“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
The sacrifices of Good are a broken spirit
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalm 51:10, 12, 17
Create, renew, restore, sustain – all works of the Holy Spirit. We cannot make our own hearts clean, nor renew a steadfast spirit, nor restore joy unto ourselves, nor sustain ourselves with a willing spirit. These are all works of God. What we can do is pray, confess, repent,(a broken and contrite heart) and sit in praise and adoration receiving these gifts from God – a clean heart, a steadfast spirit, joy of salvation, and a willing spirit.
One day I was reading a book about hearing God. The story of Jeremiah told of when God asked this prophet to run through the streets naked. I put the book down and said, “No, God.” If you were to ask that of me, I could not – I would not. I really struggled with this. I picked up the same book several times over a two year period, but always stopped at this point and put it down. Then one time, I began to pray that God would make me willing. He first reassured me that He would only ask of me what He would equip me to do and that He would give me the grace to do all that He asked of me. I bowed before Him that day and said, “Yes, Lord. Even that.” God never has asked me to run through the streets naked, for which I am thankful!!! But He has asked other hard things of me and He has always supplied my needs according to His riches in glory! (Philippians 4:19).
He created within me a willing spirit when I willfully gave Him permission to be Lord. I may struggle with His requests, but when I know that something is of the Lord, then I obey and He is faithful always!!! We are praying about taking in a young lady from Liberia who is here to escape the ebola threat. She has temporary papers and cannot work. We are willing, but need to make sure that this is what God would have us to do. Please pray for wisdom.