Scriptural Focus: Psalms 51
Key Verses: Psalms 51:10-12,13; 16-18
“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.” Psalms 51:10-12 (New International Version)
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God is a broken spirit; a broke and contrite heart you, God will not despise.” Psalms 51:16-17 (NIV)
The Word In Focus:
Hearts broken at the altar; homeless hungry for food, friendship, and spiritual filling; children wandering around in a hopeless darkness, all these are types of people in need of the Gospel of Christ. Yet, how can one be a vessel of the Good-News, if their vessel is clogged with the worries of their life, the demands of the job, or stress of caring for a family? Everyday life can easily strip away the passion and joy we have in our walk with God. Before David was ever a king, he was a shepherd taking care of his father’s flocks. He learned as a young lad, that to be a vessel, he had to first be a broken vessel through submitting his heart to God.
Brokenness can be a scary place to be emotionally and spiritually, yet it is God’s desire to create in us a pure, steadfast, and joyful heart. As we pour our hearts out to Him, and empty ourselves of anything that my hinder His loving flow to and through us; He gently cleanses away the residue of the day, the hurt of negative words, and thoughts that do not honor Him. The great thing about serving God is that He never leaves us the same way He finds us.
The word “contrite” according to the American Heritage Dictionary (2009) refers to “feeling regret and sorrow for one’s sins or offenses; penitent” or honestly sharing one’s heart without fear of condemnation. David shows that empting one’s heart to God not only cleanses it from sin, but also fills it with God’s love, truth, and forgiveness. In order to pour into a person God’s truth of salvation, one needs to be full of His salvation and joy. David showed that this simple act of self-reflection and prayer is not done through works of service, a formula, or self-sacrifice, but by approaching the throne of grace with an honest and open heart.
No one will force you to empty yourself before the Heavenly Father, yet His Word promises that He will: 1) not reject you, 2) accept you, 3) forgive and cleanse your heart, 4) replace the brokenness with His love and forgiveness, and 5) restore the joy of Christ in you. It is a true fact of leadership or being a person of influence in a person’s life; that they will only walk as far as you lead.
With this being said, David gives us an example of this in Psalms 51: 13 right after he asks God to cleanse His heart, renew it, and restore the joy of his salvation, which states, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” (NIV)
David’s heart for his sheep, and God’s sheep began at the altar of prayer where he asked God to create in him something new, something fresh, and something that would flow to all those whose lives he touched. The breaking of your heart is the beginning of a harvest for the Kingdom of God.
The Word in Reflection:
1. What are you afraid of confronting in your own heart that might require brokenness or change?
2. Honestly ask yourself if a spiritually hungry person would really want to be at where you are right now in your relationship with God.
The Word in Prayer:
I thank you that You see my inmost needs and desires, and that I do desire to be a vessel of the Gospel of Christ. I know that I am in a place in my walk and relationship with you that needs your Holy touch. I ask right now that you cleanse my heart, mind, body, soul and spirit of anything that does not reflect who You are. Remove the hurt of the past, the worries of the day, and any barrier that may block your love through me. I submit my heart back to You, I lift myself as a vessel, and ask that you fill me with your love, peace, steady spirit, and joy. Renew my attitude, restore my hope, and refill my life with a new passion for You. Let me be an arrow pointing to Christ, and a vessel to those who are in need salvation. Thank you Father for loving and accepting me, and I give you the glory for all that you will do and all that you have done now.
In Jesus Name,
List of References:
The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language. (2009). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.
The Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Psalms 51:10-12,13; 16-18