I was struck with Psalm 51:10-12 as I read it yesterday and today.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Here's a person who has been struck with the reality of his sinfulness, and he knows that the only One Who can rescue him is God. It's not that he needs God merely to reform his behavior. He could do that on his own (see v 16 where he says he could give sacrifices). What he realizes he needs is an inner cleansing of the heart that he cannot perform.
What is beautiful is that while David acknowledges he cannot change himself, he doesn't let that thought keep him from going to God - believing that God will answer.
But, what was it that "hit" me?
It is really verse 12. In the past, I've been struck with the first line: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation." It's not my salvation that I should have restored to me. That's what I'm seeking to get away from. My salvation (self-salvation) doesn't work. It always is a sign of spiritual death. What I need is the joy of God's salvation.
While that's a beautiful truth (and the basis for living life to the full for God's glory), what got me this time was the second line - "and uphold me with a willing spirit."
We cannot do life for God's glory without a willing spirit. Do you realize that? Do I? For the joy of God's salvation to sink deeply within us, we need a willing spirit, a clean heart - to be filled with the Spirit's presence. We need restoration, renewal and God's open arms grabbing us close to his heart and affecting us so that we love him more deeply and more profoundly.
Lord, grant us the joy of your salvation and give us willing spirits. We are wicked sinners even in our best efforts. You're a righteous and loving Savior. Restore, renew and bring us close to you. Amen.