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REMAIN IN HIS PRESENCE

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Nehemiah 9 : 1-38

“Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” -Psalm 51:11

Psalm 51 is associated with one of the hardest experiences of David’s life, when he fell from grace in his sin with Bathsheba, the story of which is found in 2 Samuel 11.  King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) and had the promise from God – “My love will never be taken away from you.  Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me.  Your throne will be established forever.” But at a weak point of his life, he fell; yet God’s great mercy and grace lifted him and restored him when he repented!

The army had headed off for war, but King David stayed behind in Jerusalem. He saw Bathsheba and sent for her (though she was a married woman) and fell into sin with her. Later, having caused her husband to die, David married Bathsheba who bore him a son. David greatly sinned before God!

During the whole year of this account, we hear nothing of David’s repentance, no sorrow over what he did. In this sinful act, it seems David had forfeited the Holy Spirit- he got far away from God. How did a man like David fall so badly?- This happened because David was born with a sinful nature, just like you and me.  He merely did what we are all capable of doing! Let us pray: "Lord, I need your Holy Spirit!  Help me to learn from David’s experience.”

How is it that we are standing firm in one moment and falling the next?  One moment we are so confident of Christ’s forgiveness and eternal life; the next we doubt whether we are connected to God at all. One moment we are set on doing God’s will, eyes fixed on heavenly things, the next our mind is in the gutter of sin.  One moment you tell yourself you have sinned against God, the next moment you have the excuses: “Bad day! Didn’t have the right role models! Someone made me do it!” The fact is that our own sinful nature is our greatest threat and enemy.

But through the working of the Holy Spirit, David agreed with God and confessed his sin: “I have sinned against the LORD.”  And then the Spirit of God spoke through Nathan to David saying, “The LORD has taken away your sin.” Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance and restoration inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach us exactly what God does for us.  He makes us clean in his sight by cleansing us through the blood of Jesus. The Spirit brings this miracle to our hearts! Let us learn from David’s experience, being convicted by the Spirit. Don’t take the Holy Spirit for granted- we need Him every day as we struggle against our sinful nature. Let us be faithful in praying: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Ps. 51:10-11)

Today there are churches from which God has removed His Spirit. It is vital to remember that the power of a church does not consist in her strength; nor gifts; nor wealth; nor doctrines. (The false doctrines of Laodicea church in Revelation 3:14-22 is an example and it was disgusting to the Lord). What is a large church without the Lord’s presence? Nothing, but chaff to be scattered by the wind! And its fall may be sudden. How needful for all churches and its members to check their lives and to have this kind of prayer of repentance and in so doing, the restoration of the Holy Spirit to take place!

Prayer:

"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

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