Thursday, March 14

Thursday, March 14 

Scripture: Psalm 51:10-12

 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
       and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

 11 Do not cast me from your presence
       or take your Holy Spirit from me. 

 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
       and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 

Some thoughts:

     David was aware of his fickle faith. He knew he needed the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life continually. In the Old Testament era, the presence of Holy Spirit would “come upon” a person for a specific task or reason such as ordination for an office. For example, David received the Spirit of God when he was anointed king and the Holy Spirit departed from King Saul for his disobedience when David was anointed (I Sam 16:14). When Saul disobeyed, his reign was ended, the Holy Spirit departed.

     In this portion of the psalm David asks for a pure heart. David was very aware of the Spirit’s departure from Saul and asked to be spared from the same fate as the result of his sin with Bathsheba. He had acknowledged and confessed his sin earlier in this psalm. Now he asks the Lord to help him have a steadfast spirit. Like David, we all want to be consistent in our walk of faith. Yet we are “prone to wander” as the song says. It seems our old nature keeps creeping back, trying to get its gnarly foot in the door of our house. The key is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us recognizing when the door is being pushed agar. With the advent of Pentecost (Acts 2), the Holy Spirit is available to all believers who put their faith in Jesus for their salvation, a major change from the First Testament. As was the case with king Saul, people are warned in the latter Testament not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

     As we continue through this Lenten season, let the Holy Spirit guide us. Ask him to watch the door of your house and keep you alert throughout this day. Live consciously in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Talk with him as you go about your business. Seek the mind and heart of the Lord as you move through the day. At the end of the day, notice what has happened. Something will happen; God is not distant. God is looking for a willing spirit in you. He will sustain you,

Music: “Psalm 51” Praises of Israel (In Hebrew with subtitles)

Prayer: As the wind is thy symbol, so forward our goings. As the dove, so launch us heavenwards. As water, so purify our spirits. As a cloud, so abate our temptations. As dew, so revive our languor. As fire, so purge out our dross.           –Christina Rossetti   1830-1894

(Note the use of symbols for the biblical symbols for the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, baptism of Jesus, Transfiguration, Pillar of fire in the desert wanderings, Manna from heaven-dew, etc.)