Psalms 51: 10-12 (NKJV)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
There are three things I cannot live without. No matter how good my life may seem on the outside, I must have these three things for life to be good on the inside.
1. A clean heart
I have learned that I am in control of what takes up residence in my heart and I am the one who determines if my heart is clean or corrupt. I have lived with a corrupt heart and I have lived with a clean heart, and I have discovered that living honestly before God is a much better life. Condemnation, guilt, shame and despair are lousy roommates compared to grace, mercy and peace. I have learned that confession is indeed, good for the soul. I have learned that If I am honest before God about the areas where I struggle, God is quick to forgive and generous with His grace. If I hide, the enemy has a feast on the dark places. If I walk in the light, the enemy runs because he cannot torment me when the rooms of my heart are illuminated by God.
2. The presence of the Holy Spirit
I cannot think of a more miserable life than one without the Holy Spirit. Jesus was right – the Holy Spirit gives us power, guides us in the way of truth and does not leave us as orphans. Life with the Holy Spirit guarantees immediate access to the throne of God, the ways of God, the mind of Christ and the voice of heaven. Life is too dangerous, too risky, and too mysterious if we do not have the Holy Spirit. I am grateful to live in the age of the New Covenant where the Holy Spirit has made us His temple and chooses to make us his permanent dwelling place and not just a place of occasional visits.
3. The joy of my salvation
I am born again and I can’t get over it. I remember how my life was a train wreck before Jesus. I remember the joy I found 21 years ago, next month, when I said yes to following Him. Since then, life certainly has not been a perpetual Disney experience and I have not always enjoyed life or always been happy. Psalms 51 was written after David was exposed by Nathan the prophet as an adulterer and murderer. King David not only had lost his moral compass, he had lost his joy. Not long ago, Pam asked me if I was enjoying life. At the time, I had to be honest. I told her no. Since that lunch two months ago, I have been on a mission to rediscover the simple joy of following Jesus. I realized, once again that day, that life is better if there is joy. I am determined this joy will not be taken from me again. It is a gift from heaven and I cannot imagine life without it.