“Cast me not away from Your Presence—and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Your Salvation and uphold me with Your free Spirit.”

Psalm 51:11-12

Truly, it’s by “His Mercies that we’re not consumed” (Lam. 3:21-23)—and it’s by His Grace that we’re sustained and restored.

Martin Luther once wrote that he could never preach on Jn. 3:16, for “it was beyond him.”  However, in commenting on this beloved passage he said “If I were God, I would have already obliterated the world!”

Do you ever feel that way?

And, are there times when you feel like you ought to be #1 on the list?

If so, then, today’s Manna is for you. . .and you. . .and you.

David’s weight of guilt and shame was heavy.  Whenever you’ve been chosen and used by God as mightily as he had, your waywardness is especially odious—both to God and you.  He knew that he had no one to blame but himself if God decided to throw him away like some soiled, tattered rag.  And, if God chose to remove His Spirit from him. . .never seeing fit to use him anymore. . .or inspire him to write new songs anymore. . .he was simply getting what he deserved.

Yet, He also knew Grace is “getting what we don’t deserve,” while Mercy is “not getting what we deserve.”

So, with a “broken spirit and contrite heart” (Ps. 51:17) he cried out to the living God and said, “Please, O Lord, do not cast me away (Heb. ‘shalak’—‘to throw out, down or away, pluck up, hurl far away, etc.’) from Your Presence—for how can I live without it/You?  And, please don’t take your Holy Spirit from me, for I need Thee every hour.

“Please, O Lord, restore unto me the Joy of your Salvation.  Replace my misery with Your mirth and give me Grace for my guilt.  And, uphold me with Your free (Heb. ‘nadiyb’—‘voluntary, willing, generous, liberal, etc.’) Spirit lest I fall and cannot get up or stray and forget the way Home.”

Isn’t that a beautiful prayer, Pilgrim?

And, isn’t it a much-needed “Primer in Prayer” even for us?

Most assuredly it is.

Why not pause right now and thank the Lord Jesus for promising to “never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5b)?  And, while you’re at it, thank Him for His cleansing Blood that both saves us AND sanctifies us.  Hallelujah!  He knows our propensities for “doing that which we don’t want to do and not doing the things we know we ought to do” (Rom. 7:14-19).  But, in His Mercy He still meets us where we are. . .cleanses, renews and restores. . .and says, “I’m not through with you yet—for there’s still work to do.  Get to it” (Jn. 21:15-17; I Kings 19:1-18; Ez. 37:1-14; Joel 2:25-26).  Thank You, Lord.

May 8, 2011