do not take thy Holy Spirit from me.” He knew that the Holy Spirit’s presence in his life was saving grace and he realized how much he needed that presence in order to live. David was immensely successful in many ways but he also lived in very dangerous times. One of his sons usurped the throne at one time and David’s life was again in peril as it so often was during his lifetime. So David understood that all of his riches and his throne were because of the power of the Holy Spirit but he also knew that his very life was sustained through the power of God’s Spirit. Without that grace guarding his life he would not have survived to old age. Therefore, when David recognizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life and prays to the Lord for that presence to remain ever with him we can understand that his prayer is one of deep sincerity, appreciation and understanding. In fact, David shows an understanding of life with the Holy Spirit that few New Testament believers demonstrate even though this indwelling of the Holy Spirit is part of our inheritance through Jesus and part of our salvation package, part of the regeneration and renewal of our lives.

Salvation is a big thing. It is a process by which we are continually growing into the Father. Every day we can participate in this renewal by Christ and importantly we can celebrate these great gifts from the Father by acknowledging them through prayer and in thanksgiving. In Jesus we truly can experience the joy of salvation.

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