Psalm 51 is a very subjective psalm in which David confesses and deals with not only the outward manifestations of sin but with the inward cause of sin and the consequences of sin upon the inner being of a man… When we sin, no matter how great or small the sin is, our entire being becomes unbalanced and our inner being is corrupted and defiled. Most of all, when we sin we lose God’s presence and we don’t have the sweet feeling of His actual presence with us. The Lord is forever in our spirit, but due to our sin He cannot dwell with us, and we don’t feel Him…
the Lord’s Presence is everything to us
The Lord is not just with us or around us taking care of us, but He is in us making us God-men, men of God with God’s presence, those growing in life to be matured and be fully expressing God. But when we sin or we do things apart from God, not consulting with Him or being one with Him, we lose His presence and His blessing is not upon us. As God-men, we need to practice being one with the Lord in our walk, our living, and even in our whole being (Rom. 8:4; 2 Cor. 2:10; Gal. 5:16). If we lose God’s presence, we lose everything! God’s presence and His blessing is everything to us.
David also prayed in this direction in Psa. 51:11, Do not cast me from Your presence, / And do not take the Spirit of Your holiness away from me. We not only need a new heart and a steadfast spirit, but we continually need to have God’s presence. When we sin or do things apart from the Lord, we feel as if we lose God’s presence, and His Spirit of holiness is not with us. We just need to repent and confess, and turn to Him – even ask the Lord to not cast us away from His presence! The Lord’s presence is all we need, and we love being in His presence!
restore to me the gladness of Your salvation…
The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10)! If we lose the joy of the Lord – which is an aspect of living in the church life as the kingdom of God, see Rom. 14:17 – we become weak. When we sin, when we are not one with the Lord in our speaking or our doing, when we do things apart from the Lord, we can lose the joy of our salvation. We are still saved, but we don’t feel happy anymore, since our fellowship with the Lord is broken! We need to have the gladness of our salvation restored – we need to ask the Lord to make us again happy in Him, happy in our salvation. Only God can restore to us the joy of His salvation.
… and sustain me with a willing spirit!
When we have the joy of salvation, when the gladness of our salvation is restored to us, we are sustained with a willing spirit (Psa. 51:12-13). There is a connection here between the gladness of salvation and the willingness of spirit – when we are happy in the Lord and with the Lord, we also have a willing spirit! A willing spirit depends upon the joy of salvation – when we have the joy restored to us, we are happy and willing to go along with the Lord and do what He desires. We obey the Lord because we love Him and we are filled with the joy of our salvation!
Sin breaks things in us; it defiles us, destroys us, and makes us a very unpleasant person within. Also, sin damages our spiritual life – we lose God’s presence and also the joy of our salvation. Whenever we feel that we have lost His presence or we have no joy in our salvation, we need to come to the Lord and fellowship with Him. His shining in us will expose the sins and the things we need to confess and repent of. Then, we can ask the Lord to restore to us the gladness of our salvation – from this enjoyment and joy, we can have a willing spirit! Whatever can please the Lord, we will be happy to do, because the joy is restored to us!
[sharing inspired from the Basic Lessons on life, and the Life-study of Psalms, as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (1); you can get the morning revival book online or become a fan on Facebook for more updates. Picture source: Flowering tree Tochis.]
Lord, let us hear gladness and joy! Hide Your face from our sins, Lord, and blot out all our iniquities. Grant us a repenting spirit, a spirit that is ready to come to You and confess anything that blocks the way… Create in us a clean heart, O, God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Don’t cast us away from Your presence, Lord! Don’t take the Spirit of Holiness away from us! Rather, Lord, restore unto us the gladness of Your salvation! Lord, sustain us with a willing spirit!
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