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. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:10-17)
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Indifferent. Cold. Numb. Passive. Without care. Indecisive. Desensitized. And hardened.
All of these are powerful temptations and lures from our enemy.
"I do not remember how I got here. I certainly did not anticipate this, let alone want it. I have no care for what is going on in the lives of my family. I can see the poor, hurting, broken...but all I have for them is pity - a small, unmoving, and mental pity. My days just play out. They zoom past and drag on all at the same time; they are fast, yet slow. When will this end? I want to feel again...to deeply feel and care."
How often have you had these feelings - these thoughts - and would have wrote them down in a journal, prayed about them, or sought help with them...only if you cared.
When disciplining our hearts towards seeing and experiencing God, one of Satan's go-to's is to cloud us with passivity. He wants us to get to the point where we can see things without really seeing them. Where we can see the broken but only have a false pity towards them.
After a long and hard time of confession, King David begs the LORD: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me...Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me" (v. 10&12).
He says: "Give me a malleable heart; one that is innocent, looking outward at your works. Please give me a steadfast spirit; one that puts aside old fears and strives to do Your will. And LORD...please...let me feel You; Your joy, salvation, presence. And to fight my laziness and passivity, give me a willing spirit. If I am honest, I do not want to move from here, but I want to want that."
And THEN, and only then, can he "teach transgressors [God's] ways," "sing of [God's] righteousness," and "declare [God's] praise."
It is only after David asks for a new heart and outlook that he can - once again - care for and be used in the world.
Here, David illustrates something that Jesus will later state in Matthew..."blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God." (5:8) If we are to continually see, hear, experience, and interact with God, then we must daily request for His purity and renewal.
This morning, afternoon, or evening... What God desires is not for more "dry actions" from a heart that is passive, emotionless, desensitized, or indifferent. He does not want more offerings given out of numb obligation.
This morning, afternoon, or evening... What God desires is a heart that chooses to break for Him. A heart that chooses to say "God, I do not feel this. God I do not want this. But God...deep down, I want to want this."
If you desire to truly care, love, serve, and minister to people...then you must take time today and truly ask for this type of renewal. We pray that you do just that.
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Greg, Declare Glory