God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not banish me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore the joy of Your salvation to me,
and give me a willing spirit.
In churches across the United States (and indeed around the world!) pastors are preaching revival, believers are praying for breakthrough. I know this is true because I’ve either been privy to this phenomenon firsthand, heard it on various podcasts or spoken with those who have observed it. God’s Holy Spirit in the hearts of His own across the world are being called to Himself - called for deeper intimacy with Him, called to pray for and evangelize the lost, called to reconciliation, both with God and with fellow mankind. However, I know from my own heart that I am a stubborn soul. I want God. I want what He wants, at least in theory. But I also want what I want. I suspect this is true for all of us to one degree or another. It is to this end we consider David’s prayer laid out in Psalm 51.
David was clearly a passionate man. He regularly cried for more of God. Scripture tells us he had a heart that beat after God’s heart. (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) But like all of us he had a fatal flaw - he could also be found lost in his own passions from time to time. Sound familiar? David wrote Psalm 51 after he’d realized his sin in seeking a passion for himself that left God out of the picture - that of his selfish and ruthless rape of Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband Uriah. From the depths of his sin David asks God to create a heart and spirit that will mold itself to God, that will derive satisfaction from being with Him. David asks God to continue to be with him and to not count his guilt against him. (Psalm 51:10-11, 14) We know from Scripture that after David offers this prayer, God gives David what he asks for though the consequences of his sin still follow him on all sorts of levels. (Read 2 Samuel 12 and the following chapters for evidence of this.) While it doesn’t necessarily make David perfect for all time, we once again see a heart that seeks after God and one that is passionately driven to Him. Isn’t that what we desire for our own lives? Isn’t that what we desire for those whom we love? For our sons?
As we pray for our sons, the Taylor football team as a whole and for ourselves as well, may we remember that even as those who have been redeemed by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ we still often carry a torch for passions that fly in the face of God. Like David we need to acknowledge to God “against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4a) Let us admit this before Papa God. Let us lift up our sons to recognize this in their own lives. Let us ask God to “create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) Let us ask God to return to us the joy of our salvation and a willing spirit to be moved by the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 51:12) Furthermore, let us pray that we all “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5b) Let us pray for revival - in our own lives, in the lives of our sons, the lives of the team and, in fact, the whole Taylor community.
May God receive the glory!!!